We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Ranger for the day”

The Big Cat Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Smarden
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Big Cat Sanctuary The Big Cat Sanctuary is a conservation charity, home to over 50 big and small cats across 16 different species. We are proud to have the most diverse collection in the UK, from the largest, to the smallest, to the most endangered in the world, hidden away in the Kent countryside. We are a centre of excellence whose primary objective is the breeding of some of the most endangered species on the planet as well as offering sanctuary to retired and homeless cats. The breeding centre is proud to be part of the EEP (European Endangered Species Breeding Programme). This is a body that regulates the captive breeding of endangered cats by making recommendations for breeding to produce a strong, healthy and diverse gene-pool within the captive population to ultimately be reintroduced safely into their natural habitat to mix with their counterparts in the wild. Breeding success so far includes the Amur leopard programme which is the world’s most endangered big cat, estimated between 70-80 remaining in the wild globally, also to the Sumatran tigers, Amur tigers and Pallas cats. Big Cat Sanctuary operates by way of personal big cat experiences including big cat tours, individual and group photography days, overnight big cat safari nights and adoptions. All of which need to be pre-booked in advance of a visit. The centre takes pride in delivering fully immersive, personal and amazing experiences that will leave any big cat lover with memories to treasure forever.
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Great day out. The MD is best known for The TV program on BBC 2 but Giles is a really down to earth person who cares about the work the sanctuary does and is in constant demand due to the popularity of the program. However no Mr celebrity. Giles was very pleased to have his photo taken and was very welcoming. If you like cats book a day or visit on open days. July is next open days I think 4 of them.Nata and Willow are so beautiful and show stopping time wasters lol I could have stayed all day with them. Charlotte was fab.... thank you Charlotte! Xx and the food was bril too! Please support this sanctuary and visit, you will not be disappointed. Cheers Giles and team we will be back. Hope open days go well again and we will try and pop across from Wales for the day.

Thank Raymond H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (630)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"open days"
in 79 reviews
"photography workshop"
in 23 reviews
"hand feed"
in 24 reviews
"cat lovers"
in 20 reviews
"general public"
in 21 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 28 reviews
"camera settings"
in 10 reviews
"photographic experience"
in 8 reviews
"these magnificent animals"
in 9 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 10 reviews
"amazing photos"
in 8 reviews
"resident photographer"
in 8 reviews
"wild cats"
in 17 reviews
"overnight stay"
in 11 reviews
"chicken leg"
in 7 reviews
"birthday present"
in 21 reviews
"afternoon tea"
in 24 reviews

68 - 72 of 630 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

My husband arranged a one to one photography day. What a day absolutely amazing. Alma was brilliant so knowledgeable and helpful regarding photography and the relationship she has with the cats is brilliant. This was a fantastic day, way better than expected. I would recommend this to any budding photographers out there or anyone who enjoys wild cats. Thank you Alma for such a memorable day.

5  Thank Isobel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

Following the tv programme recently with the black Jaguar cub Maya the big cat sanctuary in Kent has received great attention to the great work carried on there.
I was introduced to the sanctuary by a friend and now I am hooked. The open days in July are well worth the visit and I can assure you you will revisit. I experienced an overnighter in one of the fantastic lodges it was brilliant and there are opportunities to take part in many other ways to support them in their work. Go on an experience you will never forget.

13  Thank Diana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

The whole experience was amazing. We fed nearly every type of cat from tigers, lions, snow leopards and of course the lovely cheetah's. The atmosphere was very relaxed, all the cats looked very happy and content. The staff were amazing! Our guide knew everything about each cat, she was a book of knowledge. It was a perfect birthday treat!

2  Thank Milton5a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 27 March 2018

I can only reiterate other 5 star reviews on here for the overnight experience. Everything from start to finish was amazing and exceeded all our expectations!
The lodges were fantastic, beautifully fitted out and perfect decor. All the food was wonderful and plentiful. Every member of staff we met was so friendly and our guide Gillian was brilliant.
All the cats looked well cared for by staff who know them well. This sanctuary is doing great work for their cats and cats in general and they also provide great experiences for the public. I’m sure it is hard to get the right balance between these things, but they certainly have managed.
If you get the chance to go then take it!

12  Thank Sarah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Big Cat Sanctuary also viewed


Been to The Big Cat Sanctuary? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing