Coreen Griggs

Written by Coreen Griggs

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Port Lympne Reserve is a captivating destination that offers a unique experience for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Situated in Kent, England, this breathtaking reserve is a haven for animal conservation and adventure. From majestic lions and tigers to adorable primates and exotic birds, Port Lympne is home to a diverse range of animals from around the world.

But there’s more to Port Lympne Reserve than just its stunning wildlife. This remarkable destination also boasts a rich history and intriguing facts that will pique your curiosity. Whether you’re planning a visit or simply want to learn more about this extraordinary place, we have gathered 18 fascinating facts about Port Lympne Reserve that will captivate your imagination.

Key Takeaways:

  • Port Lympne Reserve is a captivating wildlife sanctuary with over 700 diverse animals, offering unforgettable safari adventures and luxurious accommodations within the reserve itself. It’s a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and conservation advocates.
  • Visitors to Port Lympne Reserve can witness the incredible behavior of Western Lowland Gorillas, explore the Dinosaur Forest, and get up close and personal with resident animals through the Animal Encounters Experience. It’s a magical destination for unforgettable celebrations and hands-on wildlife conservation opportunities.
Table of Contents

The History of Port Lympne Reserve

Port Lympne Reserve is a stunning wildlife sanctuary located in Kent, England. This 600-acre reserve has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, when it was created as a private estate by Sir Philip Sassoon. Today, it stands as one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, known for its incredible array of animals and conservation efforts.

A Home to Diverse Wildlife

Port Lympne Reserve is home to over 700 animals from diverse species. From big cats, such as lions and tigers, to rare primates including gorillas and lemurs, visitors can witness the beauty and majesty of these magnificent creatures up close.

The Gorilla Gardens

One of the highlights of Port Lympne Reserve is the Gorilla Gardens, where visitors can observe the incredible behavior and social dynamics of Western Lowland Gorillas. This immersive experience allows guests to learn more about these fascinating primates and the efforts being made to protect them from extinction.

The Dinosaur Forest

Step back in time and explore the Dinosaur Forest at Port Lympne Reserve. This unique exhibit features life-sized dinosaur replicas, taking visitors on a prehistoric journey and providing insights into the world of these ancient creatures.

Conservation Efforts

Port Lympne Reserve plays a crucial role in conservation efforts, with a strong focus on breeding programs and reintroduction initiatives. The reserve actively contributes to various endangered species conservation projects, helping secure a future for some of the world’s most threatened animals.

Luxury Accommodations

For those looking for an extraordinary experience, Port Lympne Reserve offers luxurious accommodations within the reserve itself. From treehouses overlooking the wildlife to elegant lodges with stunning views, guests can immerse themselves in nature while enjoying the comforts of modern amenities.

The Rhinoceros Conservation Program

Port Lympne Reserve is dedicated to the conservation of rhinoceros species through its successful breeding program. Visitors can learn about the challenges faced by rhinos in the wild and witness these majestic creatures in a safe and protected environment.

Safari Adventures

Embark on an unforgettable safari adventure at Port Lympne Reserve. Hop on board a safari vehicle and journey through the reserve, encountering wildlife in their natural habitat. This thrilling experience allows visitors to get up close to animals such as giraffes, zebras, and antelopes.

The Primate Trail

Discover the Primate Trail at Port Lympne Reserve, home to a variety of primate species including lemurs, macaques, and colobus monkeys. This interactive trail provides educational opportunities to learn about the behaviors, habits, and conservation challenges faced by these incredible creatures.

The Animal Encounters Experience

Port Lympne Reserve offers the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of its resident animals. With the Animal Encounters Experience, visitors can feed giraffes, lemurs, and even have the chance to meet a rhino face to face.

The Howletts Wild Animal Park

Adjacent to Port Lympne Reserve is the Howletts Wild Animal Park, another nature reserve managed by the Aspinall Foundation. Visitors can explore this park and discover even more incredible animals, including elephants, wolves, and cheetahs.

The Stunning Landscapes

Port Lympne Reserve is not just a haven for wildlife, but also a picturesque landscape of rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and stunning gardens. Nature lovers will be captivated by the breathtaking views and tranquil surroundings of this unique sanctuary.

