Travel Destinations

glamping at Port Lympne in the Elephant Lodge, Kent

Globalmouse writer Louise discovers the wild at Elephant Lodge glamping at Port Lympne Animal Reserve.

Elephant Lodge glamping at Port Lympne Animal Reserve, Kent – ​​An unforgettable trip!

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“Mum! I can see an elephant!”.

As a parent, you get used to being woken up with all sorts of weird and wonderful news, but this one was a new one for us.

We jumped straight up to investigate, and found that from the front of our tent at Elephant Lodge, Port Lympne Animal Reserve in Kent, we could indeed see an elephant. And cheetahs, and in the distance, rhinos.

In such an amazing location, with so much to see and do, we really didn’t spend much time in our beautiful lodge tent.

But what a place to come back to at the end of a fabulous time visiting and seeing the animals up close at the reserve.

Elephant Lodge: Sleeps

The tents sleep six, with a comfy double bed, bunk beds and a lovely bed tucked into the wooden cubby hole. My daughter managed to claim this both nights.

Elephant Lodge glamping at Port Lympne Animal Reserve, Kent – ​​An unforgettable trip!

Everyone had a great night’s sleep to set us up for our day’s adventures.


Along with the bedrooms there is a spacious living area with a large dining table. This would have easily fit us all around it for a meal or game and a settee perfect for stretching out on.

living area

However, we were lucky enough to be able to sit outside for our evening meal and enjoy the breathtaking views. While the children ran between us and their new friends in the play area.

Play area

We were kept very warm at night with the wood burner. And there was plenty of wood in the tent to keep this going.

And if this had run out there was more we could help ourselves to in the wood shed on the site.

Burner logs

There was an ensuite at the back of the lodge tent. No queuing for the loos, or hiking across fields for a shower.

The shower was hot and there was plenty of water, which adds to the feeling of luxury.

Even though we didn’t have a self–catering tent, the tent had a kitchen area that was well equipped with plates and glasses should you want to get a takeaway rather than eat in the Clubhouse one night.

And there is a kettle so that we could make that all-important cup of tea to start our day.

We spent a lovely evening sitting on the sofa and chairs on the decking outside our tent chat. In the meanwhile, our kids played on the climbing frames in the play area in the middle of the small site with other children.

Glamping at Port Lympne: Food

As we didn’t have a self-catering tent, we ate our meals in the Clubhouse, situated in the middle of the tents. This meant we could just amble across to it when we were ready for our continental breakfast.

We enjoyed a variety of cereal, toast, fruits and croissants as part of our stay, but you could order from a choice of cooked breakfasts. Including the ‘gorilla breakfast’ – a vegetarian-cooked breakfast that my veggie teenager was pleased to see.

Ready for breakfast

We also had a lovely– and enormous – evening meal in the clubhouse. Full of fish and chips for the grown-ups and a main meal from the children’s menu for the kids.

The choices here include children-friendly fish fingers and chicken nuggets and ice-cream for dessert.

We had arrived late for our check-in but the staff in the Clubhouse were great. And we (thankfully, given the time) were still able to eat before settling into our tent for the night.

I was just sorry we’d arrived too late to try the Mongolian Barbecue. Hopefully another time.


A great feature of the Elephant Lodge site was the pizzeria. A takeaway selling freshly cooked, delicious pizzas, garlic bread and drinks – and delivers to your tent.

So we were able to order our food, and get back to our bottle of wine and gazing across the Kent countryside and at the cheetahs. Rather than waiting for our food to cook.

Elephant Lodge glamping at Port Lympne: The best bits

The location of Elephant Lodge is so special. When you can spend time before breakfast seeing cheetahs up close, a Scottish wildcat walking in an enclosure over your head, rhinos in the distance and an elephant down the hill, you wonder if any other ‘campsite’ in the future will ever come close.

Add to this the luxury side of this camping. You can keep warm by the fire on chilly nights, and jump into a hot shower before starting your day.

It really adds up to an unforgettable trip.

Elephant Lodge: Worth Bearing in Mind

You need to book in advance if you want to eat your evening meal in the clubhouse. And they stop serving at around 9 pm, although we found them very flexible.

Glamping at Port Lympne: Child Friendly?

! You have access to the animal reserve, meaning that your day out is easy.

And there are rangers on-site to help you arrange your visit to the park, including animal encounters and evening safaris.


My children absolutely loved the secure site. With a play area right in the middle with plenty of friends to be made, surrounded by animals they could spot, in a truly beautiful setting.

You can find out more about the accommodation at Elephant Lodge at their website here.

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