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Reviewed May 30, 2012

We were a party of ten on the overnight safari at Livingstone Lodge (celebrating my wife's 60th birthday). We were very lucky with the weather, which added to the African feel.

Having arrived early, we spent some time going round part of the zoo (we live in Kent and are fairly frequent visitors). After checked in our luggage, we were then taken to the lodge via a long, detailed and very interesting "safari" conducted by one of the two rangers who looked after us throughout our stay (both of them Zimbabwean and expert).

The accommodation consists of eleven two-person tents - very comfortable, solid, carpeted, well-furnished tents - and a separate shower / toilet facility. Tents and showers etc were all excellent.

Each tent has a terrace which looks out over the water-hole, which is constantly visited by the animals which roam free in a huge tract of land. Beyond that, there is an amazing view over the Romney Marsh and the Channel.

Dinner and breakfast are served in a separate wooden lounge / dining space with a dedicated chef who produced superb food, largely cooked over an open fire. There is time around dinner and breakfast to just sit and watch the animals (giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, deer, eland, water buffalo, black rhinoceros etc). We all got up between 5 and 5:30 am to make the most of the experience.

In the morning we taken back to reception via a different one-hour safari.

We were all impressed. Friendly, attentive and knowledgeable staff, good facilities and delicious food. It's not cheap, but it is very good.

Room Tip: I don't know how tents are allocated. One of the tents has a four-poster bed - we got this, I guess because we took a large party. Two of the tents are set back further from the water-hole and probably don't have quite such a good view.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Granton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Last Easter (2011) we did the overnight safari at Livingstone lodge at Port Lympne. Though the zoo may itself not get rave reviews, the overnight safari is an all together different story.

We arrived at Lympne slightly early and took a quick stroll through the park, before meeting up with the rest of the group and the safari ranger. We were around 8-9 couples. After a health and safety briefing we set off on our evening safari through the park in one of their open trucks. The safari lasted about hour and a half. We saw giraffes grazing in the open (one of them actually followed our truck for some time and poked his long neck inside!), zebras, wildebeest, deer etc. There were also rhinos, elephants grazing in their open paddocks.

While driving around the safari, our ranger, a very knowledgeable and passionate ranger from Zimbabwe, gave us a very informative commentary on various animals, their behavior in wild, his work in Africa and answered all our questions with a genuine interest.

We arrived at our tents just before sunset, welcomed by two ostriches sitting on the road outside, who refused to budge! The camp is strategically located on a hillock, overlooking the main watering hole. It is made up on around 9 pre pitched tents and one common lounge (Lappa) and a block of washing facilities; each tent has its own private veranda. The tent is furnished with beds, chairs and table, heaters, lamps etc. The camp is very clean and well organized.

This was the highlight of the stay – sipping wine sitting on the verandah, watching the rolling countryside and the exotic animals roaming freely.

The dinner was amazing; we were vegetarian and perfectly catered for with lots of delicious choices. After dinner, the ranger shared his experience and jokes with all of us, a very amiable and pleasant session!

Next day morning, while having breakfast, the staff scattered food just outside the lounge, and all sorts of animals flocked right below us, giving us some amazing photo and viewing opportunities.

We did a quick morning safari to see the big cats and were dropped to the main zoo area to spend the rest of the day. We also had an option to go to Howletts zoo in Canterbury, which we did go to. I have to say though there is not much to do on the following morning. And the pricing is slightly on the higher side.

All in all, the safari is really worth doing once, probably as good as it could get outside the Serengeti!

6  Thank anu_p5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2012

Have just had one night's stay at Livingstone Lodge in a tent, albeit a very fancy tent. The weather could have been kinder as the rain was constant but we still enjoyed our stay. The safari was great and the ranger very knowledgeable about all the anilmals. The tents were quite an experience which I'm sure we would have enjoyed more had the weather been kinder. However, this didn't dampen the enthusiasm and excitement of our son who couldn't believe he would be sleeping on a proper bed in a tent. The tents, despite the weather, were very comfortable and clean and well stocked with all you need for an overnight stay. Our son wants to go again and we probably will but when the weather is likely to be nicer. Overall a great experience.

2  Thank Ryan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2012

Just returned from a fantastic weekend at the newly opened Livingstone Cottage at Port Lympne safari park in Kent. We have visited the park many times and a few years ago stayed over in the Livingstone Lodge tents (not camping as you would know it!). This time we decided to try out the newly refurbished Livingstone Cottage. The cottage is comfortable and luxurious (loved the 4 poster in the main bedroom). we stayed with a group of friends and it was ideal having separate bedrooms and then a shared 'snug' and dining area to socialise.
The safari on the way to and from the cottage was fascinating as always (although rather spoiled by the weather) and our Zimbabwean guide Richard was tremendously knowledgable. However, the highlight of the whole experience was undoubtedly the culinary extravaganza served up by Cristo, our South African chef in the cottage itself. An evening of great food and drink accompanied by both Richard and Cristo who entertained us (when we wanted) with their stories of African life, culture, cuisine and wildlife.
I'm a great fan of the work of the Aspinall Foundation but this experience raised the bar again. Well done guys and 'we'll be back!'

4  Thank Kdog0110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

We visited 21/22 March 2012 & even though we'd been told to expect a special weekend, our expectations were surpassed by the fantastic experience. From the moment we arrived at reception, we were looked after so well: our ranger was excellent, very informative & amusing; the tent accommodation was better than we'd expected, very luxurious, and the heater was welcome as it was quite cold the night we stayed. The 5 course meal in the Laapa was just amazing, and our hosts went out of their way to make us welcome and looked after so well. In the morning, we awoke to the sight of zebras, wildebeest & ostriches immediately in front of our tent. The views from our tent across the marshes were just amazing. This is an experience to cherish

3  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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