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The Big Cat Sanctuary

Features Animals
Marley Farm Headcorn Road, Smarden TN27 8PJ, England
+44 1233 771915
Website
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Review Highlights
Brilliant

A fantastic day out photographing the animals. Inevitably weather (good) and animal behaviour make... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
rswandls
,
Oxfordshire
Fantastic time

Having seen Giles and Maya on T/V we decided we wanted to experience the sanctuary first hand. We... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
cherylnkev
,
north lincolnshire
Read all 615 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent93%
  • Very good4%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“open days” (78 reviews)
“hand feed” (24 reviews)
LOCATION
Marley Farm Headcorn Road, Smarden TN27 8PJ, England
CONTACT
Website
+44 1233 771915
Write a ReviewReviews (615)
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All reviews
"open days"
in 78 reviews
"photography workshop"
in 23 reviews
"hand feed"
in 24 reviews
"cat lovers"
in 18 reviews
"beautiful cats"
in 24 reviews
"general public"
in 21 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 27 reviews
"camera settings"
in 10 reviews
"photographic experience"
in 8 reviews
"love big cats"
in 19 reviews
"amazing photos"
in 8 reviews
"resident photographer"
in 8 reviews
"wild cats"
in 17 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 8 reviews
"overnight stay"
in 11 reviews
"afternoon tea"
in 24 reviews
"birthday present"
in 20 reviews
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1 - 10 of 613 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

A fantastic day out photographing the animals. Inevitably weather (good) and animal behaviour make a certain randomness. For equipment - lens 70 - 200 was fine but best shots were with a 600. Point focus not on continuous works best. Exposure compensation needed in many...More

Thank rswandls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago

Having seen Giles and Maya on T/V we decided we wanted to experience the sanctuary first hand. We were NOT disappointed, from start to finish its a fantastic time. We stayed over night in one of the lodges they are well provisioned with every thing...More

Thank cherylnkev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

We visited today having travelled from Manchester and was not disappointed. The sanctuary is in a lovely peaceful setting. The cats all looked very content. A new experience for me to feed and be so close to a lion. To feel the animal's breath on...More

1  Thank Carol R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago

I brought my husband a 'ranger for the day' experience for Christmas and in May the day finally arrived! What an experience!!!! We were greeted by friendly, welcoming staff and introduced to Ricky, who was our guide/ranger for the day. Such a wonderful person, and...More

Thank truffle01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
66
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

If u like big cats this is a must. We visited the big cat sanctuary following Giles Clark’s TV programs; ‘Big Cat sanctuary’ & ‘big cats about the house’. Our private tour included a guide, who was very knowledgeable and clearly loved his job &...More

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited on a photography experience day for 2 as a treat to ourselves for our 1st wedding anniversary, having visited on a general experience previously. This was a superb day. Alma was brilliant throughout both looking after our safety while still giving us the...More

Thank Raggle123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

What as wonderful place to visit and spend the night. I always enjoy the wild life and this Sanctuary is for rescued and retired large cats. The Sanctuary is beautifully landscaped with about 6 lodges for over night stays. The guides were very enthusiastic and...More

Thank Rosemary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I received a Big Cat Experience, including a big cat feed as a Birthday present. What an unbelievable experience. Our tour guides (Simon and Jamie (on only her fourth day in the job)) were excellent. Their knowledge of the cats was exceptional and made the...More

Thank Andy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

My husband and daughter adopted Narnia for my birthday last year having been to the open days before and part of that package you get to go to special adopters afternoons and you can bring up to 5 guests with a minimum donation of £25....More

Thank Sarah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We stayed overnight in one of the luxury lodges and can only say from start to finish this is the most amazing experience. All the staff that we came into contact with were friendly and knowledgable, the big cats are well cared for and all...More

Thank ShrewsburyJones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Julie C
June 3, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Raymond H | Reviewed this property |
Hi Julie you are asking a trip adviser forum , ie people who have been there to visit. you need to speak directly to the sanctuary. best someone tells you or you may be waiting a very long time for an answer. Ray not... More
1
Vote
Martina S
May 19, 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Jo W | Reviewed this property |
no, no admittance before time on your booking letter. go to Smarden for food and toilets etc beforehand. 10mins in car.
0
Votes
Sam W
May 14, 2018|
Answer
Response from Misty4242 | Reviewed this property |
The Big Cat Sanctuary isn’t open to public except for specific open day and experience days. Check their website.
0
Votes