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africapurohit

Port Lympne and Howletts - UK

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africapurohit

Last week my family and I spent five days exploring Port Lympne and Howletts wildlife parks in Kent, UK. These wildlife parks are managed by the Aspinall Foundation, who are involved in a number of global conservation projects. Their flagship species are Eastern Black Rhino and Western Lowland Gorilla, where both have been returned to the wild in Africa. They returned two rhino to the Serengeti in 2007 (the first ever captive-born rhinos to be released there) and three rhino to Mkomazi in 2012.

 

They are currently planning the release of Barbary lions in a protected area in the Atlas Mountain range. Considering the last known wild Barbary lion was killed in the 1920s, many regard current captive bred stock as "descendants of", rather than "pure bred". Either way, it is an ambitious project.

 

They have a large herd of free-roaming red lechwe, and I noticed three individuals who were all white - most likely caused by a recessive gene. We stayed in one of their tented camps, Elephant Lodge, and despite the freezing temperatures the kids loved it.

 

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Edited by africapurohit

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Game Warden

I hope you mentioned you were from Safaritalk: if on twitter you can follow their updates here. I did speak to them about hosting a Safaritalk GTG there in the summer and need to follow up, what would you think having recently been?

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africapurohit

@@Game Warden they have two tented camps - Livingston Lodge (twin/double bed) and Elephant Lodge (3 x double bed + bunk bed).

 

Elephant Lodge tents are huge and even include a dining table and chairs - you pay per room per night regardless of the number of guests, so this will be the most economical option where up to 5 people can sleep in separate beds. Continental breakfast is included (cooked breakfast is extra) and food at the Elephant Lodge restaurant is great - the Head Chef is Indian. Two course dinner is £20 per person.

 

Some guests brought their own barbecues with gas canisters and set these up on their verandahs.

 

The tented camps are based on the Port Lympne site (Howletts is a 30 minute drive away) which is 600 acres. The park has a good walking circuit with lots of hills and another part that can only be explored using their safari trucks (to see the hoofstock that are free-roaming). Photographers will also prefer Port Lympne.

 

It's a nice part of the world and a good choice for a GTG - provided the weather is warm.

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Alex The Lion

Thanks for the TR, have a feeling I will visiting these two places a lot in the next few years.

 

I live in Canterbury so would have no excuse for not making an appearance at a Howletts GTG.

Edited by russell

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africapurohit

@@russell make sure you get one of these: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Britax-2000004087-Baby-Carrier-Black/dp/B006LY75ZW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366112964&sr=8-1&keywords=baby+carrier+britax

 

From experience, I find young children switch-off and lose interest when they're stuck in buggies/pushchairs. This particular harness can be used until the child is around 2 years old and gives them a much more interesting view of what's around them.

 

My youngest is around 12kg, so I strap him to my chest (front-facing) and use a 10kg backpack to counter the weight - tough going but I save money on gym memberships.

 

Good luck!

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