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“Amazing Experience”
Review of Giraffe Lodge

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Giraffe Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 25, 2012

I'd heard and read a lot about this prior to going and nothing I'd heard or read really did it justice!
From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we were treated like royalty. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff whatsoever.
We were greeted by Warren, with a glass of African Champagne, followed by a fantastic and extremeley interesting 2 hour safari hosted by Sandile who was about as good a ranger as you can wish for and funny with it. We then arrived at the lodge (where our overnight bags had already been delivered and placed in our luxury tents) and were left to settle in and take in the views for an hour or so before heading to the Laapa for dinner where a beautiful meal awaited us. In the morning we were up for 7, had a hearty breakfast and then off for another hour long safari.
We were so lucky with the weather as it poored with rain the next day but we had clear blue skies even though it was the end of September.
Ourselves and every other couple or group agreed that this really was an amazing experience and all said we would love to return. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
When we do return we will definitely do so in the height of summer so we hopefully get the warmer weather but also, so we get more time watching the animals around the watering hole in the evening before nighttime sets in.

Room Tip: Ask for tents on the front row
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank keith w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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212 - 218 of 235 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2012 via mobile

I would recommend livingstone lodge to anyone (an already have passed the details onto family and friends). I have taken part in a number of "animal experiences" at various zoos but this is something else. The views are breathtaking. My only criticism is that I didn't get any sleep as the wind was so loud against the tent (not that this is the fault of the company). Everyone woke up thinking their tents were going to collapse under the wind so worth taking some ear plugs if you're a light sleeper. I was dubious at the thought of communal toilets/showers but they were clean and of a good standard, beware of you're scared of bugs, I had to share my shower with a daddy long legs. I was the only person that showered so there were no long waits etc. I loved the animals coming up to the watering hole, in the morning the keepers scattered some food by the watering hole meaning all the animals come up (apart from the giraffes). If you go make sure you take a camera with lots of memory/battery andwarm clothes/layers, I wore a summer dress spent a lot of the evening running outside to take photos and I was freezing, most people just wore jeans/hoodies to dinner. Finally be aware there is no wifi/3G connection, it's an amazing place so you dont need any outside entertainment but just incase your reliant on email etc while your there.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank Laura445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

My partner and I stayed at Livingstone Lodge on Wednesday 12th September. I had heard great things about the Lodge but I have to say that it blew me away. It is a simply wonderful experience. We arrived in the afternoon as instructed and met up with the rest of the group for a welcome glass of extremely good South African bubbly (or you can have Amarula - a fruity African version of Baileys). We were greeted by the Head Ranger - Warren - who was really warm, friendly and very respectful - he simply couldn't do enough for us. Our bags were taken up to the tented Lodges - all names after animals - we stayed in the Zebra tent, luxurious accommodation, luxury products to shower with including recycled slippers, big fluffy dressing gowns and towels. We then boarded a safari truck and went on a two hour long safari around the park - our ranger - Jack - took time to tell us all about the animals we saw on the park and also talked about his experiences as a Ranger in Africa - we learned so much. We got quite up close and personal with Black Rhino, four gorgeous and elegant Giraffes, deer, buffalo, Preswaski horses, Zebra, elephants and much more. It was a truly memorable safari. I have visited the park many times but this was something else! Our evening safari ended and we were dropped at our tents where our bags had already been transferred to our rooms. We had an hour to spare before dinner and could either chill out in the tent, sit on the veranda watching the sunset over amazing views of the countryside and the sea or go to the 'Lapa' and have drinks,We eventually ambled over to the Lapa which was stunning - beautifully furnished with a real Lapa feel. We really forgot we were in the heart of the Kent countryside - especially as they were playing African music. We were then greeted by the chef - Brian - very lovely man and Jack explained all about what the five course buffet we were about to eat. Dinner was an authentic style African buffet of starters and mains cooked on an open pit fire, salads, desserts and cheese followed by coffee and chocolate truffles. The food was extremly good, easily five star standard. There were 16 of us in the group, all jolly nice people, a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and the good food and wines certainly helped us to relax and have fun. We didn't want to go to bed. The rangers told us interesting stories about their time in Africa and also about the great conservation work of the Aspinall Foundation. The South African wines were excellent. We retired to bed full and happy. We were woken at 7am (although it was a beautiful sunny morning and most of us were awake already) by Jack, our Ranger for the morning and had the most awesome early morning visit from Black RHinos, wildebeast, zebras and deer, there is a watering hole outside the Lodges and the animals meet there in the morning for treats, the hole has ducks also and they were having a great time. The views were absolutely breathtaking. We then went in for a sumptious breakfast - continental and full English buffet - great sausages! before embarking on a our final early morning safari. We didn't want to leave. Great work guys, we really felt special, felt that we had a break in the middle of the week and it felt much longer than just an overnight! we will definately be back next summer.

