Best Safari Parks in the UK

Mvuu Camp in Liwonde National Park  | Best Safari in Africa?

Whilst many dream of a Safari Holiday, Safari parks in the UK are an amazing alternative and a fabulous introduction to not only some wonderful animals but the conservation of those animals too.

The UK offers some of the best safari park experiences in Europe, from drive-through experiences at Longleat, to walkthrough experiences like the foot safari at Woburn Safari Park, there are so many options to choose from. And all of them are guaranteed good days out!

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The UK’s Best Safari Parks

Knowsley Safari Park – Best Safari in England?

This is our local safari park. Knowsley Safari Park located in Merseyside offers the longest safari drive in the UK, covering over 550 acres of land. Visitors can enjoy up-close experiences with African lions, white rhinos, and bison from the comfort of their own cars. For those who are hesitant about driving through the baboon enclosure, the baboon bus offers a safe alternative. On the foot safari, guests can see a range of animals, including Amur tigers, giraffes, meerkats, bush dogs, birds of prey, sea lions, and tapirs. The park also offers daily animal talks and shows.

Knowsley Safari Park has a dedicated conservation team that works on educating visitors and the wider public about their critical projects. The team also actively works with endangered species, such as monitoring and anti-poaching activities, and fixing fences to reduce human conflict in their natural habitats. By visiting Knowsley Safari Park, guests can support these important conservation efforts.

You can read our review of Knowsley Safari Park here.

On the Tiger Trail at Knowsley Safari Park

West Midland Safari & Leisure Park – Safari Parks in the UK

West Midland Safari & Leisure Park safari park offers an unforgettable experience that can be enjoyed as a day trip or a longer getaway. While the luxurious safari lodges provide an incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with animals such as tigers, rhinos and elephants, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy too, including a drive-through safari and village walk.

Whether you opt to drive your own car or join a guided minibus tour, the safari drive will take you on a thrilling journey through habitats filled with African lions, giraffes, zebras, wild dogs, cheetahs, and antelopes. Additionally, the Wild Asia area offers a chance to see Indian rhinos, swamp deer, and blackbucks.

The safari park is split into two different parts, a safari area and a walk around zoo type area which also includes theme park rides. We began our day in the walk-through part of the safari. This part of the park is home to penguins, bats, creepy crawlies, sealions, snakes, meerkats, lemurs, fish and hippos.   

The safari park now includes an Adventure Theme Park. Along with the animal attractions, visitors can also enjoy a variety of rides and attractions such as virtual reality experiences, rollercoasters, and log flumes, among others. However, please note that these rides require an additional fee.

Click here for our review of West Midland Safari Park

West Midland Safari Park

Longleat Safari Park – UK Best Safari Park?

Longleat Safari Park, nestled in the picturesque Wiltshire countryside, is an ideal destination for a family-friendly day out. As you stroll through the main park, you’ll come across various enclosures housing an array of creatures, from creepy crawlies to wild cats and primates.

At specific times during the day, you can board a jungle cruise and venture out onto the vast lake on the estate. If you’re fortunate enough, you might catch a glimpse of hippos in the shallow waters or the silverback lowland gorilla and his family residing on the island in the center. Keep your eyes peeled! Additionally, the boat ride provides an opportunity to feed the resident sea lions, who swim and frolic beside the vessel, hoping to snag a fish.

Naturally, the highlight of your visit to Longleat is the self-drive safari. The Wiltshire plains are home to three of the big five: lions, rhinos, and Anne the elephant, as well as cheetahs, wolves, tigers, and deer. Provided you drive responsibly and keep your windows closed, the animals are familiar with vehicles and can offer some extraordinary encounters.

Longleat also offers additional experiences

Such as giraffe feeding, a lemur walkthrough, and monkey mayhem. Also during the latter, the rhesus macaques have free reign to clamber all over your vehicle and take whatever piques their interest! You may opt to ride the safari bus for this reason.

Longleat Safari Park is dedicated to conservation efforts on a global scale. Whether it’s breeding programs aimed at restoring the populations of wild dogs and black rhinos in Tanzania or supporting the conservation work of the Red Panda Network in Nepal, Longleat depends on contributions and purchases from its guests to aid in these vital endeavors. When you visit Longleat, you’ll be making a significant contribution towards these efforts.

