The gorillas are the main attraction and with 5 different groups in separate enclosures they must have around 40 to 50 gorillas in total. We found the gorillas fascinating and could have stood and watched them for hours. In fact as we went mid week term time and the park was quiet, we were able to stand and watch for as long as we liked.
The park does seem to have all of the other main animals (tigers, elephants, rhino), but it's priority is the gorillas and other primates. There are other zoos/animal parks around that probably have better all round collections of animals, but if you are interested in primates and particularly gorillas then Howletts is well worth a visit.
If you are going for a day then I would recommend taking a picnic and drinks, as the cafe was expensive and the food on offer did not seem to be great, although I did not actually taste the food as we just bought a coffee.
We visited Howletts using our Tesco Clubcard 'Days Out' vouchers which makes it a cheap day out. The Tesco vouchers can't be used with the 'Passport' tickets that others have mentioned.
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