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“The 2nd of Two Amazing Parks!”

Howletts Wild Animal Park
Ranked #8 of 105 things to do in Canterbury
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Howletts Wild Animal Park is a 90 acre adventure in beautiful ancient parkland that is ideal for great days out in Kent with the entire family.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 21 August 2014 via mobile

I see many people have done what my family and I did, which was to visit Howletts the day after visiting its sister park, Port Lymphe. Howletts is very different, but fantastic in its own way. Those reviews that criticise the cost, the lack of animals or the size of the park clearly have no interest in seeing rare and endagered animals in a natrual and well designed setting. My family and I spent all day here and loved every minute. The Gorilas were a particular favourite, along with the Tigers, Elephants and very beautiful North China Leopards! I would recommend this park to anyone, its a great example of how enclosures and a park are designed for the animals primarily, leading to greater natural behaviour and amazing breeding success. Ignore the negative reviews, this place is amazing.

Thank Geoff C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"port lympne"
in 100 reviews
"visited howletts"
in 51 reviews
"big cats"
in 50 reviews
"endangered species"
in 38 reviews
"aspinall foundation"
in 31 reviews
"tree top challenge"
in 29 reviews
"large enclosures"
in 28 reviews
"great family day"
in 23 reviews
"plenty of picnic areas"
in 16 reviews
"snow leopard"
in 15 reviews
"feeding times"
in 15 reviews
"annual pass"
in 38 reviews
"day ticket"
in 16 reviews
"conservation work"
in 31 reviews
"animals seem"
in 19 reviews
"beautiful animals"
in 15 reviews
"play area"
in 31 reviews
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1,058 - 1,062 of 1,508 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2014

We'd already visited Port Lympne and were ready to take on Howletts the next day - and it was the right decision. Different to the previous day with the largest elephant herd in the UK, and adoring such majestic animals as we do, that was perfect, graced with the sighting of a baby elephant which the mother brought to show us, an amazing opportunity! We had our 5 year old with us, and he was never bored, loved the playgrounds, and all the endangered animals, especially all those animals 'featured' in the Disney cartoons, Simba ++++. Lots of loos and cafe's, and plenty of really helpful, interested Rangers who'd tell you anything u wanted to know. The walkways are lined with beautiful landscaped gardens, lots of lovely tall, old trees, a very beautiful park/environment. Loved it all!

Thank Melanie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

One of the best zoos I have ever visited. I went twice because it was amazing. So nice to see all those beautiful animals especially the Siberian tigers, snow leopard, silver back gorillas etc...really an experience I will always remember.

Thank david d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Had a good day here today, although the staff in the ticket office could do with more training as it took us almost 15 minutes to get through the doors this morning and the queues weren't long....
We took our time walking round and taking in all the animals, the 10 week old elephant was especially cute. Large area to have a picnic. Play areas and shops too.
We spent a long time watching the older group of gorillas playing, fighting and tumbling in their enclosure, was fascinating to see them all interacting together...
The lemur walk through was disappointing as there weren't many and the ones there were chose to stay in side ( think we could only see about 5 inside tho)
All in all a good day, could have a larger selection of different animals..think we saw at least 3/4 enclosures of Clouded leopards in various parts of the park!
We chose this park over Port Lympne as mum has walking issues and felt the smaller park was more manageable, but possibly port Lympne might have been a better bet for us as a family.

Thank Bridget E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 August 2014

Excellent day out.

Pricing is certainly not cheap but a discounted on-line ticket saved us £20+ although we then had to give up the discount to get an annual pass upgrade, that is slightly disingenuous. Also very confusing when I asked if Port Lympne included in annual ticket as initially told that would cost just over £40 to add but when we went back to take it up we were asked for £100+ so we stuck with just the Howletts pass. The £40 turned out to be the amount we had to top up to for each adult so was not very useful to quote. We like Port Lympne too but can't see point in paying pretty much full whack if visit uncertain, suggest you offer a bigger discount. Also, buy your on-line via easyfundraising and get 5% for your own charity.

However, the day was great. Parking easy and close and all facilities open. Some enclosures difficult to spot animals and nearly all the big cats seemed to be sleeping (all day!) but that was more re-assuring than the distressed "pacing" seen at some zoos: note, we were categorically told this is NOT a zoo. However we did see enough tigers and elephants and gorillas a plenty to please all the children.

The tree top challenge is recommended and was new from last visit and was great fun and a little more testing and nerve wracking than you first think it will be! Inevitably this is an "extra" but the kids (over 120cm and 5 years) will love it. The whole estate is beautiful and lovely to walk through with lots of picnic spots. We take a picnic but the food options are good and the prices OK with lots of refreshment kiosks at hand. Staff were all very friendly but we suggest more than one till staff needed for the closing 30 mins as that's inevitably going to be busy and queueing 10 deep could easily be avoided.

Our children (4/8/11/12) all said they enjoyed it although "crocodiles would have been good", "or piranhas" apparently! (Remember though, it's not a zoo!). If you take up the annual ticket ( we have) it's a lovely site to come back to (actually site of first date 14 years ago!) but we need to find somewhere local to eat afterwards as we didn't see anywhere obvious.

In summary, a great day but don't be kidded this is not a cheap option for entry, we go out as a family of six frequently to all manner of parks and attractions and this is top end pricing. Five stars nonetheless!

1  Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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