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12 BEST Safari Parks in the UK

From guided tours and drive through safaris, to wallaby walkthroughs and big cats roaming, here are the best safari parks in the UK.

safari parks in the uk

Forget going to the zoo, this post is all about going on safari in the UK!

Did you know that the UK offers some of the best safari park experiences in Europe? It’s true! And it means you don’t need to spend big bucks when seeing the big 5.

Whether you’re looking for a drive through experience or to get up close and personal with the animals, we’ve compiled a list of the best safari parks in the UK. These are the best ones in England, Scotland and Wales.

From drive-through experiences at Longleat, to walkthrough experiences such as the foot safari at Woburn Safari Park, there are so many options to choose from. And all of them are guaranteed good days out!

uk safaris
We promise you UK safaris aren’t just about cows and deer!

If you prefer a guided tour with zoo experts, West Midland Safari Park offers fantastic mini bus tours. Or maybe you’d prefer to walk with the wallabies at Manor Wildlife Park? 

We absolutely love watching the monkeys climb on top of the cars at Blair Drummond – be warned because they are very cheeky! Will you choose to sleep with the animals, ride a safari, or hand feed parakeets?

Find out all of this and more in our list of the best UK safari parks.

Best Safari Parks in the UK

Longleat Safari Park

Longleat is famous all over the UK for a reason

Check out the UK’s Number 1 safari park at Longleat, Wiltshire! Discover big cats, elephants, wolves and more at the drive-through safari experience.

Wind up your windows for the safari of a lifetime as you pass through Tiger Territory, Cheetah Kingdom and The Big Game Park, where you can see a herd of Southern white rhinos.

Don’t forget to check out our favourite part – Monkey Mayhem. The troupe of macaques are known for causing mischief (just watch out for your windscreen wipers!)

Jump out at the African Village and Walking Safari as you journey across the African reserve and discover giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and ostriches. 

West Midland Safari Park

best safari park uk
Yes, you really can see lions on safari in England

Whether you’re driving yourself or jumping on a guided minibus tour, the safari experience at West Midland Safari Park can be enjoyed by everyone.

Animal fanatics can book onto a guided minibus safari tour where the knowledgeable staff will teach you all about the different animals. Can you spot the rhinos, lions, camels and elephants across the 5 different zones? You can even take your own car if you’d prefer to experience the safari at your own pace.

View the animals up close on the African Walking Trail. Watch out for the elephants roaming their new habitat, or the giraffes grazing on the trees.

Chessington Safari Resort

chessington safari resort
This looks like a mega album cover, doesn’t it?

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.

Many of the rooms include access to the savannah splash pool and hotel entertainment. To finish off your trip, check Chessington World of Adventure for a day full of thrill rides and zoo fun. 

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

biggest safari park uk
Baby hippo! Too cute!

Whipsnade Zoo is one of the biggest zoos in England with over 10,000 animals. As part of the Zoological Society London, Whipsnade is dedicated to conservation, sustainability, and science. 

Whipsnade Zoo has many incredible animals you won’t see elsewhere, like brown bears and wolverines. This year an endangered baby Asian elephant was born at the zoo! Grab tickets for the Elephant Cafe where you will be able to see mum and baby.

Why not try one of the many experiences at the zoo? Become a keeper for the day and you can work with the rhinos, giraffes and elephants. 

Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park

blair drummond safari
This is the best safari in Scotland

Scottish readers are definitely going to want to visit Blair Drummond Park to get their animal fix. From lions and macaques, to deer and antelope, there’s so much to see. 

Venture through the African animals, Asian animals, the lions and the macaque reserve in your own car for a day of family fun. Will you spot the rhino in the grass or hear the lion roar? The cheeky monkeys love to jump on cars as they pass so don’t forget to lock your doors!

Once you’ve had your drive-through fun you can check out the 300 species at Blair Drummond. I’m a big fan of the wallabies!

Manor Wildlife Park

manor house safari park
And this is the best animal park in Wales

If you like to get up close and personal with the wildlife, Manor Wildlife Park in Wales is the safari park for you. With several walkthrough safari experiences, there are so many animals to spot.

Start off your day in the Wallaby Walkthrough, where visitors can see young Joey’s hop into their mother’s pouch. I love to look for my favourite animal, the red panda, through the forest canopy. 

Don’t forget to visit the Lemurs in their Madagascan home where you can watch them jump and climb. If you’re lucky they might even sit next to you!

