We are closed
Coronavirus update: 4th January 2021 - In light of the recent government announcement placing the UK under alert level 5 and the reinstatement of a nationwide lockdown, we have closed Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve and Howletts Wild Animal Park to the public. We are awaiting further government guidance and will work to reopen the both parks to guests as soon as it is appropriate to do so. We will be contacting guests with upcoming bookings to advise them on next steps.
As a charity, we appreciate your support and understanding. This is an unprecedented situation and during these incredibly challenging times we ask you to consider donating to our Animal Support Fund and contribute towards the feeding and care of our animals.Donate to Animal Support Fund
Port Lympne Short Breaks
If you have a short break booking please do not worry, our team is working hard to contact customers with upcoming bookings to discuss their options.
We would really appreciate it if you could wait for us to get in touch with you rather than contacting us at this time. A member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible if your break is likely to be impacted by the national lockdown.
We are awaiting further government guidance and will work to reopen the both parks to guests as soon as it is appropriate to do so. If you have tickets pre-booked, a member of our team will be in touch. However, we will do all we can to bring the parks to you! Visit this page for live streaming webcams, light-hearted animal videos and fun educational resources.
How Can You Help?
As a registered charity, The Howletts Wild Animal Trust relies on short break bookings, ticket sales, memberships and donations to operate. Despite the closure, our keepers and vets will continue to work incredibly hard to continue to deliver an excellent level of care to all of our animals.
It costs us £300,000 a week to operate Howletts and Port Lympne. Without the support of our guests, visitors and members, we are facing an unprecedented crisis. We implore you to consider donating to our Animal Support Fund by texting ANIMAL to 70300 to donate £3 or by visiting this page. Any donation, no matter how small, will help us to keep look after our animals.
Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve
About your upcoming stay
At Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, a fundamental part of our mission is to create incredible experiences for animal-lovers. We place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our guests, animals and teams.
We have completed a series of thorough risk assessments and introduced a range of new health and safety measures that seek to reduce the risk associated with the presence of COVID-19 that are in line with government advice and the requirements of local health authorities. We have also ensured that our teams are provided with the correct PPE, follow social distancing guidelines and carefully monitor their own health to minimise risk.
Some of the measures set out below may be clearly visible to you from the moment you arrive at the Reserve and others require consideration and cooperation from guests to help ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable visit.
With effect from 24th July customers are reminded that if they wish to buy food or drink from the Reserve's indoor takeaway facilities then the current government guidelines are that they wear a face mask when entering the premises. Face masks are not mandatory in any of the Reserve's sit down restaurants.
For your safety, the following changes to our check-in process have been made:
- The Guest Services building is closed and we are using open air check in areas
- Transfer trucks are not operating
- Our teams have been issued with appropriate PPE
You are welcome to arrive early and enjoy the Reserve from 9:30am on your day of arrival
|Accommodation||Check-in time||Check-in location||Check-out time|
|Giraffe Lodge||2pm*||Guest Services||9am (board truck)|
|Giraffe Cottage||2:30pm*||Guest Services||10am (board truck)|
|Wolf Lodge||2pm||Guest Services||12pm|
|Rhino Lodge||2pm||Guest Services||12pm|
|Lion Lodge||2pm||Guest Services||12pm|
|Tiger Lodge||2pm||Guest Services||12pm|
|The Bubble||3pm||Guest Services||11am|
|Forest Hideaways||3pm||Pinewood Clubhouse||11am|
|Treehouse Hotel||3pm||Guest Services||11am|
|Hog Deer Creek||2:45pm||Guest Services||11am|
|Pinewood Pods||3pm||Pinewood Clubhouse||10am|
|Port Lympne Mansion Hotel||3pm||Guest Services||11am|
|Bear Lodge||4pm||Bear Lodge Reception||10am|
* Board safari for arrival at accommodation roughly one hour later
Luggage and packing
Please ensure that all of your belongings are fully enclosed within your suitcase or beg before handing over to our guest services team.
Selected accommodation at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve includes use of a private golf buggy for the duration of your stay.
Buggies, keys and clickers will be thoroughly deep cleaned and sanitised in-between check-ins.
Our golf buggy route is open 08:30 - 22:00 daily as normal.
After check out, you are welcome to keep your buggy until 1pm on the day of your departure.
To allow us to responsibly manage social distancing, you will be able to pre-book a time slot for your free safari when you check in. You will be required to wear a face covering at all times when on board a safari vehicle.
Masks can be provided on-site if required.
In your room
The following changes to our accommodation have been made to ensure your safety:
- We have further enhanced our cleaning regime and use products known to kill COVID-19
- We are carrying out extra cleaning in all accommodation, public areas, storage areas and touch surfaces with a virucidal solution
- The washing process used by our laundry service has been confirmed to kill COVID-19
- Special attention is being paid to the movement, storage and disposal of used linens and rubbish
- Minibars will not be available in your room. Food and beverage items can be delivered to your unit upon request
The following changes have been made to our dining and restaurant options to ensure your safety.
