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“Truly Exceptional”

The Big Cat Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Smarden
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Big Cat Sanctuary The Big Cat Sanctuary is a conservation charity, home to over 50 big and small cats across 16 different species. We are proud to have the most diverse collection in the UK, from the largest, to the smallest, to the most endangered in the world, hidden away in the Kent countryside. We are a centre of excellence whose primary objective is the breeding of some of the most endangered species on the planet as well as offering sanctuary to retired and homeless cats. The breeding centre is proud to be part of the EEP (European Endangered Species Breeding Programme). This is a body that regulates the captive breeding of endangered cats by making recommendations for breeding to produce a strong, healthy and diverse gene-pool within the captive population to ultimately be reintroduced safely into their natural habitat to mix with their counterparts in the wild. Breeding success so far includes the Amur leopard programme which is the world’s most endangered big cat, estimated between 70-80 remaining in the wild globally, also to the Sumatran tigers, Amur tigers and Pallas cats. Big Cat Sanctuary operates by way of personal big cat experiences including big cat tours, individual and group photography days, overnight big cat safari nights and adoptions. All of which need to be pre-booked in advance of a visit. The centre takes pride in delivering fully immersive, personal and amazing experiences that will leave any big cat lover with memories to treasure forever.
Reviewed 6 November 2013

My wife, daughter and I recently attended a photographic workshop, just for the three of us with Andy Porter at WHF. I am an amatuer photographer, my daughter has a keen interest but is just starting out and my wife likes to point and shoot with her i-Phone! Andy's instruction and camera set-up assistance during the day for the three different cameras and knowledge levels was just perfect. The level of personal attention, pace and access to avoid enclosure bars was just amazing. We were even able to go in to the enclosure with the Servals and one of the Cheetas. We visit WHF regularly as we have adopted one of the cats and will definately go back for another personal photography workshop. It isn't really possible to explain what a fantastic day this is in a short review. The venue and the team at WHF are outstanding and I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"open days"
in 74 reviews
"photography workshop"
in 22 reviews
"hand feeding"
in 23 reviews
"general public"
in 21 reviews
"cat lovers"
in 16 reviews
"beautiful cats"
in 22 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 27 reviews
"camera settings"
in 10 reviews
"photographic experience"
in 8 reviews
"love big cats"
in 17 reviews
"professional photographer"
in 6 reviews
"resident photographer"
in 8 reviews
"wild cats"
in 17 reviews
"amazing photos"
in 7 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 8 reviews
"birthday present"
in 20 reviews
"overnight stay"
in 9 reviews
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521 - 525 of 573 reviews

Reviewed 3 November 2013

I have been to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation several times for a photography day and each time it has been fantastic. The cats are clearly exceptionally well looked after and definitely very loved by all of the staff. The enclosures have been built with photographers in mind, meaning you can get up close to the cats to take your photographs. Andy, the resident photographer, is on hand to provide advice and support where needed. No question is too small or stupid to ask no matter how many times you ask it! Every time I have been there has been something new to see as they are always improving the site for the benefit of the cats. Definitely well worth the money and the trip there!!!

Thank Floss5979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

A friend recommended we go here and I'm so pleased we did, loved it, the whole place had an amazing atmosphere, staff knowledgeable and friendly. Cats beautiful, welooked after and cantvwaitbto go back

Thank DKebabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

I had the privilege of going on a photographic workshop at WHF, with resident photographer Andy Porter. Having been on a number of workshops in the past, one never knows what to expect.
When we arrived I was impressed with the facility in general and Andy was there to meet us.
After a short safety briefing Andy went through some basic tips for getting good shots and built on these during the day with advice, in terms of settings, points of view etc. Andy is not just a photographer: he has a detailed knowledge of all of the cats, both individually and the wider species. This extra dimension, above the photographic guidance made it a total experience.
It was one of the best days I've spent with a camera and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in photographic big cats at close quarters.

Thank WonkyHorizons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 October 2013

We did a photographic day at the WHF in October, and it was fantastic. Everything we had hoped for and more. Photography tips and pointers given in a friendly and enthusiastic manner, we had the whole place to ourselves, with just our group of 8. Loads of time with each of the cats, and very knowledgable staff. A good lunch too, with some excellent home-made cake!
It's clear to see how loved the cats are by their carers here, and how valuable such a place is to the conservation effort.
It's en expensive day out, but when it's clear that all the money goes to looking after these wonderful creatures, and trying to repair some of the horrendous damage we as people have done to their species over the years, it's money well spent.
6 stars!

Thank Pierscoe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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