Port Lympne Safari Park

best safari parks in the uk
Just like going on an African safari!

Come face to face with rare and endangered animals at Port Lympne Safari Park. Head to Kent to experience hundreds of acres of savannah. 

Port Lympne offers three unique safari experiences for you to choose from. On the AAA safari, an expert ranger takes you on a guided tour to see Savannah animals, like the giraffe, zebra, ostrich and wildebeest. Can you spot the black rhino?

Perhaps you’d prefer to jump on the rhino and giraffe safari, or the rangers tour, where you’ll journey through the Asian and African exhibits. 

Knowsley Safari Park

knowsley safari park
There are so many different types of animals to see here

Did you know that Knowsley Safari Park is actually the biggest safari park in the UK?

This 550 acre safari park is home to animals from across the globe. Journey through Eastern and Southern Asia, where you can see yaks and deer, or check out the African Savannah zone which is home to one of the largest white rhinos in the UK. Hop on the baboon bus for a car-friendly view of the baboons as they swing off the ropes.

Finish off your day with a walk through the Amur Tiger trail where you can get nose to nose with the two tigers.

Woburn Safari Park

woburn safari park
Baby meercats!

Check out over 300 acres of drive-through safari nestled amongst the Bedfordshire landscape at Woburn Safari Park. You can have a whole day of fun with the drive-through and walk-through safari experiences.

Drive through the vast nature reserves to spot the animals lurking within. From bison and rhinos, to bears and tigers, there are so many incredible animals across 5 zones. I’d recommend the Kingdom of the Carnivores, where you can see tigers, lions, bears and wolves!

End your experience with the foot safari, where you can explore small mammals and birds. With lemurs, penguins, birds of prey, otters, wallabies, and more, this is not one to be missed.

Knepp Wildlife Safari

knepp wilding safari
Knepp Wildlife are very ethical and sustainable

If you’re looking for something different, check out the safari experiences at Knepp Safari. Encounter local wildlife, such as ponies, deer, and pigs, on one of the many vehicle and walking safaris at Knepp.

Hop on the all terrain vehicle and enjoy the half-day safari to discover British wildlife. You will see free-roaming herds of cattle, ponies, pigs and deer on your journey.

You’ll get to stop at the wildlife ‘refugia’ and spot small animals, such as grass snakes, toads and voles. There’s even a cafe stop so you can enjoy delicious local brownies.

Why not try a themed safari, such as the autumn safari, where you can spot red deer stags, or the bats and moths safari, where you can see nocturnal creatures.

South Lakes Safari Zoo

south safari zoo
Here you can see giraffes among other animals

Home to over 1,000 of the rarest and most endangered species across the globe, South Lakes Safari Zoo is the perfect place to get up close and personal with the animals.

From Africa and Madagascar, to Australia and South America, there’s so much to see. Check out the jaguars and snow leopards or head to the lemurs and arctic wolves. South Lakes Safari Zoo is committed to conservation so you can view the animals in their natural environment. 

Why not book an animal encounter to learn all about your favourite animal? I’d love to prepare Stanley the sloth his favourite snacks!

Peak Wildlife Park

peak wildlife park
Meet Muriel the penguin!

Peak Wildlife Park offers fantastic walk through experiences for all the family. Whether you decide to explore the African village or walk with the penguins, there’s something for everyone.

Have you ever wanted to walk with the lemurs or wallabies? I certainly have! Watch the lemurs leap through the canopies and listen to their distinct calls, or check out wallaby wonderland where the friendly animals will munch on branches out of your hands.

Head to the African village where you can spot meerkats, chickens, and Pygmy goats. Don’t forget to give their horns a good scratch!

Twycross Zoo

twycross zoo uk
You looking at me?

Twycross Zoo prides itself on being at the heart of conservation. With several walkthrough enclosures and a brand new The Gruffalo Discovery Land, this is a fantastic choice for little ones. 

Walk among the flutters of colourful wings in the Butterfly Paradise or hand feed the birds at Lorikeet Landing. Head to the goat walkthrough where your little ones (and the biggest members of the family!) can stroke the farmyard animals. 

Check out the lemurs as they weave in and out of your feet. You can even watch the tigers roam above you in the glass visitor tunnel. 

That concludes our list of the best UK safari parks. Which one will you be visiting on your next day out with the family? If you have any questions at all, you can let us know in the comments below!

If you’re looking for other fun days out, then check out our guide to the best theme parks in the UK. Again, this is perfect for the whole family!

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