Volunteering Opportunities

For those passionate about wildlife conservation, Port Lympne Reserve offers volunteering programs where participants can contribute to the daily care and conservation efforts of the animals. It’s a chance to make a real difference and gain hands-on experience in wildlife management.

Education and Learning Programs

Port Lympne Reserve is committed to education and offers a range of learning programs for all ages. From school trips and workshops to guided tours and informative talks, visitors can expand their knowledge about wildlife conservation and the important role that zoos play.

A Destination for Events and Weddings

Port Lympne Reserve provides a magical setting for special events and weddings. With its vast grounds, stunning venues, and close encounters with wildlife, it offers a truly unique backdrop for unforgettable celebrations.

The Red Panda Sanctuary

Explore the Red Panda Sanctuary, a dedicated area in Port Lympne Reserve where these adorable and endangered animals are protected and cared for. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness their playful antics and learn about efforts to conserve this charismatic species.

The Big Cat Experience

For those fascinated by big cats, Port Lympne Reserve offers the Big Cat Experience. Join experienced keepers as they introduce visitors to the world of lions, tigers, and leopards, providing insights into their behavior, conservation, and daily care routines.

A Memorable Visit

A visit to Port Lympne Reserve promises a memorable experience for the whole family. With its captivating wildlife, educational opportunities, and beautiful surroundings, it is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and conservation advocates alike.


Port Lympne Reserve is an incredible destination that offers a unique experience for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. With its diverse range of animal species, breathtaking landscapes, and commitment to conservation, it is no wonder that this reserve draws visitors from all over the world.The reserve provides a safe haven for endangered species and plays a crucial role in conservation efforts. Visitors have the opportunity to not only witness these magnificent creatures up close but also learn about the importance of preserving our natural environment.Whether you’re interested in exploring the stunning landscapes, embarking on a safari adventure, or simply enjoying a peaceful stroll through the reserve, Port Lympne offers something for everyone. With its fascinating history, luxurious accommodations, and ongoing conservation efforts, this reserve promises an unforgettable experience.So, if you’re looking for a place where adventure meets conservation, Port Lympne Reserve is a destination you don’t want to miss. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, encounter extraordinary wildlife, and contribute to the preservation of our planet.


1. How do I get to Port Lympne Reserve?

To reach Port Lympne Reserve, you can travel by car or public transport. The reserve is located near Lympne, Kent, and is easily accessible from major road networks. If you prefer public transport, you can take a train to Ashford International Station and then catch a bus to the reserve.

2. Is Port Lympne Reserve suitable for children?

Absolutely! Port Lympne Reserve offers various activities and attractions that cater to visitors of all ages. Children can enjoy interactive exhibits, go on a safari adventure, and learn about the importance of conservation in a fun and engaging way.

3. Can I bring my own food to Port Lympne Reserve?

While there are several dining options available within the reserve, you are also welcome to bring your own food. There are designated picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal amidst the stunning surroundings. Just remember to dispose of any waste responsibly and respect the natural environment.

4. Can I stay overnight at Port Lympne Reserve?

Yes, Port Lympne Reserve offers a range of unique accommodations, including luxury lodges and glamping tents. By staying overnight, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the reserve after hours and wake up to incredible views of the surrounding landscapes.

5. How can I support the conservation efforts at Port Lympne Reserve?

There are several ways to support the conservation efforts of Port Lympne Reserve. You can donate directly to the reserve, sponsor an animal, or become a member to enjoy exclusive benefits while contributing to their conservation projects. Every contribution helps in their mission to protect endangered species and preserve natural habitats.

Exploring Port Lympne Reserve's fascinating history, diverse wildlife, and conservation efforts is just the beginning. Discover how you can make a difference through wildlife conservation, experience the wonders of ecotourism, and embark on thrilling adventures at other renowned safari parks. Each journey promises unique insights into the natural world and the incredible creatures that inhabit it. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, an animal lover, or simply seeking an unforgettable experience, these captivating facts will inspire you to explore further and appreciate the beauty and importance of preserving our planet's biodiversity.

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