Top 10 Safari Parks in the UK! (Our best guide to see animals from your car!)

  • By: The DIG for Kids
  • Time to read: 7 min.

You just got front row seats to the animal kingdom. Ready to come face to face with magnificent lion prides? Want to discover what mischievous monkeys will do to your car? Crane your neck up trying to stare at giraffes and elephants?

All these animal and more are waiting for you! But if you’re torn about where to see them, here’s a guide! Welcome to The Dig For Kids! Today, we’re bringing you the top 10 safari parks in the UK!

Longleat Safari Park

“Wind up your windows. Hide all the sandwiches. You’re going on a safari tour that’s wilder, furrier, and growlier than you ever dared imagine” is the iconic motto Longleat Safari Park goes by. 

Located in the South West of England, this top-tier park is a memorable experience. An entire animal kingdom awaits you: a wolf pack, herds of rhinos, prowling cheetahs, territorial tigers, frolicking lions, a rescued circus elephant, and more!

Longleat Safari Park is most known for its famous Elizabethan house, an adventure castle, hedge maze, and of course– what all visitors rave about– a magnificent gorilla colony

Blair Drummond Safari Park

Home to more than 350 animals, most of them roaming freely, Blair Drummond Safari Park is an unforgettable attraction.

Here’s a sneak peek inside: lions, elephants, giraffes, meerkats are just a few of the majestic residents. Are you ready to take your chances with “the cheeky monkeys in the park’s famous Macque Drive-thru, walk with free roaming lemurs in Lemur Land, catch the popular sea lion and bird of prey shows, and take a boat ride to Chimp Island,” as the park advertises?

Since this safari opened its doors in 1970, it’s been one of the top parks in the UK as it takes visitors through a picturesque look at thriving wildlife populations. Lions, lemurs, and chimps aren’t the only animals here. Antelopes, camels, zebras, rhinos, and more will happily greet you. 

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

Ready to safely come face to face with one of Africa’s ferocious “big five?” Then look no further than Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Lympne in Hythe. Here, more than 700 animals, over 90 species are thriving across 600 giant acres. 

You’ll find the single largest herd of black rhinos, which are critically endangered species. Kent’s only giraffe lives here as well. But if you have your eyes out on a larger adventure, then the Dinosaur Forest may catch your attention. It will feel like you’re strolling through Jurassic Park.

Knowsley Safari Park

UK’s longest safari drive is right here at Knowsley Safari Park, clocking in at a whopping five miles stretch. 

What are some to die for attractions here? The stars of the park live in the Amur Tiger Trail– two tigers by the names of Bira and Sinda. However, there is no shortage of things to see. Knowsley Safari Park stands out by its plethora of peculiar animals such as ratites, bats, and rodents.

There is also an incredibly magnificent wet safari on the park’s boating lake, which will take you rowing and allow you to see all the amazing species that call Knowsley Safari Park their home. As you explore, you’ll see everything from cheeky meerkats, formidable buffaloes, graceful wildebeest and zebra, to the majestic lion pride. If you’re lucky enough that your trip coincides with the school holidays, the park offers a Baboon Bus.

Woburn Safari Park

Want to step out of the car and the “Baboon Bus” as the previous park offered? At Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, your adventure is on foot. And you can do more than walking on the wild side of nature, you can ride the “Great Woburn Railway” or take a ride in one of their swan boats.

It will feel like you have left the UK and stepped into the Savannah Grasslands. Visit the African Forest, the Northern Plains, the Kingdom of the Carnivores, and the Giraffe Junction to observe monkeys, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, bison, and lions in their natural habitat. On foot, you can witness first hand the magnificence and the grandeur of giant elephants walking in front of you, as well as walk among deers, wave back to meerkats, and feed the sea lions.

Right from the comfort of your car, start by viewing bison and zebras grazing at the Northern Plains, then drive to the Savannah Grasslands and see rhinos living the good life, head to the African Forest to laugh at the antics of the energetic monkeys who are known to be mischievous in the woodlands, and finally, see tigers prowl in the Kingdom of the Carnivores.

Cotswold Wildlife Park

We have one word for you…ostriches!

At Cotswold Wildlife Park, located in Oxfordshire, you’ll get a front row to see ostriches roaming freely, but that’s not all you should focus on. Every day, the park hosts penguin talks. And every month, you’ll find plenty of monthly events. Offering no shortage of activities, the park offers annual competitions.

Dive deep enough in the park and you’ll find their mischievous lion pride, lazing around in the sun. Just like your average cat, only a lot bigger and more ferocious.

Knepp Wildland Safari

Spread out across an impressive 3,500 acres of Sussex, Knepp Wildland Safari, one of the largest rewilding projects in lowland Europe is one unforgettable experience. 

Herds of animals, birds, mammals, butterflies, reptiles, and beetles, and even entire gardens of plants and fungi await. Whether you’re there to take courses on photography, looking to check out the animals, want to do some tree reading, or to take a boat that will take you on a scenic ride

Wingham Wildlife Park

Wingham Wildlife Park offers anything from raccoons to dinosaurs, and it’s right here in the UK for all to see. What can you expect to see? A long way from its opening in 1986 when the park just had a small collection of aviary birds, waterfowl, and a tea room, today, there are hundreds of species roaming around.

Now, you’ll find a big cat row, where the likes of pumas, jaguars, cheetahs, caracals, and unique, smaller species of cat such as Scottish wildcats roam. Here for the tigers? You’ll find them a little deeper in the tiger enclosure.

When you have your fill of watching majestic cats, head to the wolf enclosure, or is the Chimp House more your taste? Other attractions include the Reptile House where you can view the likes of rhinoceros iguanas or check out the Penguin Pool, which speaks for itself.

Animals aren’t the only guests here after hours– you can be too! Wingham offers a unique experience where you can be a keeper for a day. There are VIP tours where keepers walk you through the park and take you through each animal’s history, arrival, and relationships.

Shepreth Wildlife Park

Ever fed a ring-tailed lemur by hands? Came face to face with a tiger? Pet an alpaca? 

In 1984, Shepreth Wildlife Park opened its doors as a much needed refuge for injured and orphaned animals. Now, there are more than 100 species thriving there. From alpacas to lemurs, Shepreth Wildlife Park has them!

The natural grounds offer warm tropical exhibits, animal encounter sessions, outdoor play zones, demonstrations, and keeper talks. Throughout the day, you won’t be able to go through the large number of talks the park offers, each focusing on a different animal. Throughout the month, keep up with their superb events such as hedgehog day. And if you’re looking to take something home from the park, stop by the gift shop or talk to one of the keepers about the animals available for adoption!

West Midland Safari Park

Located in Bewdley, Worcestershire, West Midland Safari Park roared its way into becoming one of the leading safari parks in all of the UK. This is the spot to head to when you’re looking to stand face to face with some of the world’s most famous elusive animals.

The Safari Drive-Through will strap you in and take you on a wild ride across the African Plains, Wild Asia, Elephant Valley, and the Carnivores section where you’ll gasp at seeing goliath elephants, herds of zebras, amazing lions, powerful buffaloes, and more. The drive-through isn’t the only attraction. The park offers a myriad of discovery trails, a theme park, and plenty of fun areas. Check out adorable penguins at the Discovery Trail, marvel at the beauty of the sea creatures that call West Midland Safari Park home, check out the reptiles and arachnids exhibits, and finally, stop by the Sea Lion Theatre to round off your amazing experience with some wholesome sea lions.

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