You can read Mummy Travel’s review of Koala Creek at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire here.

Port Lympne – Best Safari Parks in the UK

One of the most impressive safari parks in the UK is Port Lympne, situated in Kent. This game reserve offers the nearest experience to Africa in the UK, complete with safari drives and a range of lodge-style accommodations for an ultimate overnight stay.

On foot, you can explore various enclosures within the main park that are home to magnificent animals like lynxes, gorillas, and brown bears. While larger pens house lions, tigers, and cheetahs. You can also plan your visit alongside the ranger talk schedule for a chance to learn more about these incredible creatures and have any queries addressed!

Similar to Longleat, the park features vast open plains where giraffes, zebras, and antelopes reside. However, the only way to observe them is by joining a tour led by a knowledgeable guide who will take you and a group of others out into the wilderness on a safari canter. You’ll have the good fortune of seeing these animals in their natural habitats (or as close to it as possible in the Kent countryside), as well as rhinos, elephants, wild dogs, and other uncommon species fenced in.

What makes this place really special is the Aspinall Foundation’s link to conservation efforts in Africa and beyond. Thus Port Lympne has a hugely successful breeding programme that has returned various animals to the wild, including five eastern black rhinos, two cheetahs and over 60 gorillas. At each enclosure, you’ll be able to read whether the animals inside are candidates for reintroduction, and there are dedicated teams at the park who will be more than willing to tell you more when you visit.

You can also stay at Rhino Lodge, Port Lympne animal reserve.

Woburn Safari Park – Safari Parks in the UK

At Woburn Safari Park, you can witness over 80 rare and endangered species in their Bedfordshire home. Similar to other safari parks in the UK, your adventure may begin with a drive-through safari, allowing you to explore different regions of the world from the comfort of your own car. Here, you can see rare horses, bison, wildebeest, camels, southern white rhinos, buffalos, giraffes, monkeys and zebras.

The Kingdom of the Carnivores is a must-visit area at Woburn Safari Park, where you can catch a glimpse of Amur tigers, timberwolves, black bears, and lions, each residing in their spacious enclosures. The self-drive safari loop takes around 60 minutes to complete, and the adventure doesn’t end there. You can explore the foot safari and spot smaller animals such as parrots, meerkats, wallabies, otters, lemurs, sea lions, penguins, squirrel monkeys, red pandas, and many more.

When you purchase a ticket to Woburn Safari Park, you’re supporting the team’s efforts to sustain the animal population on-site, as well as their involvement in critical conservation work around the world. The park supports various projects, including the International Elephant Foundation, the Wildcats Conservation Alliance, and Helping Rhinos. By visiting the park, you’re contributing to these worthy causes.

You can read our review of Woburn Safari Park here and one from Mummy Travel’s of a family day out at Woburn Safari Park here.

A Winter Day Out at Woburn Safari Park

Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park – Safari Parks in Scotland

Blair Drummond, situated near Stirling, is undoubtedly one of the finest safari parks in Scotland, and even in the entire UK. Apart from the well-known safari animals such as lions and rhinos that can be spotted on the drive-through section, the park is home to an extensive range of intriguing and endangered species. With over 300 animals, including Highland cattle, red ruffed lemurs, and llamas, the foot safari promises an exciting and jam-packed day out.

Blair Drummond places great emphasis on conservation efforts. Since 2014, the park has provided more than £192k in funding to conservation projects, which has helped to cover the costs of anti-poaching teams, their equipment, and the fight against deforestation.

You can read a review of Blair Drummond safari park at Halloween here.

October Half Term at Woburn Safari Park

Chessington Safari Resort – Safari Park to stay in

For a unique type of safari experience, check out Chessington Safari Resort. With a range of themed rooms, you can see animals whilst you sleep.

Choose between exquisitely themed rooms with views over the enclosures of your favourite animals. The giraffe room, tiger room, penguin room and monkey mayhem room overlook the Wanyama reserve.

You can also do Explorer Glamping at Chessington too.

  • Address: Chessington World of Adventures, Leatherhead Rd, Chessington. KT9 2NE
  • Website:
  • Tickets: Get your Chessington World of Adventures tickets here
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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

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