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The Big Cat Sanctuary, Smarden

4.8
#2 of 72 in Wildlife in Kent
Must see · Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
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Tucked away in the Kent countryside, The Big Cat Sanctuary allows you to come face-to-face with a variety of felines, big and small, adults and cubs. This conservation charity is home to nearly 50 cat species, including some of the world's most endangered ones. Apart from tours, the sanctuary offers a full safari experience with overnight stays in luxury lodges. Adventurous visitors can try their hand at being a ranger for a weekend. Plan to visit The Big Cat Sanctuary during your Smarden vacation using our convenient Smarden trip planner.
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The Big Cat Sanctuary reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
1,093 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We were lucky the cats were fairly active despite the weather. The middle of the park had lots of entertainment for kids and sessions from the partner companies. The keepers offered to take photos... 
    We were lucky the cats were fairly active despite the weather. The middle of the park had lots of entertainment for kids and sessions from the partner companies. The keepers offered to take photos...  more »
  • All animals were in hiding where you couldn’t see them wheelchair Un Friendly once inside prices were ridiculous Walked round for three hours and still couldn’t see the animals 
    All animals were in hiding where you couldn’t see them wheelchair Un Friendly once inside prices were ridiculous Walked round for three hours and still couldn’t see the animals  more »
Google
  • I was treated to the Open Day headrest by my daughter for my birthday. What a wonderful place! All the cats look happy and content and in beautiful condition. So lovely to see them all. The conservation work they do in Africa and around the world is fantastic. They're not open to the public except for their very rare but special open days. Luckily my sister also bought me an open day for my birthday (my family know me so well) so I get to go again on Saturday.
  • Ignore negative reviews on this place. It seems some people expected a safari or a massive open expanse where cats roam freely. Obviously, this is not very possible and it's not what the sanctuary is about. It's not an attraction for people to gawk at roaming animals, it's a passionate charity dedicated to the conservation, protection and preservation of endangered species. My wife and I went for a big cat experience and it was amazing. The staff were very knowledgeable, helpful, and nice. Our guide told us so much about the cats and the efforts of the initiatives to protect them. He was very engaging and informative. It was a relaxed atmosphere, the cats of course are in captivity, but still seemed truly happy and well looked after, and the staff were all dedicated and really deeply cared about the wellbeing of the animals. The cats were treated well, were comfortable and were never forced to do anything that they didn't want to do. The money spent on the experience goes directly to helping the sanctuary and the cats, so ultimately you do a good thing by visiting. It just so happens that it is also a wonderful experience where you get to feed some big cats, learn about them, and meet some great people dedicated to their protection.

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