We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

The Big Cat Sanctuary

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Headcorn Road, Smarden TN27 8PJ, England
Phone Number:
+44 1233 771915

The Big Cat Sanctuary

The Big Cat Sanctuary is a conservation charity, home...

The Big Cat Sanctuary

The Big Cat Sanctuary is a conservation charity, home to over 50 big and small cats across 16 different species. We are proud to have the most diverse collection in the UK, from the largest, to the smallest, to the most endangered in the world, hidden away in the Kent countryside. We are a centre of excellence whose primary objective is the breeding of some of the most endangered species on the planet as well as offering sanctuary to retired and homeless cats.

The breeding centre is proud to be part of the EEP (European Endangered Species Breeding Programme). This is a body that regulates the captive breeding of endangered cats by making recommendations for breeding to produce a strong, healthy and diverse gene-pool within the captive population to ultimately be reintroduced safely into their natural habitat to mix with their counterparts in the wild.

Breeding success so far includes the Amur leopard programme which is the world’s most endangered big cat, estimated between 70-80 remaining in the wild globally, also to the Sumatran tigers, Amur tigers and Pallas cats.

Big Cat Sanctuary operates by way of personal big cat experiences including big cat tours, individual and group photography days, overnight big cat safari nights and adoptions. All of which need to be pre-booked in advance of a visit. The centre takes pride in delivering fully immersive, personal and amazing experiences that will leave any big cat lover with memories to treasure forever.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 439 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 413
  • 18
    Very good
  • 2
  • 1
  • 4
Must do this again and again

Really nice place and staff .Some do the work for free and i can understand why.Informative staff who you know they love what they do.I do not want to spoil it for you .just go an... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Ashford, United Kingdom
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

439 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 438: English reviews
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Really nice place and staff .Some do the work for free and i can understand why.Informative staff who you know they love what they do.I do not want to spoil it for you .just go an enjoy the lions , tigers , and all the other cats they have .Some have real character.Great place all the locals all go again... More 

Thank lunchpeople
Tamworth, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The overnight lodge stay was luxury and so we're the meals but this was surpassed by meeting the cats in a small group of 8 with a knowledgeable guide. We fed some of them which was awesome, an overused word these days but it really was .We never lost sight of the true ethos of promoting endangered species but wrapped... More 

1 Thank Rosie S
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This place and its cats are amazing we had a fantastic time! The staff are so knowledgeable and interesting! We had a lovely evening with Tanith entertaining us. I would recommend this place it would be a sad world without these cats in it ! And due to breeding programs and these people's dedication we can still see them.

1 Thank Sue L
Frome, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
74 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

As a birthday present I was treated to a photographic experience with Photographers On Safari at the Big Cat Sanctuary. It was a fabulous day, starting with a comprehensive health and safety talk as well as photographic tips. Access to the cats was inside an outer fence and up close to the inner wire, hence the emphasis on health and... More 

1 Thank PipR57
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Have had the best day. Spent the day with Alma. She has given me some great tips for getting the best shots. The big cats are just beautiful and so well looked after and clearly loved. Can't recommend it highly enough. Will defiantly be back. Thank you.

2 Thank ejcbjj
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I have Visited the Big Cat Sanctuary before....its a Truly Mesmerising Experience....on this Occasion my Partner(Angela❤❤And i) where here as part of a Group with John Wright( Photographers on Safari) A Brilliant day.....and John is Great Value for Money....The WHF is doing alot of work looking after and Supporting the Future of these Incredible Cats.....Please note that they are not... More 

1 Thank Russell N
Doncaster, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It is an amazing experience to be so close to these beautiful animals. I have done two photographic days there with Photographers on Safari and can't praise this place enough. The animals all look happy and well cared for and I would recommend a visit to anyone who loves cats.

3 Thank LeeElvin
Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Wqs invuted by freinds who had been before and said it was a great place for a day out. I took my daughter who was just over 1 year old and she absolutely loved to see all the cats and all the adults also had fun. Such a great cause and couldnt fault the place.

1 Thank Dave D
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
162 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Every time I visit it is completely different. This is a great place to see cats up close. Not cheap but well worth the money. Every detail is taken care of to make sure that you enjoy yourself and what you pay goes to a good cause. Absolutely nothing like going to a zoo. I keep going back. There is... More 

1 Thank Superhoopsa1882
england hertfordshire
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This review is a little late, my husband and I visited on 26th April and stayed overnight in one of the lodges. He purchased this as a birthday gift for me as every year I adopt a tiger or snow leopard. My dream would be to actually see a Sumatran tiger or especially a snow leopard. We arrived checked into... More 

2 Thank joanne r

Travelers who viewed The Big Cat Sanctuary also viewed

Ightham, Sevenoaks

Been to The Big Cat Sanctuary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Big Cat Sanctuary and other visitors
22 questions
Ask a question
Chepstow, United Kingdom

See all questions (22)

Questions? Get answers from The Big Cat Sanctuary staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?