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Aldington Road Port Lympne Reserve, Lympne CT21 4PD England
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#2 of 9 Speciality lodging in Lympne
Travellers' Choice
Voted the UK's best tourism experience in 2012, Giraffe Lodge Safari Experience at Port Lympne, Kent, is the UK's only overnight safari lodge perfect for a romantic break, engagement, celebrations and Hen Parties and has to be the answer to those who would love to visit the wilds of Africa on safari. Enjoy a multi award winning safari experience and a totally magical night under the stars.
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waves wrote a review 8 Jun
Culverhouse Cross, United Kingdom49 contributions3 helpful votes
Had an amazing stay at the giraffe lodge. All the staff we encountered were completely helpful & professional. The giraffe lodge tent was magical with fairy lights around the inside. It was spotlessly clean & very cosy. We knew we might not see the giraffes at the watering hole so we booked a giraffe safari. The ranger was fabulous and we spent a good deal of time with the giraffes and got to feed them. The meals at the Lapa were wonderful (again fabulous staff) but the best part was just sitting on the deck of our tent. The views down to the sea are breathtaking and the peace and tranquillity unbeatable. Plenty of animals were just wandering about, wildebeest, ostrich, zebra and too many types of deer & antelope to count. Surely the giraffe lodge has the best views of any accommodation on the reserve. The following day after a substantial breakfast at the Lapa we walked the whole of the park and saw all of the animals. Another thrill was the encounter with the elusive Pallas cat (Atlan) The keeper was great and Atlan did not take his eyes off her for a second. Afternoon tea at the mansion terrace was delicious and the gardens are absolutely stunning. I can’t recommend the whole experience highly enough & we can’t wait to return. We also appreciated the personal touch of a card left in the tent as it was a special occasion. Really, everything was perfect!
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Date of stay: April 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Alexandra C wrote a review Nov 2020
18 contributions1 helpful vote
In no way was the tent luxury. It had no heating - therefore it was freezing, the bathroom was unclean, it was so noisy due the weather we had absolutely no sleep - makes us question why this is even open in the winter at all, no WiFi- which was advertised, the pillows were like cardboard - far from luxury, my fiancé is 6ft 5 and was unable to even fit in the bed, and there was absolutely no giraffes to be seen. While I know you cannot guarantee wildlife, you can advertise a lot better, “basic safari camping tent” would suffice. A warning that the giraffes are not roaming and are kept in their house in certain weathers should be included, I would not have booked if I had known this. The package should also include feeding the Giraffes which did not happen either. This was just the surface of the lack of luxury we weren’t expecting. The dinner was ok, but the choice of wine consisted of a glass of an unnamed Pinot Grigio/ Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot/Shiraz and that was it, and two choices of beer, again very cheap options. We called guest services in the night, after becoming desperate to leave, asking for any other possible accommodation as we were freezing and very tired, we got a straight answer of “no there is nothing”, at this point we questioned whether to just leave and go home. There is nowhere to walk or anything to do from when you arrive at the tent at 3pm, only time you can get any food is 7pm. It was overall it such a disappointing stay and wouldn’t recommend to anyone. For the price you can get three nights in Italy. Included are photos of the dirty bathroom, the lack of luxury, the view which had no giraffes as they were locked away and the only glimpse of a Giraffe we got on our first day. Not a Giraffe lodge.
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Date of stay: November 2020
Gilly B wrote a review Oct 2020
76 contributions45 helpful votes
We were due to be celebrating our wedding anniversary in Kenya on safari...due to covid 19, we had to rethink our plans and ended up booking into stay for 1 night at Giraffe Lodge. The week before our stay, I read some awful reviews on here which prepared me for the absolute worst, but I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised and we had a wonderful time. It's not cheap, £500 for a night in a tent, but it is a more affordable version of an African safari! We arrived on site, just about found a space in the car park and unloaded the car. Your bags are loaded into a van and taken upto the lodges separately whilst you are taken on your first safari upto the lodge. We saw rhino, zebra, antelopes, deers and even the giraffes in their barns. I'd read and understood that it is wildlife reserve, not a zoo therefore if the animals want to hide away, they will. I agree with another person's review that the lodges should be called something like 'safari lodges' instead. We had a front row tent at giraffe lodge over looking the water hole but didn't see any giraffes up there....and once it's dark, you can't see a thing. We'd taken a bottle of wine with us in our bags and enjoyed that on our balcony with gorgeous views before dinner. I can imagine if the weather had been bad, it would have been a very different experience so I'd strongly suggest not going any later than october. Dinner was brilliant. What's usually a buffet, consisted of our plates being piled high with various options (we were given the choice and could opt out of things if you wanted to) I'd suggest giving it all a try, it's delicious. There's also the option for second helpings if you can manage it. Top tips: pack for the weather. It was very chilly in our tent. There's a heater, but it didn't do a huge amount. I slept in thick Pj's, tracksuit and had 2 blankets and was still cold! if you're not used to noise, ear plugs will be your friend. Not only noise from rain on the canvas, and various hooves on the road but you can also hear everything from the neighboring tents! (Although I heard lions roaring at 2am!) Breakfast the next day was lovely and we were soon departing for our second safari, where we fortunately got to see giraffes out of their enclosure which was wonderful. We had a little walk around the park after we'd been dropped back off at reception to see the big cats, and also made use of our tickets to Howlett's which was fab. The staff and rangers all went out of their way to make sure we had a wonderful time, see as much as possible and learn a lot about the wildlife. They've done everything they can to ensure it's all covid secure, but that the experience still delivers. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the experience as much if the weather had been bad, we were really lucky and we absolutely loved it.
