Sunday, 10 September 2017

8 Top Tips for Enjoying your Stay at Giraffe Lodge, Port Lympne Reserve

Giraffe Lodge at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent is an amazing and luxurious UK safari experience for any couple, looking for a special time away.

Back in August we visited Port Lympne Reserve for the day with our children. We had a super day out and all the family enjoyed themselves. As we rode the safari truck we passed Giraffe Lodge (formerly know as Livingstone Lodge) and I fell in love. 

I just knew that I had to go and stay in one of the sturdy canvas and wood lodges so that I could get the full animal experience without hardly any other people being there. The thought of waking in the morning with the full view of the Romney Marshes and the first thing I saw being a Giraffe, Rhino or Zebra was massively appealing. 


Giraffe Lodge at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent is an amazing and luxurious UK safari experience for any couple, looking for a special time away.

Well, on the 1st September my husband and I were lucky enough to stay for a night to celebrate his birthday and we had the most wonderful time. I'll share a full review of our experience in another post once I have edited all the video together but for now I thought I'd share eight top tips for an amazing stay at Giraffe Lodge within the Port Lympne Reserve. 

I seriously can not recommend this experience highly enough!
1.  Arrive hungry - You check-in at 4pm and head off on your first safari. Dinner is then served at 7.30pm and you'll be fed the most amazing 4 course African inspired buffet and it really is wonderful. We started with mixed salads, a fruit platter, fresh baked bread, South African sausages cooked on the enormous indoor BBQ, pate and fish terrine. 

Next followed slices of the most enormous fillet steak ever, prawns in white wine, flamed breast of chicken in Ghanaian spices,  mushroom and spinach coconut curry, mixed roasted vegetables, braised rice, African style braised vegetable and bean stew and a Tunisian vegetable and chickpea dish. 

Dessert was chocolate torte or mango and coconut brulee cheesecake and then there was an assortment of cheese and biscuits served over in the relaxing area later in the evening. I don't think it has ever happened before but I had to turn down the cheese course as I was so full.


Giraffe Lodge at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent is an amazing and luxurious UK safari experience for any couple, looking for a special time away.

2.  Dress how you fancy - This is a luxury break but don't be fooled into thinking you have to dress up if you don't want to. Most people wore practical jeans, closed-in shoes and something warm on top for the day at Port Lympne and the safari ride in the afternoon. A couple changed into evening dress or smarter clothes for our meal but the majority stayed as they were and we were all just just fine with that. Everyone seemed comfortable and there was no expectation from the staff.

3.  Take binoculars or a camera with a long zoom - With over 600 acres Port Lympne is a vast place to explore and a large part of it is within the enclosures where the animals get to free roam and you can enjoy them by safari truck.


Giraffe Lodge at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent is an amazing and luxurious UK safari experience for any couple, looking for a special time away.

You'll have an amazing time on your safari ride up to Giraffe Lodge and you will see loads of animals but remember they are living in an environment that is as close as their natural habitat as the UK countryside can provide so they won't always be right next door to the truck. Therefore make sure you take a pair of binoculars or your 'proper camera' with a good zoom lens so you can fully see all the animals. 

A couple of the people on our trip said they regretted just having a phone with them as they couldn't get the zoom or images that they wanted. 

4.  Enjoy all the animals - Yes it is called Giraffe Lodge and you may have booked this amazing stay as you love them but don't get hung up on the giraffes alone. You see them on the way up to the lodge as they are having their dinner and you have a good long time to watch and film them but they might not actually turn up at the lodge at all, they didn't for us. Saying that though I loved seeing the Rhino, Zebras, Eland, Roan Antelopes, Hog Deer, Ostrich, Bison, Water Buffalo and Letchwe all roaming around and drinking from the water hole in front of the lodges.

And fear not as if the giraffes don't come to feed at the lodge you'll be taken down to them in the morning and able to feed them some willow by hand. We had at least half an hour feeding and stroking the giraffes (well the ones that are happy with human touch, be sure to check first). It was truly magical.



5.  Get up for sunrise - When are you going to get this opportunity again? The sun rises on the far left of Giraffe Lodge and it is a beautiful sight to see the light rise over the English channel and the Romney Marshes. Even on a cloudy day it is beautiful to watch the animals awaken, when I went outside at 5.45am all the animals were sat down and none were moving and by 6.12am when the sun fully set they were all up and wandering around. 

Do remember your socks and a warm jumper though as it's chilly and take a walk over to the veranda of the Laapa restaurant as well as you can get different angles. I stayed out from 5.45am until 6.45am and then went back into my lodge to warm up under the thick duvet and I'm told the giraffes all walked by the lodges on their way down to get their breakfast, so make sure you stay out for the long haul or go out later than I did as I was gutted to miss them.


Giraffe Lodge at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent is an amazing and luxurious UK safari experience for any couple, looking for a special time away.

6.  Be sociable - The experience at Giraffe Lodge is based on a real African safari and as such you eat with all the other guests and are encouraged to share your day with them. On our trip there were 16 people (8 couples) and we ranged in age from late twenties to well into retirement. Most couples seemed to be there for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. I can't urge you enough to get talking and make friends, it will enhance your experience no end.

7.  Make full days of it - Although your safari experience stay at Giraffe Lodge is from 4pm to 10am the next day, you can have full day access both days to Port Lympne and Howletts. So plan to explore one each day and really get your money's worth.

8.  Remember you're staying in a tent - Of course it's a very nice one and I don't think you'd find a tent anywhere with a better bed but remember that sound carries, especially at night. So if you don't want to be woken by the mating calls of the wildlife or the amorous advances of your neighbour then maybe take some ear plugs. Also, I'd recommend taking a small torch for loo trips in the night as it's super dark. There are lamps but I didn't want to wake my husband. 


Giraffe Lodge at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent is an amazing and luxurious UK safari experience for any couple, looking for a special time away.

I feel sure you'll have an amazing time if you choose to stay at Giraffe Lodge. My husband and I had an experience we will never forget and he is already bugging me to start saving so we can stay at Tiger Lodge next time. If you want to see all the wonderful options for a short break that Port Lympne can offer then head over to their website and have a look

Giraffe Lodge Information
Giraffe Lodge is open from Saturday 1st April – Saturday 21st October 2017, Wednesday to Sunday. Prices start from £180 per person including 4 course dinner, drink on arrival, one nights accommodation in a luxury tent, ranger guided safari, full English breakfast, giraffe feeding experience and entrance to Port Lympne and Howletts on both arrival and departure days.

Many thanks to my husband for some of these wonderful photos.

Why not pin this post for later?



Disclosure: We received one nights complimentary stay at Giraffe Lodge for the purpose of reviewing it. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
If you like what you have read and want to stay up-to-date then subscribe by email for free and receive blog posts directly to your in-box - just click the link Subscribe to Mummy From The Heart... by Email or perhaps you like to keep all your blog reading in one place, if that is the case you can follow me on BlogLovin too!Follow on Bloglovin
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...