There are all kinds of animals that inhabit various parts of the world. Sadly, few of us will ever have the chance to see them all in their natural habitats. Yes, you could see some at a few zoos near to where you live. But, what if you want to go somewhere that perfectly replicates each animal’s natural habitat?

Arguably one of the best ways of doing so without spending five-figure sums travelling the world is by visiting a safari park. You have the chance to observe these animals without any danger to both them or yourself. Unlike a zoo, animals aren’t kept hidden away in cages or small areas in a safari park. And due to the vast size of safari parks, you have to drive around them to see each animal’s habitat. Although if you don’t drive, the good news is many safari parks offer VIP tours operated by the parks themselves.

If you’ve never visited a safari park, and you’re based in England, here are seven of the best ones for you to consider:

1. Longleat Safari & Adventure Park – Warminster, Wiltshire

Longleat is one of the most established safari parks in England. Located on the grounds of Longleat House, it boasts a wide variety of animals from all over the world. You have the opportunity to see some of Africa’s big cats such as lions, and, of course, animals like elephants, rhinos, and giraffes.

There’s even the chance to get out of your car and do a walking safari in some parts, such as lemurs. If you don’t have a vehicle, you can opt for a VIP experience which includes getting up close and personal with animals from a secure 4×4 vehicle. 

* Nearest train station: Frome (5.6 miles, eleven minutes by car).

* Nearest motorways: M4, M5.

Address: Open on Google Maps

Phone Number: 01985 844400

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safari parks
Source: Longleat / Facebook

2. Woburn Safari Park – Woburn, Bedfordshire

Conveniently located by the M1 motorway, Woburn hosts an array of wildlife that is sure to leave you in awe. There’s also a foot safari for those that prefer to walk. You get to discover an array of animals and birds ranging from mongoose and elephants through to exotic birds like macaws and cockatoos.

You can even get up close to marsupials like kangaroos, and even discover animals like red pandas and adorable capybaras! There’s plenty for kids of all ages to see and do, and adults are sure to have an enjoyable experience here too.

* Nearest train station: Ridgmont (1.8 miles, three minutes by car).

* Nearest motorway: M1.

Address: Open on Google Maps

Phone Number: 01525 290407

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Safari Parks
Source: Woburn Safari Park / Facebook

3. Port Lympne Safari Park – Hythe, Kent

One of Kent’s most popular attractions is without a doubt the Port Lympne Safari Park. It features over 760 animals and almost 80 different species! Some of the animals that call the safari park their home include Western Lowland Gorillas, Rothschild Giraffes, Malayan Tapirs and more.

There is even an outdoor “Dinosaur Forest” exhibition which lets you see just how big these prehistoric beasts were when they roamed the Earth! There’s plenty of information on each dinosaur, and they are bound to impress both kids and adults alike. A great safari parks for all ages.

* Nearest train station: Westenhanger (2.7 miles, eight minutes by car).

* Nearest motorway: M20.

Address: Open on Google Maps

Phone Number: 01303 264647

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Source: Port Lympne Safari Park

4. Knowsley Safari Park – Prescot, Merseyside

If you’re in the northwest of England, you should check out the Knowsley Safari Park in Prescot, a mere half-hour drive away from Liverpool city centre. It features both a vehicle and foot safari, so whether you’ve got a car or not, you can still see a variety of animals at their homes.

At the safari park, it’s also possible to book a place on the “Baboon Bus” and get even closer to an array of animals – including the baboons, of course! Knowsley also has a conservation programme, and you can even “adopt” one of their animals. 50% of the proceeds going towards their conservation projects in both the UK and abroad.

* Nearest train station: Prescot (1.1 miles, four minutes by car).

* Nearest motorway: M57.

Address: Open on Google Maps

Phone Number: 0151 430 9009

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5. South Lakes Safari Zoo – Ulverston, Cumbria

The South Lakes Safari Zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals from across the globe. The zoo has recreated each animal’s natural environment, enabling them to feel “at home” and give visitors a truly remarkable experience. The residents range from large animals and the “big cats” like lions and tigers through to smaller ones like penguins, birds, and even reptiles.

There’s plenty to see at the South Lakes Safari Zoo, plus they even offer “zookeeper days” for people of all ages! There is also an array of animal experience days available if you wanted to celebrate a certain milestone like a birthday or anniversary.

* Nearest train station: Ulverston (3.6 miles, eight minutes by car).

* Nearest motorway: M6.

Address: Open on Google Maps

Phone Number: 01229 466086

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Source: South Lakes Safari Zoo / Facebook

6. Paradise Wildlife Park – Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

A family-run establishment, Paradise Wildlife Park is a safari park set in the beautiful surroundings of Broxbourne Woods. Aside from all the wild animals you’d expect to reside in a safari park in England, Paradise Wildlife Park also provides over 30 different exotic animal experience days. For example, you could feed the big cats, shadow a keeper, or even tickle a tapir!

Something that few other wildlife parks have that Paradise can boast is they have farmyard animals. It’s a popular part of the park with both young children and adults alike. 

* Nearest train station: Broxbourne (2.7 miles, six minutes by car).

* Nearest motorways: M25, M11.

Address: Open on Google Maps

Phone Number: 01992 470490

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Source: Paradise Wildlife Park

7. West Midland Safari & Leisure Park – Bewdley, Worcestershire

Last, but not least, there is the West Midland Safari & Leisure Park. Situated on the outskirts of the picturesque riverside town of Bewdley, they have both drive-through and walk-through experiences for all the family. 

The park is also home to one of the UK’s largest collections of animatronic dinosaurs. For budding palaeontologists, there’s also an under-cover “dino dig” where youngsters can search for fossils. And when you’re done looking at the impressive collection of wildlife, the adventure theme park will impress you further!

* Nearest train station: Kidderminster (3.3 miles, thirteen minutes by car).

* Nearest motorway: M5.

Address: Open on Google Maps

Phone Number: 01299 402114

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So now you are equipped with the best options to visit the best English safari parks with your children in 2020, let us know on Facebook or Instagram which one is your favourite!

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