A Winter Visit to the Wildlife Park, Port Lympne

Yesterday we spent a chilly yet beautiful afternoon at the Port Lympne Wildlife Park!

It’s a great place with large areas to roam around for visitors and for many of the animals. There’s a ‘safari experience’, meaning a guided tour in an open truck & trailer, which takes you around parts of the park where animals like elands, bactrian camels, zebras, red letchwes, antelopes and wildebeasts are wandering around in more or less open fields. From the trailer you’ll also see giraffes, rhinos, ostriches, water buffalo and other lovely creatures, some of which are in more enclosed areas (depending on season, breeding etc.).

A Winter Visit to the Wildlife Park - Port Lympne Wild Animal Park #Safari #Conservation #Dinosaur Forest #Lions #Bactrian Camels #Deer and many other Animals! Days Out in Kent - Sensational Learning with Penguin

Apart from the ‘safari’, there are also many animals to see on foot, such as lions, tigers and other types of cats (big and small), apes and monkeys, meerkats, wolfs and more. They also have a large Dinosaur Forest, where you meet large models of pre-historic animals, from the oldest dinosaurs to more ‘recent’ creatures such as the mammoth, and there’s plenty of good info on signs along the forest trail, as well as a virtual reality app to make the dinosaurs ‘come alive’ which we’ll have to try out another time (if you’ve been there and tried it, please tell us about it in the comments!).

The park at Port Lympne is part of The Aspinall Foundation which is an animal conservation charity, so they have a strong focus on working with endangered species, and some of the animals bred at this park grow up to be released in the wild.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about animals and where they come from, why some animals (including the mammoth and dinosaurs) become extinct, what can be done to save threatened species, or if you just want to have a great day out, this is a good place. You could also use a visit here to learn about nature in general, trees and plants, the changing seasons etc. As home edders, we’ve always got educational and/or developmental perspectives in mind πŸ˜‰

7DE3E97C-9EAD-4D4E-A043-6E2E0C374936Something that is special about Port Lympne is that it’s set around a lovely old mansion with great gardens including water features and a maze. This is great for Penguin, and I’d say he enjoyed the gardens at least as much as the animals, on our visit yesterday. Happily running around the edges of the ponds (with us parents nervously watching, with spare clothes on hand just in case… his footing and balance is great though!), stroking the dense and well-pruned bushes (including some box bushesπŸ‘), exploring the paths, steps, maze etc. Very enjoyable!

I’ve seen a few blog posts recently about adjustments to Christmas celebrations, to make them more enjoyable and less stressful for children with autism (some also applying to adults). One aspect is to let go of your preconceptions, and accept that things won’t always be how you had envisaged them. In some ways, this applies to many areas of life, not just Christmas. And to us at the wildlife park yesterday, it meant things like only getting a quick glimpse of the massive male lion standing close up to the fence, while spending a substantial amount of time around the water features, and allowing time for examining the texture of an old brick wall. But the point is to make it an experience for everyone to enjoy, and if that means doing things a little bit differently than most, then so be it.

Also, for someone like me who’s always liked looking at textures, reflections, light and shadows etc, it’s great to have someone close who shares my fascination 😊

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To visit a place like this off-peak is great, avoiding crowds and queues. It was also nice to see some of the lights and displays they’ve put up, giving the place a slight christmassy feel (even more so if you use their restaurants and hotel, which we didn’t). Even the meerkat enclosure had a bit of a festive feel to it on this cold day, with their infrared heat lamps ☺️

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(I’ve not been sponsored to write this post and all views are my own.)

Country Kids

ethannevelyn.com

 


30 thoughts on “A Winter Visit to the Wildlife Park, Port Lympne

  1. I’ve seen a couple of posts in the past about Lympne and it really does look amazing, it’s clear you and penguin had a great time exploring. Places like these are so wonderful as you can see all the animals and how they can adapt to situations. It’s great that it can be such a hands-on experience for Penguin too, it’s clear he enjoys exploring the textures and spaces of places.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Fiona! It’s a great place, and if you visit from further afield there are options for staying there as well (cabins as well as the hotel). You should go sometime πŸ˜‰ And yes, Penguin really does take places in with all his senses x
      PS. Thank you very much for the mention for last weeks post, I’m so happy you liked it! πŸ˜€

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  2. I love the idea of not having preconceptions of a plan. No plans is normally a way to a good stress free day! I quite like different textures and things, it’s great you and penguin have this in common. I think my son would love to hang out by water features too! A like a varied park like this. #countrykids

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  3. I wish I live near this place. They have an amazing vision. We dont have a zoo near us so a zoo trip is scarce. But I really wanted my son to learn about animals especially the endangered ones and one can we do to help. Another amazing trip by you guys! #countrykids

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    1. Thank you Sarah! Yes, Howletts is great too, but Port Lympne is a bit larger and somewhat more varied. (And if you don’t live too far away, it might be worth going for a joint membership for both parks, if you’d go more than once or twice in a year.) x

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  4. This looks lovely. There’s a lot to be said for visiting zoos off season. We went to our local zoo, Paradise Wildlife Park, last weekend. It was absolutely freezing cold but we had the playground to ourselves! #ExplorerKids

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  5. I like visiting zoo with my children for educational reasons. It’s great to hear that they helping with the breading and releasing them into the wild. The garden and the hotel sound very grand and I expect the tour will be also a grand tour as well. Great that they are also making changes to make Christmas a little more pleasant visit for everyone. I can imagine that this place will be very crowded at Summer time too. Thank you so much for sharing with us. We’ve never been here before. But I think we will have to visit one day. Pinning this! πŸ™‚ x #ExplorerKids

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