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Holly Loftus
19th February 2024

There’s a rumble in the jungle or should we say in the Garden of England, as we’re getting wild and letting our inner Tarzan out. We’ve seen them on the telly, we’ve seen them behind the glass and for the fancy among us we’ve seen them on safari, but have you ever gotten up close and personal with them? If you haven’t, read the title you’re probably wondering what on earth we're talking about, well its animal experiences of course!

From big cat encounters to trekking with alpacas, feeding farm animals to chilling with owls, it’s sure to be a hoot. And, to give you a helping hand we’ve made a list of all the best places in Kent where you can meet lions, tiger and bears, oh my!


Step back to a time where wild beasts inhabited England’s woodlands as you discover over 200 British animals that once roamed these lands. Here you’ll spot two of the park’s famous faces – a pair of European Brown Bears that were rescued by Wildwood - Fluff and Scruff. And, lucky for you there is a unique opportunity to meet and learn about these two fuzzy friends as you are invited to scatter food in their enclosure, greet them and give them a tasty treat, and let them back in their home to sniff out their food. 

Where the wild things are…

Howletts Wild Animal Park

Sister park to Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Howletts Wild Animal Park is a great choice for those who want to be close to exotic big beasts in glorious surroundings. Here you have the chance to take part in their Animal Encounters and go behind the scenes to meet some of your favourite exotic animals from around the world, with nine encounters to choose from! Or why not take part in their Keeper Experience and roll up your sleeves and join the team of animal experts?

Take a walk on the wild side…

Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve

Ever dreamt of spotting majestic beasts striding across the savannah as the golden sun sets? Well dream, believe and achieve as Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve offers a Safari Experience where you can see the wonderful animals that wander freely in these areas. Not only is a safari on the list, but you can also choose from up to 14 different Animal Encounters and learn some fascinating facts about each species.

Planning to go in a large group? Then it's a good thing you can save big on group bookings with a range of benefits and reduced rates!

A Kent safari...

Rare Breeds Centre

Channel your inner Old Macdonald at the Rare Breeds Centre and head over to the Children’s Barn where you can meet all the animals on the farm. Great for your little ones, you can come and play with the animals – they love a cuddle! Why not hop on board a tractor trailer and see the animals that way? With a restaurant, gardens, and plenty to do and learn, the Rare Breed Centre is definitely a fun day out for all.

Old Macdonald had a farm…

Huckleberry Woods - Micro Animal Adventures

For something a little different, Huckleberry Woods - Micro Animal Adventures is ideal for the young and young at heart. This family-run farm offers the chance to treat little ones to a picture of rural life with one-to-one experiences, relaxed visits, and the chance to meet (and fall head over heels in love with) a whole host of micro and miniature breeds. Say hi to the micro pigs, miniature Mediterranean donkeys, alpacas, Teddy Bear sheep and miniature chickens, and even arrange to take the micro pigs for a walk. Now, there's an animal adventure you didn't even know you were missing until now!

Micro Animals have our heart...

Kent Life

If you need a break from the big beasts, why not come on over to Kent Life and see some of England’s traditional farmyard animals? Celebrating all of the county’s rural traditions, Kent Life has plenty of piglets, lambs and goats that you can feed and cuddle. After petting the animals you can also learn all about Kent’s rich farming heritage too.

Life on the farm…

The Big Cat Sanctuary

Prepare to experience a sanctuary like no other where you can come face to face with some of the fiercest felines in the animal kingdom. Book onto a range of different experiences like the photography experience day and get snappy happy with the lions or become a ranger and see the family of kitties up close. Why not make a day of it and stay in the luxury lodge?

The prrrr-fect day…

Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation

One of the best ways to bond with your four legged pal is to go out for a picturesque walk in the great Kentish countryside and no, we don’t mean your dog, we’re talking alpaca trekking. Yes, at the Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation you can strut your stuff with a woolly companion. If you do prefer a fluffy doggo, then you can also embark on a Husky Kennel Tour, where you'll be taken inside the enclosure, learn all about the breed and hear some fascinating stories.

These boots are made for walking...

Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats

Venture to the land of goats at Buttercups Sanctuary, the only registered goat charity in the whole of the UK. Wander through the tranquil countryside, breeze in hair and hay in hand to feed the sanctuary’s fun-loving residents. Take it the extra mile with the Goat Keeper Experience and become the next best goat whisperer.

Billy Goats Gruff…

Canoe Wild Sunset Paddle

A Canoe Wild favourite, their Sunset Paddles are back! We know what you might be thinking, 'a paddle with Canoe Wild isn't an animal experience, is it?' Well, it is if there's the chance to spot some adorable beavers and wonderful wildlife... It's basically two experiences in one!