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Date of stay: October 2020
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Front row lodge (avoid the back row...not sure what you would see?)
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1 Helpful vote
travellerthe999 wrote a review Oct 2020
uk29 contributions12 helpful votes
A night’s stay at a giraffe lodge is not a cheap choice. Over £500 for a tent. 3 nights in the Maldives has a cheaper hourly rate. However, with two Safari’s, an amazing three course meal and breakfast included, I loved it. Obviously, October 2020, when my home town is level 2 tier/high risk, and the nation has been in lockdown for 6 months, was I just excited to be out the house, doing something? Who knows. But was such an unique experience to be sat outside your lodge, watching the wildlife, sipping Prosecco, taking in the zen of it all, we loved it, but definitely an expensive treat. A few tips: You may not see any giraffes. Fact. You okay with that? They probably should call them the Safari Lodges, as these lodges overlook a huge area of the grounds, and offer amazing views, full of zebras, deers, but our afternoon. No giraffes. When walking around port Lympne in the morning, it’s clear this is not a zoo, you don’t get to see performing animals, it’s a wildlife sanctuary. And rumour has it, if the lions don’t wanna sit in front of the 2K a night lion lodge window, they won’t, same with the giraffes. However, staff and the rangers went out of their way, to ensure you can hopefully see what you’ve paid for. In the morning, the giraffes were all out at the bottom of the hill. So we all got on the trucks and wizzed down, to see all 8 of them play, gallop, stroll about. It was absolutely amazing! To add to this, it became clear, this is a summer, luxury adult retreat. It was very chilly in that tent. And their heaters from 1989 won’t help you in January, I wouldn’t suggested going any later than October. Note, once it goes dark, you can’t see ANYTHING, so no matter if the lions, deers and giraffes set up a conga line outside those tents. You wouldn’t see it. (Sunrise/sunset over that waterhole I bet is beautiful, I’d suggest try a summer month! Also, I’m not sure what the back row lodges are seeing? £420 for a back row? No ensuite? I might be wrong, but that view, in daylight, made this trip for me. To not get that? All in all, it was a fantastic night away. Take earplugs if don’t like noise, but you may miss the lions roar at 5am like I did cause I was sound asleep from all the relaxing! Grrr.
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Date of stay: October 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Kev wrote a review Oct 2020
East Grinstead, United Kingdom68 contributions9 helpful votes
We spent a night at the Port Lympne Reserve! From the moment we arrived the staff couldn’t do enough for us. The grounds, garden restaurant and main hotel were lovely. We stayed in one of the Giraffe Lodges overlooking the watering hole. Perhaps we had set our expectations too high, but sadly for the money we paid we expected something quite special. We did not feel we had the experience or a touch of luxury in the lodge/tent. Inside the tent/lodge were two small table lamps making the interior feel very dim, a double bed and one oil filled radiator which we had to sit on top of just to keep warm in the evening. It would have been nice to have had a log burner and possibly a TV? The free wifi worked very well. We weren't very impressed with the evening meal, but that was on a personal level. However the staff did a great job keeping food and drinks flowing!
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Date of stay: September 2020
Sleep Quality
1 Helpful vote
Livingstone Lodge
United KingdomEnglandKentLympne
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Frequently Asked Questions about Giraffe Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Giraffe Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Alpaca Annie (3.6 km), Dymchurch Beach (5.4 km), and Crypt of St. Leonard (4.8 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Giraffe Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Giraffe Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Giraffe Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Giraffe Lodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Hide and Fox, Coppers, and The Holy Pundit.
Are there any historical sites close to Giraffe Lodge?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Crypt of St. Leonard (4.8 km), Dymchurch Martello Tower No.24 (5.4 km), and Saltwood Castle (4.9 km).