- Cleaning regimes have been increased
- Menus will be wiped clean and sanitised in-between uses
- All breakfasts will be served to your table - no buffet breakfast will be available
- The spacing of our restaurant tables has been increased to facilitate social distancing
Port Lympne Mansion Restaurant
- Breakfast will be served from 8am-11am
- Lunch and Afternoon Tea will be served 12noon-4pm and you will be encouraged to dine al fresco or take advantage of our in-room dining service
- Dinner will be served from 5:30pm-9:30pm
- Bars will be open from 12noon-11pm (last orders at 10:30pm) with Happy Hour every day from 4pm-6pm
Babydoll's Wood-Fired Pizza
- Breakfast will be served 8am-10:30am
- Lunch will be served 12noon-4pm
- Dinner will served 5pm-9pm
- We have expanded our in-room dining menu so you can enjoy a delicious takeaway
Bear Lodge Restaurant
- Mongolian Grill will not be operating
- Breakfast will served 8am-10:30am
- Dinner will be served 5pm-9pm
- The Bear Lodge Bar will be open until 10pm
- Additional seating has been installed to allow you to dine al fresco
Our cleaning teams have been expanded. We have also installed additional hand sanitiser points around the Reserve and have implemented additional cleaning regimes in all accommodation, public areas and storage areas.
The washing process used by our linen provider has been confirmed to kill COVID-19. Our teams have also installed additional signage to remind visitors of hand washing guidelines.
Golf buggies, keys and clickers will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised in-between check-ins and toilet and shower blocks are manned and cleaned regularly with some facilities closed to facilitate social distancing.
Bars and Clubhouses have enhanced cleaning regimes and socially distanced seating.
To ensure that social distancing can be properly observed at all times during your stay, we have installed additional signage, restricted visitor numbers and added additional toilet facilities around the Reserve. Screening has been installed in Guest Relations areas, the Guest Services building has been closed and we are using open air check-in zones. 2 meter markers are in place on the approach to buildings and we respectfully request that you maintain a distance of 2 meters from our staff.
Toilets & shared facilities
Additional toilets have been installed across the Reserve. Public facilities will be manned and cleaned in-between uses.
Masks and PPE
Our teams have been issued with appropriate PPE. You are required to wear a face covering at all times when on board our safari vehicles.
Around the Reserve
We have taken the following measures to ensure your safety during your visit. Treetop Challenge at Howletts is closed, our catering outlets have spaced their seating to facilitate social distancing, all staff have been issued with the correct PPE, visitors are required to wear face coverings when on board our safari vehicles, protective screening has been installed at contact points and we are accepting card payments only, no cash will be accepted. Mini bars have been suspended.
4pm: Check in at your chosen accommodation | 5pm: Book an animal encounter to meet your favorite species| 6pm: Take a leisurely stroll through the Port Lympne Mansion's 15 acre gardens and find a hidden spot to take in the views | 7pm: Dinner and drinks at Babydoll's Wood-fired Pizza
Morning: Enjoy a fresh, delicious breakfast and board a free safari to see giraffe, rhino, zebra and much more | Afternoon: Explore the Reserve and experience an animal encounter. Don't forget to visit the gorillas 12:00 and 3:00 to watch the scatter feed! | Evening: Dinner at Port Lympne Mansion
There’s still plenty of time for adventures and you still have complete access to Port Lympne for the rest of the day, to catch up on anything you might have missed. You could also take the 30 minute drive to our sister park Howletts, near Canterbury, for the perfect end to your safari mini break.
Frequently asked questions
Is it safe to visit?
The safety and welfare of our visitors, staff and animals remains top priority and we will be taking every measure to ensure your safety during your visit.
We will be limiting our day ticket visitor numbers for your safety and to ensure social distancing guidance can be followed at all times. We have also taken extensive measures to support social distancing, cleanliness and safeguarding. More information on the measures we have taken can be found above.
How will my visit be different to usual?
- Visitor numbers have been restricted
- Our catering outlets have been reworked to facilitate social distancing
- Treetop Challenge at Howletts is closed, but you can still explore the ancient woodlands of Animals of The Ice Age
- Keeper talks and animal encounters will not be running to ensure social distancing can be properly observed
- Access to certain at-risk species may be limited
- Additional toilet and handwashing facilities will be available
Where can I eat at the parks?
We have a range of places to eat at Port Lympne. Choose from the sophisticated Port Lympne Mansion restaurant, the rustic and authentic Babydoll's Wood-Fired Pizza, recently-refurbished Bear Lodge or the informal Basecamp or Pinewood Cafe. All of our catering outlets have been reworked to facilitate social distancing.
We are also lucky to be able to offer extensive outside space at both parks to allow you to be able to enjoy a picnic in the glorious Kentish countryside.
Are the animals in danger?
Our keepers and veterinary teams are closely monitoring the latest guidance on animals and COVID-19. Additional cleaning and safeguarding measures have been out in place and we will not be offering animal encounters or experiences with any at-risk species. We are confident that with these additional measures the animals are quite safe.
Should I wear a mask?
Our staff will be wearing masks and relevant PPE when appropriate. We do not require our guests to wear a mask when visiting. However, feel free to take additional precautions to ensure you and your family feel safe.
Is safe parking available?
Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne Reserve both have large, open air car parks which offer considerable space for you to safely park your vehicle.
Please be respectful of other visitors and observe social distancing guidance when parking and entering/exiting your vehicle.
How can I support the parks?
There are a range of ways in which you can support the parks and our animals during these uncertain times.