Wildlife Parks and Zoos

Go wild in the Garden of England. 

From big cats to cute Guinea pigs, Kent's wildlife parks are home to creatures great and small. Each offers a fantastic family day out - whether you are keen to learn about British wildlife or set out on a safari.

For encounters with exotic animals, head to Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve. At Howletts, walk alongside free-roaming lemurs, spot the UK's largest elephant herd, and prowl the open top monkey enclosure. At Port Lympne stroll the primate trail, hop on a safari vehicle to watch giraffe, rhino and wildebeest, before entering carnivore territory to discover lions, tigers, cheetah and more. Both parks are run by the Aspinal Foundation, so there's a focus on education and endangered animal conservation too. Port Lympne  even offers glamping (glamorous camping) at Bear Lodge, VIP-comfort at Giraffe Cottage and luxurious, authentic South African safari tents at Giraffe Lodge.

You can experience life on the farm at the Rare Breeds Centre, which is approved by the rare Breeds Survival Trust. A stroll around some of its 100 unspoilt acres reveals rare breed pigs, chickens, lambs, horses and ducks, and a play barn, Guinea pig park and trailer rides. Kent Life showcases traditional farm animals in its historic barns and outhouses.

You'll encounter hordes of British wildlife, past and present at Wildwood Trust, where more than 300 native animals live in a 40-acre forest. Stand-by to meet wolves and owls, as well as beavers, badgers, bison and boar.

At Wingham Wildlife Park the animals range from ants to wallabys, with countless creatures in between. This reserve specialises in exotic birds and small animals - sign up for an Experience Day and do everything from Meet the Tiger, to Shadow a Reptile Keeper.

And you get to meet your very own Rudolf at The Reindeer Centre where Santa's grotto sits alongside a herd of 100 reindeer; you can pop in a pen and feed these endearing creatures too.