The top safari parks in England for a wild family time
If you’re an animal lover, chances are you’ve been to the zoo to see your favorite creatures up close and personal, but visiting one of England’s top safari parks takes that interaction to another level. Here you can drive through recreations of the animals natural habitats and, from the safety of your car, observe their unique and intriguing behavior as if they were roaming free.
Take a walk (or drive) on the wild side and check out our list of the best safari parks in England for the whole family.
The best safari parks in England…
Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Lympne, Hythe
Set over 600 acres of pristine Kent countryside and with over 700 animals in 90 species, there’s something for everybody at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park. It’s home to the biggest herd of black rhinos in the UK, fierce western lowland gorillas and Kent’s only giraffes!
When you’re done with your safari trip through the plains of Africa and forest’s of Asia, there’s a dinosaur forest, where all your favorites come to life using both fossils and animatronics to show the sheer scale of these prehistoric wonders.
After a full day’s exploring you’re bound to be tired, but the fun doesn’t have to end there. They have award winning accommodation where you can stay overnight and enjoy this tranquil setting surrounded by these majestic animals.
Visiting from abroad? Why not check out our guide of luggage scales to make sure you don’t have to pay more at the airport.
This is more than just an attraction, Port Lympne works hard on the conservation of many species. By visiting you’re also helping them continue their important work. Book online today and save 20%!
Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside
With the longest safari drive in the UK (over 5 miles!) Knowsley Safari Park is one of the most exciting on this list. As well as all the animals you’d expect on safari (tigers, lions, giraffes,) there are lots of lesser known species here including sitatunga, nilgai and bongo.
At the weekends and school holidays they even have their own baboon bus to transport you around the trail, perfect if you can’t drive or if you want to leave your car safely behind and let somebody else do the work.
If you want to get out of your vehicle and stretch your legs, they have several walking tracks (one with two tiger’s living nearby) and a boating lake.
If you’re thinking of leaving your car while your explore, why not check out our guide to luggage locks to make sure your belongings are safe and sound.
Woburn Safari Park, Bedfordshire
If you’re feeling very adventurous, why not head to Woburn Safari Park. There’s a multitude of ways of traveling around this park, you can walk, drive, ride a swan boat of even take the Great Woburn Railway.
From the safety of your car you can drive through the Savannah Grasslands, African Forest, Giraffe Junction and Kingdom of the Carnivores and see some of Africa’s most well known animals, rhinos, giraffes, zebras and several species of monkey.
If you want to get a bit closer to some of the friendlier residents, like elephants, meerkats, deer and sea lions you can take the walking routes.
If you’re feeling exhausted but the kids still have tons of energy to spare, there’s both an indoor soft play area and and outdoor adventure playground, so you can put your feet up while they get in touch with their wild side.
West Midland Safari Park, Bewdley, Worcestershire
From the African plains, where giants roam, to wild Asia, there’s so much to see at West Midland Safari Park. Wherever you go in the park you will be surrounded by exciting and exotic animals, but make sure to explore Elephant Valley where there is a whole herd, including a very precious baby.
You can then travel to the African Village to see lemur hanging from trees and a whole gang of meerkats on lookout. This is where you can also pet and feed a variety of tame animals like pygmy goats and Somali sheep.
Go on Discovery Trail to learn about some of the smaller inhabitants like arachnids, bats, reptiles and sea lions.
Not only is there a safari drive, there is an adventure theme park (open for half the year) and an ice age themed area. On top of this there are numerous events throughout the year, so be sure to check what’s on.
Shepreth Wildlife Park
What makes Shepreth Wildlife Park different from the rest is the amount of talks given by the keepers. Every day they give up to 12 different talks on the different animal and habitats of the park. They also put on special events for individual species throughout the year, check if they have your favorite!
You can take their safari train and see the park from above in all it’s glory, expect to see lemurs, red pandas, kangaroos, llamas and more. They also have a large selection of bugs, reptiles and spiders, so you can get your creepy crawler fix.
Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent
The second entry for south easterly Kent, Wingham Wildlife Park, underwent a huge transformation in 2008, updating and improving many areas of the park. Since then it has become a local favorite and was voted Kent’s most popular attraction in 2012 at the Kent Big Weekend. It’s easy to see why with their attention to detail and wide variety of animals that live here, from the uk’s only moon bears to a huge variety of tropical birds, there’s something for everybody here.
There’s a great little cafe, a soft play area and a dinosaur educational area so even after you’re worn out from exploring the fun can continue.
If you want to have a more personal experience, they provide VIP after hours tours where you can learn a lot more about the animals as well as the conservation work they do. For a truly unique experience you can even become a keeper for the day!
Sometime’s you end up bringing more with you on your trip than you’d planned, make it easier with our guide to the best lightweight suitcases.
Cotswold Wildlife Park, Oxfordshire
Set in one of the most idyllic areas in the country, the Cotswold Wildlife Park is the perfect place to enjoy a wild family trip.
Although there isn’t as big a selection of animals as the other safari parks we’ve listed, there is a lot more open space to explore with a wide array of stunning trees, plants and flowers in their gardens. If you’re looking for a more relaxing safari experience this one is for you.
That’s not to say there isn’t enough for kids to get excited about! There’s lions, porcupine, zebras and even a big group of ostrich who’s antics will make even the most cynical smile. It also hosts one of the biggest selection of reptiles in UK which includes the truly magnificent aldabara giant tortoise.