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Reviews (253)
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All reviewswatering holemorning safaricourse mealother guestsovernight safarinext morningafrican experienceport lympnefillet steakdressing gownsthe reservewater holebefore dinnertake photoswatching the animalsfull englishblack rhino
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Reviewed June 11, 2012

You can stay overnight at livingstone lodge which consists of only 10 luxury tents close to the watering hole and it is like being on an African safari. We have just done it on a Saturday although the weather was a bit chilly it didn't rain un us. After you have checked in you go on your first safari which lasts about 2 hours. the African animals are in a 100 acre enclosure and it is just like being in the savana. In the evening you have a 5 star meal in the Lapa which is in the main compound. In the morning after breakfast you go on the 2nd safari. once you have finished you can stay at Port Lymphe or go to Howletts animal park and the admission is free. Every member of staff is excellant and very knowlegable. There is no problem if you have difficulty walking as they will take you anywhere in the part by minibus. we would certainly recommend it to anyone who likes to see animals roaming free.

1  Thank manda628
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2012

Visited at the end of May for husband's 60th birthday. Quite expensive but well, well worth it ( watch out for offers in local paper at end of April... usually up to 25% off stay for April and May)

Visited Port Lympne park during the morning....... Advised not to go on Africian Safari tour as we would be covering the same route later... but if the weather is cold..(.early or later in the year), they take the giraffe in before you go on the afternoon safari at 4 so will not see them roaming free and coming up to the trucks. So check so you don't miss out on seeing them in the fields.

Anyway, we checked into the reception at 4 and were welcomed by Sanil and Richard the two South Africian rangers with glasses of bubbly. Our luggage was taken off to the lodges while we went on the safari... Sandil is very knowledgeable and we made frequent stops for photos etc.

As the giraffe were shut in we were allowed, by their keeper, to see his babies.... We went into their house and were so close to them while they ate. They are amazing creatures!

We ended the safari at our lodges. Wooden decks and roofs with thick canvas sides. Inside was very luxurious. No roughing it here! We had time to watch the animals at the waterhole before dinner at 7.30. Would have like to have had more time in the lodges.. maybe beening allowed to just sit on the terrace and watch from earlier in the day, instead of starting at 4, and go to the safari from there. But still it was wonderful.

The Lapa, the wooden bar and dining area ,is lovely and the 11 guests chatted and ate together. The rangers were hosts while Brian, the chef cooked the meal on the open fire in the centtre on the room. The food was delicious. We sat and chatted and enjoyed a drink in the lounge area with the rangers before heading for a night under canvas just before midnight.

Just a note about what to wear...Everyone stayed in jeans and boots, anything goes. but you definitely don't need the stiletoes and tiaras!

We slept well and were woken at7 ,enjoyed a delicious breakfast, and then packed up and then on to the morning safari to end the trip.

It was really worth the price we paid for a special occasion ( watch out for their discount offers) Of course if you stay in the summer you will see the animals in the evening for longer but would totally recommend this safari stay.

6  Thank karen g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
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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.
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