The incredible wildlife park 60 minutes from London that feels like an African safari

Kent is renowned for its beautiful seaside resorts, historical architecture, and breathtaking countryside views.

As Londoners, we all know travelling into the ‘Garden of England’ doesn’t take long at all thanks to quick train links and access to motorway routes.

And those living in the South East of the city can visit even quicker with a drive down the M20 – who doesn’t like a little day out every now and again away from London, eh?

There’s one hidden gem in Kent that literally makes you feel a million miles away from home.

READ MORE: The unbelievably beautiful seaside village in Cornwall that’s constantly named one of the UK’s prettiest

A zebra and deer enjoy wandering around the Kent countryside at Port Lympne Reserve

Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve is home to over 900 animals from 75 different species including zebras, giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys and many more.

This isn’t your average wildlife park as a lot of animals are running freely around the reserve.

If you step on a safari truck, costing only £6 on top of your ticket price, you’re able to get amongst the animals and get up close to giraffes who can be seen grazing from the trees, camels who chill on the side of the road and magnificent zebra and deer who are all wonderfully exploring the countryside.

There are different enclosures to the reserve including ‘Africa’ which alone is four times the size of the London Zoo.

Some animals including tigers, lions, and rhinos are in enclosures for safety reasons, however, these are huge and visitors can see them up-close.

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Port Lympne is not only a great day out but as part of the charity The Aspinall Foundation they also work to breed endangered animals and release them back into the wild.

This includes 70 gorillas who have then given birth to 35 gorillas, and they have transferred eight black rhinos to Africa who have then had 25 offspring.

In the UK, Port Lympne is the most successful breeders of African elephants, clouded leopards and De Brazza’s monkeys, and one of the most successful breeders of western lowland gorillas.

It’s an incredible breeding sanctuary for rare and endangered animals.

The park is perfect for a day out but it’s also possible to enjoy a staycation amongst the wildlife.

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The deer at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent

Within the grounds, there’s a luxurious 4* boutique hotel, panoramic bubble pod, and glamping area.

But what’s even more impressive is the range of lodges set in the enclosures, meaning you wake up surrounded by your favourite animals from the comfort of your own getaway.

There are also coffee bars and restaurants on-site too!

Who needs to travel to Tanzania when Kent is flush with wildlife, eh?!

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A rhino comes to say hello at Port Lympne Reserve

How long does it take to explore the reserve?

Port Lympne recommends visitors take around three to five hours to experience everything the 600-acre reserve has to offer from endangered animals, walks with stunning views, and historic landscaped gardens to food.

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Where is Port Lympne?

The reserve is located just past Ashford on the B2067 only a five-minute drive from the M20. It’s around a one hour drive if you’re coming from South East London.

Travelling by train is all straightforward by taking the high-speed service to Ashford from St Pancras, or the 90-minute journey from Charing Cross or Victoria to Ashford. Then it’s a bus ride or taxi to the park.

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A giraffe enjoys the view at Port Lympne Reserve

How much does it cost?

Adult tickets are £22 whilst child ticket is £20.

Discounted concessions are also available.

The day truck safari costs an extra £6 but is well worth the ride.

For full information visit the website here.

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