Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Review: Romantic Break for Two at Giraffe Lodge, Port Lympne Reserve, Kent

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.

Recently it was my husbands 44th birthday and it happened to fall on his busiest work weekend of the year, so needless to say he slaved away and the day passed by pretty much unnoticed. I knew this would be the case so I was intent on finding a local night away for us that would be memorable. I needed it to be pretty close to where we live as we had limited time with a babysitter and at first I booked a night at the 5* Grand Hotel in Eastbourne for a spa stay over.

We then had our family day visiting Port Lympne Reserve in early August and as we travelled past Giraffe Lodge in the safari truck I knew this was where we were supposed to be staying. This really would be a special night away for the two of us, truly memorable and very different to anything we have ever done before. Thankfully when I spoke to Port Lympne they were very happy to host us and allow us to stay for the purpose of a full and honest review.

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.
View from the Laapa restaurant, across the Romney Marshes and English Channel


Our stay really was superb and I was keen to capture it to have as an everlasting memory. I've edited all the footage that I took into a short video which will give you a real flavour for a stay at Giraffe Lodge (formerly known as Livingstone Lodge).





So what do you get included in your stay at Giraffe Lodge?
  • One nights accommodation in a luxury tent with lighting and heating, En-suite bathroom (if selected), fluffy towels, complimentary toiletries, bottled water and use of snuggley towelling robes
  • Drink of sparkling wine, Amarula or something soft on arrival
  • 90 minute safari tour with a Ranger Host giving commentary and there to answer any of your questions for the tour and the evening. Plenty of time to stop and photograph the animals you see
  • 4 course African inspired evening meal, cooked on an open indoor firepit. The meal really was outstanding and I was super stuffed. You get starters, main, dessert and then move to the lounge area to relax with the other guests for cheese and biscuits
  • Cooked full English breakfast
  • Giraffe feeding experience in the morning
  • Parking for your car
  • Entrance to Pot Lympne and sister park Howletts on both the day or arrival and departure
Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.

What animals will you get to see?
Port Lympne is home to over 700 animals and 88 species, there is something to keep everyone happy. If you just take the safari tour that is part of your stay you'll be able to see Giraffes, Zebras, Wildebeests, Eland, Bison, Water Buffalo, Warty Hogs, various species of Deer and Antelope, Rhinos, Bears, Tapar, Greater Kudo, Camel, Baboons, Gorilla, Ostrich, Cheetah and the painted dogs. These are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head and the ones on the safari.

If you choose to explore Port Lympne on foot on one of the days too you'll also get to see many more animals such as tigers, lions, various gibbons and monkeys, lemurs, wolves and so much more.

One of the joys of having your own Ranger host is that you get to hear all about the animals and their natural habitats. The Aspinall Foundation who own Port Lympne are world leaders in animal conservation and it is a delight to know that some of the animals you are seeing and in our case meeting (with the giraffes) will be moving to other animal parks to continue breeding and keeping the gene pool good for that species.

Then there are other species such as the Western Lowland Gorillas and Javan Langurs are being breed and released back into the wild as part of a very specialised and regulated programme.

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.
Water Buffalo

What was the best part of our stay?
This is a tough one, I am torn between the amazing evening meal and the good company of the other guests in the Laapa restaurant, hand-feeding the giraffes and being able to stroke them or being up to watch the sun rise and see the animals awake from their slumber.

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.

Is there room for improvement?
On the whole I'd say no, we were super happy with our stay and had an absolutely amazing time. However, in the interest of a balanced review and if I had to be super picky I'd say the only part that could be improved was the breakfast. To ensure it really is seen as a luxury break it would have been good to have some fresh breads, pastries and fruit for the buffet. However saying that the cooked breakfast was perfection and I went away happy and full.

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.
Zambezee the Rhino wandering past the Laapa at breakfast time
Practical Information
  • Each tent sleeps two people
  • The experience is suitable for those aged 12 years and upwards
  • Giraffe Lodge is open from Saturday 1st April – Saturday 21st October 2017, Wednesday to Sunday. It will then open again from April 2018
  • Prices start from £180 per person for the experience as listed above, check online to see the price for your selected date 
  • You check in at 4pm and check out at 10am. You cannot access your car in between those times
  • You have a Ranger host and also catering hosts with you at the lodge but you are left there with the other guests and security on phone from 11pm - 6.30am
  • When you arrive go in the entrance marked - Guest Services/ Check-in and not the main car park
  • Port Lympne Reserve, Nr. Ashford, Kent  CT21 4PD GB 
  • Telephone: 0044 (0)1303 234112
Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.
Thanks to my husband for this fab photo of a Western Lowland Gorilla

Is Giraffe Lodge the only place to stay at Port Lympne?
Not at all. There is an amazing variety of laces to stay at Port Lympne and something to suit everyone. From talking to the staff I think Giraffe Lodge has the best view to wake to as you get the amazing vista of the Romney Marshes and English Channel with the free roaming animals but there are also much larger luxury tents, sleeping 7 or 8 overlooking the Bears.

Shepherd Huts over looking the deers, camping pods by the wolves, a lodge with a Rhino at the end of the garden and an amazing cabin within the Tiger enclosure, where you can come face to face with a tiger - you can imagine how popular this one is!

Or perhaps you fancy a bit of traditional glamour and luxury with a stay in the magnificent Port Lympne 4* hotel or the luxurious suites in the Treehouse Hotel.

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.
Common Eland

Special Offers
Make sure you have a look online as there often seems to be special offers. There was a children go free in August for entry to Port Lympne and currently there is up to 50% off  an Autumn stay in Bear Lodge. So you could have 7 or 8 of you staying for just £150 and that includes entry to Port Lypmne and Howletts for you all across the both days, they are practically giving it away!

In Conclusion
We had the most amazing time at Giraffe Lodge and I think it is an outstanding experience. Don't just take my word for it though, have a look on Trip Advisor and see what people are saying, I couldn't see one disappointed customer! Also Giraffe Lodge was voted the UK's best tourism experience by Visit England 2016, which is a pretty cool accolade.

Thank you so much to the Aspinall Foundation and Port Lympne for all the wonderful work you do and for hosting us for the night.

Don't forget to check out my recent post, where I share 8 top tips for making the most of your stay at Giraffe Lodge.


Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.

Why not pin this post for later?

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.


Disclosure: We received one nights complimentary stay for the two of us in return for this honest review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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