Howletts Wild Animal Park
Kent CT4 5EL
Tel: +44(0)1227 721286
About Howletts Wild Animal Park
Howletts Wild Animal Park is found at Bekesbourne, near the cathedral city of Canterbury, in Kent, and is both a well-loved family attraction that will excite all animal lovers, and a top conservation institute.
Its evolution harks back over 50 years, being founded in 1957 by Sir John Aspinall. In 1973, he added Port Lympne Wild Animal Park (detailed at the Howletts Wild Animal Park website) to help house his expanding collection of animals, and they now total over 1000 animals and 90 species, many of them rare and endangered. This sorry state of affairs has occurred mainly because of hunting for their skins and horns by man, as in the tragic case of African and Asian rhinos and tigers. The situation has been exacerbated further by deforestation in the Americas and the Far East, which has threatened the snouty Malaysian tapir and other species. Howletts Wild Animal Park offers a sanctuary to animals from these endangered habitats, while also offering a wild family day out.
The 90-acre Howletts Wild Animal Park gives ticket holders the chance to survey a superb tract of age-old real estate that is a year-round family attraction, open every day other than Christmas. The animals’ keepers are willing to amiably chat about their wards to ticket holders who want to know more about the workings of Howletts Wild Animal Park, and they provide information about Britain’s biggest herd of African elephants, and relate their success stories, such as numerous births in recent times, taking the herd’s numbers to no fewer than sixteen animals. Indeed, three cows were relocated to Howletts Wild Animal Park’s sister institute at Port Lympne, along with a male, Kruger, who came from Knowsley Safari Park, with the object of growing the population and diversifying the gene pool, not to mention enhancing the family attraction. In fact, Howletts Wild Animal Park holds a dozen elephants, and the expansion of their numbers at Port Lympne bodes well for the future.
Another major draw at Howletts Wild Animal Park is the walk-through lemur paddock, which, along with other features in the park, is included in the cost of an entry ticket. Walking With Lemurs is a memorable event in itself, as the skittish little creatures dart about and show off like the natural entertainers that they are.
Bolstering Howletts Wild Animal Park’s reputation as top-notch family attraction are the glass-fronted tiger enclosure, a family of mighty African gorillas, a number of clouded leopards, many monkey species, giant anteaters, macaques and other rare and endangered animals from across the globe, besides the Jurassic Mine which can be investigated for prehistoric remains.
Also high on the list of must-see’s for ticket holders at Howletts Wild Animal Park are the Black Rhinos that inhabit their very own breeding sanctuary. It features a walk that takes in the perimeter of their paddock and grants visitors a chance to see conservation in action. The efforts of Howletts Wild Animal Park are detailed in the Education Centre and include joint programmes undertaken with two gorilla rescue and rehabilitation centres in the central African countries of Gabon and Congo, where more than 50 gorillas have been relocated in their natural environment. The Park additionally boasts the planet’s largest group of captive gorillas, with over 60 individuals, making it the King of all great ape sanctuaries.
Further, Howletts Wild Animal Park retains several tigers, groups of wolves and wild dogs, anteaters, rare small monkeys and cats, and a host of gibbons, deer, antelope, bison, tapir and Lion Tailed Macaques, as well as ultra-rare Sumatran tigers and Iberian Wolves.
The variegated family attraction additionally boasts a fine restaurant, pizzeria, refreshment kiosks, picnic areas, gift shops, a cave of gems and an adventure playground, all part of the price of a ticket to Howletts Wild Animal Park. And if the weather is not as forthcoming on a family day out, then there are indoor Keeper talks and an Education centre that has a fascinating number of displays. Indeed, the efforts of The Aspinall Foundation charity and Howletts Wild Animal Park are detailed there, as well as at the enclosures in which the animals reside.
A Howletts Wild Animal Park ticket includes free parking, toilets that are located at various points about the estate, and seasonal entertainment and activities are laid on, making for a grand family day out.
Besides all this, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, not far from Hythe, has the biggest breeding herd of Black Rhinoceros outside of the African continent and Gorillas that are fed every day in the world’s biggest gorillarium, The Palace Of The Apes. Take your family to see theirs, and decide who should sit at the table!
In addition, for a small surplus charge over the cost of a ticket to Howletts Wild Animal Park, various Safaris enrich any already superb family day out, whether taken on the hoof or in motor transport, at sun rise or as it sets, from 90 minutes to 24 hours or perhaps longer with an overnight stay. Custom packages can feature special meals, while The African Experience! features giraffe, zebra and Wildebeest in their own backyard, providing unparalleled wildlife photo opportunities, without the danger of insect bites or Green Monkey fever! It’s even possible to spend the night at Livingstone Safari Lodge. Details are on the Howletts Wild Animal Park website and, whether your family day out is to one or both of the Parks, you’ll have to travel many a mile – most likely Africa or Asia! – to see a more enticing family attraction.
A tour around Howletts Wild Animal Park last for several hours and offers a relaxing, spellbinding and exhilarating family day out. Just the ticket for all animal lovers.