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Kent Safari Walks
We often get asked for directions to public footpaths that go near zoos in Kent. These footpaths are not endorsed by any wildlife park and happen to be routes where you can see safari animals along the way. If you have any questions on these routes then please contact us.
Walking Route's near Port Lympne Reserve
Animals to see - Giraffes, various game animals. These are located in the bottom SW corner of the map. On a good day you can be within 10m of Giraffes!
Route A - Royal Military Canal Route (If you just want to see the animals choose this route)
Start at the car park in West Hythe, head west along the Royal Military Canal. When you reach the far SW corner you can normally see Giraffes and other game animals.
Click here for directions to the car park.
On a good day you will see the Giraffes along the canal path at the bottom so you can avoid any hills. If they are not there we recommend walking up the hill part of the northern footpath (200 metres worth) to get a better view. We recommend walking back along the canal if you just want to see the animals as the full ring route is very steep and quite tiring!
Route B - Loop Route
Follow Route A. When you reach the SW corner, head North up a very steep path that cuts between Port Lympne Reserve.
Warning the circle route is extremely steep and uneven -103m height gain! It is not suitable for pushchairs as the surface is very uneven and steep and the paths are very narrow.
This route is more for keen walkers. There are no exotic animals at any other point on the route except in the SW corner. You do however get the benefit of a lovely view over the Kent countryside. Please stick to public footpaths along the sign posted Saxon Shore Way, be respectful to local wildlife and remember to take any rubbish home with you.
Full Ring Route - 4.13km
Canal route (no hills) - 2.7km
Please note that there is no public parking available in Lympne (a very small village) and visitors should use the public car park in West Hythe (South East corner of the map). If you need to access Lympne stick to the footpaths along the Saxon Shore way that lead into the village.
You choose, we teach!
Walking route's near Howlett's Animal Park
Route Description (clockwise)
Park in the beautiful village of Littlebourne. Head south east along the A257 until you come to a footpath sign. There will be a small road to the left that is inline with the footpath entrance (see photo below for gmaps pin).
Head SW along the footpath towards Upper Garrington Farm and follow the horseshoe around to the North towards Lackenden cottages.
When you get to Lackenden Cottages, carefully cross the road and you will find a fairly hidden footpath that cuts through Howletts (see pictures below).
The route is flat however it has 2 blocks of steps/walkways and so it is unsuitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. It is also very very narrow. Towards the end of the footpath you will usually be able to see elephants as the fence runs along their enclosure.
WARNING: Do not be tempted to leave this footpath as the rest of it is private land. Please stay on the route marked on the map as it is a public footpath (see Bekesbourne Parish map for walkers here). If you leave this footpath you are likely to be on private land and could be accused of trespass.
As you reach the end of the zoo enclosures/elephants keep following the track north for another 600m until you reach a path junction that has a more prominent track leading to the right (ponds cottages will be on your left). Follow the track to the right and cross the A257 into Pine wood.
As you enter Pine wood look for a track that leads to the right (SE). Follow this and it will bring you back to the edge of the wood and the A257. Follow the path along the road back to the starting point.
We cant stress enough that you must stay on this footpath. Do not turn right when you get to end of the elephant enclosures as that is not a public footpath and keep heading north in a straight line.
This route was also featured on Kentlive.
Download this route to upload to your GPS here :
Full Ring Route - 4.95km
PLEASE READ: The Aspinall Foundation who own Howlett's and Port Lympne have contacted us stating that they have no affiliation to any of these routes and would rather that you don't use any of these walks to see their animals.
We have checked that all the walks below only use public footpaths and we believe that as long as you stick to the route's below then you won't be accused of trespass. For more information regarding public footpaths in Kent please check here.
We want you to be able to enjoy these wonderful walks in the Kent countryside but the KPS team do not condone trespassing in any form and we want you to be respectful to local wildlife and the local community.
Nothing will ever beat walking around the zoo's themselves and we recommend visiting both Howlett's and Port Lympne reserve when you get the chance to see all their amazing wildlife and support their conservation efforts.
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