Room Tip: There is one tent with a four poster - awesome.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank sharonb772
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Stayed at Livingstone Lodge September 1st, it was a great weekend and truely felt like a holiday, wouldnt have believed we were in Kent. If the price were less then I would have rated this excellent but I think it was on the high side. Tent was amazing, luxury! Our ranger Jack was great and did everything to please. The food in the evening was as good as Ive tasted in London restaurants. There was something for everyone. Only disappointment was the safari on the second day pretty much covered the exact same animals as the first day. Im mixed about recommending this to friends because of the price and did I think it was value for money, for example I also looked at centreparc's for a weekend which is 3 nights and that was less money! Saying that ... we both loved the African Safari and Im so glad I did it, these animals are so well cared for and the work they do at the Aspinal foundation is great, such as breeding and re releasing animals into the wild.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kirsty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Its mid-week and another weekend is ahead, relentless chores await yet this weekend something truly different awaits....

Livingstone Lodge located in Port Lympne as a part of the VIP Safari experience is simply a wonderful experience, you arrive to a glass of champagne to be welcomed amongst other Safari guest (I think it's limited to x12) then you have a private guided tour of the 'African Experience' seeing endangered animals such as Black Rhino, Cheetah's, Elephants, Elands, Zeebra. The knowledge of the tour guides is excellent and the humour added by our guide (Ranger) was a great touch.

After a private view of the park you arrive to your allocated Lodge (tent) named after an animal on the experience - oh when I say tent nothing like the ones you see in a camping shop: they are small houses with your own verander with a view to cherish. Inside are luxury beds, dressing gowns and dressing tables etc.

Then as the sun sets you enjoy a glass of wine with the fellow guests for African inspired dinning, whilst meanwhile behind you animals graze by the waterhole.

The night we stayed here it was at the high of the downpours that have blighted the English summer, the rain tapping away on the tent through the night only made the experience more unique - an early start followed by a full English breakfast set us up for the day ahead of fun and laughter seeing the rest of the park.

Tips: Bring a camera (a good one) with a spare battery and enough memory to snap away. Binoculars could bea great addition to view animals too! Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. Oh and waterproof and warm clothing it's a semi-outdoor experience and you'll never know what English weather will throw at you.

I can not recommend doing this enough - 24hrs was like being away a week. Thank you to all at the Aspinall Foundation and the Park Rangers.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
6  Thank Somethingtoremember
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

We took our 2 adult children with us on the African Safari Adventure staying in the tents at Port Lympne. I have to say that we received a very warm welcome on arrival and were treated with the utmost courtesy and respect. The african safari was most interesting as we had a very knowledgeable game ranger called "Warren" from Zimbabwe who also had a wonderful wit and sense of humour which provided additional entertainment on the 2 hour ride. The tents added authenticity to the experience. They were raised on a hillside with a decked verandah and overlooked the waterhole a few metres beneath you, where the animals frollicked and grazed happily. The tents were well decked out with comfortable beds, carpets, electric heaters and lighting and an additional bonus was a white fluffy dressing gown with disposable slippers and all the toiletries. The views from the verandah were breathtakingly beautifull looking out across the kent countryside there were various species of game scattered for miles, followed by farmland and then across the channel to France. Fantastic for photographs. The food was exceptional, you could eat as much as you like, there was a good choice and it was really well presented. I would highly recommend this to everyone it was well worth every penny and more!
Thanks to all the staff, it was very well done.
Charmain

2  Thank Charmain K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

We had an overnight stay at Livingstone Lodge which included a safari trip when we arrived, staying in very well equipped tents, we had a small electric radiator to put on if cold. The wash/shower rooms were very clean, even suppllied towels.It was amazing to see the animals roaming freely. The food was very good, enough of it, and the staff were brilliant, although i think the chef coud have been a little friendlier, he didn't appear very happy, but this is a minor point, the two young rangers more than made up for this. What an amazing place, we walked around the main park the next morning which is brilliant. The animas all have such large areas to roam. Jess, a member of staff gave us so much information about the silverback gorillas it was a pleasure to talk to her. This place is a must to visit, a day visit or an overnight stay in the 'Glam Tents' either are well worth it, definately reccomend to friends, may even return as a group.

2  Thank slimonetwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Giraffe Lodge

Address: Aldington Road, Lympne CT21 4PD, England (Formerly Livingstone Lodge)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Lympne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Lympne
Price Range: $264 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voted the UK's best tourism experience in 2012, Giraffe Lodge Safari Experience at Port Lympne, Kent, is the UK's only overnight safari lodge perfect for a romantic break, engagement, celebrations and Hen Parties and has to be the answer to those who would love to visit the wilds of Africa on safari. Enjoy a multi award winning safari experience and a totally magical night under the stars. ... more   less 

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