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Review Highlights
One of the best experiences of my life

Had the Big Cat Experience - absolutely brilliant. Becky was a fantastic tour guide during our... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
kennedymac
,
Hampton, United Kingdom
via mobile
Wow! Wow! Wow!

This was a truly wonderful experience. We arrived at the gates as the heavens opened and honestly... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Jmai
,
London, United Kingdom
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All reviews open days photography workshop hand feeding cat lovers general public an amazing experience camera settings overnight stay photographic experience these magnificent animals once in a lifetime afternoon tea resident photographer amazing photos wild cats snow leopard lions roaring
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Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Had the Big Cat Experience - absolutely brilliant. Becky was a fantastic tour guide during our private tour. We learnt so much about conservation, breeding programmes and the animals. Would totally recommend this experience.

Thank kennedymac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 days ago

This was a truly wonderful experience. We arrived at the gates as the heavens opened and honestly wondered if the weather would pick up. We parked and headed to the reception area where the friendly staff said take a seat and we dried off. The rest of our party arrived, the sun came out and the best day out started under blue skies.
The big cats are fabulous and we were told a bit about their background as we came to each one; some were ex performing cats ( white tigers are popular for this and also the Lynx advert cat is there) and some were rescues etc but all looked glossy coated and calm. They recognise the different keepers and the staff have a good relationship with the cats and really know their personalities. It's a lovely clean, calm place.
After a good walk meeting all the cats we then got to hand feed them- it was explained that this is only if the cats want to, so you can choose which one but have a back up in mind. This was a breathtaking experience. Thank you so much.

Thank Jmai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I will not say that this experience was cheap by any means, even with a discount through secret escapes, however the money goes back into supporting this place and it’s beautiful animals which absolutely makes it worth the expense! We were treated as VIPs by wonderful friendly staff from the moment we pulled up to the gate and got to experience close encounters of the feline kind, that you would not get elsewhere. The animals that are often sadly endangered and need additional education out in the world to protect them, are treated as respected friends by the keepers and you can see the connections. The animals are not stupid and they know what they like and what they don’t and aren’t forced to act conversely for the keepers for human entertainment with the exception of reward based training to allow medical treatment and checks. They are active and stimulated in good sized pens and although you would always wish for the biggest possible enclosure for any captive animal, they are by no means trapped in a tiny empty cage left to go mad as in Zoo’s of old (or sadly even now in some places in the world). The highlight of the trip was getting to hand feed the cat of your choice (again, only provided that there was a cat willing to participate if they chose not to come and see if there is a free chicken wing available, they were left in peace), the only bad bit being it is over far quicker than you would like. The food, attention and accommodation provided to the 16 human guests in attendance was all wonderful and I could not fault it. All the little touches were truly appreciated. Would highly recommend if you ever get the chance to experience it.

Thank Fearless545096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBigCatSanctuary, Public Relations Manager at The Big Cat Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thank you for reviewing your recent Overnight Big Cat Safari at The Big Cat Sanctuary. We are really happy to hear that you enjoyed the whole experience, from the food and accommodation to getting up close to the big cats themselves, thank you so much.

The quality and uniqueness of the experiences we offer our guests, together with providing the best possible lives for our big cats (a costly business!) is, we appreciate, reflected in the price. It also enables us to focus on our four pillars – Welfare, Breeding, Education and Conservation. We can’t tell you how much your support is appreciated and what a difference it does make to both the big cats here and in the wild.

Many thanks again for taking the time to review The Big Cat Sanctuary.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I had booked a Big Cat Experience for my boyfriend who is very difficult to buy for. I knew he likes big cats (especially the tigers). If you do nothing else for the rest of your life take a trip out to this amazing place and spend a couple of hours with the trained keepers who are sooooo knowledgeable.I had expected to have to sit in the café until he'd 'experience' . Nope....I paid £25 and I was able to go around with them...I was glad I did as I was able to take photos/videos leaving him to absorb all the information. He hand fed one of the tigers (strictly monitored!!) .What an amazing set up. Immaculately clean ( even the gardens are beautiful..well done to the gardeners ) and amazing enclosures with appropriate enrichment for the individual species. The dedicated team are clearly passionate about the welfare of the big cats and they are incredibly well cared for. This is NOT a zoo!!! It has been set up to provide a facility to ensure these big cats are properly monitored and bred from (only if appropriate/needed). They also do overnight stays in lodges and have open days but it is ticketed. I cannot praise The Big Cat Sanctuary highly enough. Wow. WOW WOW !!!

2  Thank Eve M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Today, I had the most amazing day of my life. I have been very lucky visiting some iconic places in the world, however my experience today with Simon and Louise at the sanctuary today will be never been forgotten.
From the moment I arrived for my ranger experience, I was humbled by my surroundings.
The beauty of these amazing animals, their aura and the undoubted passion of my guide Simon made today unforgettable
Having prepared the food for today, my day continued clearing out the lions enclosure, meeting the snow leopards, admiring the sleek outline of the cheetahs, the awesome haunting power of the tigers and the understated beauty of the lynx’s.
The food at lunchtime complimented the relaxed nature of day.
Having been to zoos around the world, today regained my faith in the fact that animals in captivity can live with dignity, surounded by people who love them.
Please go and visit the Sanctuary as the name truly reflects the experience.
Personal thanks to Simon. Your company and experience made the 4 hour journey a breeze. We will be back!

1  Thank Sean P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBigCatSanctuary, Public Relations Manager at The Big Cat Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thank you for reviewing your recent experience at The Big Cat Sanctuary. We are really happy to hear how much you enjoyed it and hope you will be back to see the cats and get an update on our breeding and conservation work in the future.

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We had an overnight luxury lodge stay booked through Secret Escapes. It was VERY expensive but worth every penny. The lodge was luxurious, the food (afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast) were fantastic. The service was very good. And of course seeing all the cats was an amazing experience, especially hand feeding them a chicken leg! My husband fed a jaguar and I fed a tiger!

2  Thank 9210Kitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Like others, we watched the TV documentary Big Cats about the house and were smitten with Maya and Willow. When a lodge stay at the Sanctuary came up on Secret Escapes we jumped at the chance to visit. Is was a 3+ hour journey but well worth it.
The experience starts at 2.30pm when you are welcomed to your lodge. From then on it is a full on adventure with excellent food and visits to see the cats. We stayed in Lion lodge which was very close to the lion enclosure, the roaring at night was amazing.
It is fantastic to take meals inches from the two lions who were so relaxed, they like to lie on the decking next to the dining room windows.
Maddie was our excellent and knowledgable guide for our tour of the Sanctuary. It was great to hear Willow purr! The second day we got to hand feed a chicken drumstick to big cat each (cheetah and jaguar in our case).
The experience ends at 11am but we were delighted to discover that we could wander around the Sanctuary by ourselves until noon.
Every member of staff was really friendly and charming. We would go again tomorrow if we could!

1  Thank Fleur50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Stayed in one of the lodges, nice experience getting close to these magnificent creatures but not much talked about the breading program and what happens next, also thought as they have 34 acres of land the animals are in small enclosures, especially the 2 lions together, well all the animals really, think they should have used more of the 34 acres, so even though I enjoyed my time there I could not help think about the small enclosures, they may be standard by law but still, I'd have thought they would have been bigger..

Thank Honeymooners1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBigCatSanctuary, Public Relations Manager at The Big Cat Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thank you for taking the time to review your experience at The Big Cat Sanctuary. It is very much appreciated as we are always striving to improve the experience here and feedback is an essential part of this.

We are sorry to hear that you left the sanctuary without learning about all your areas of interest, breeding is one of our four main areas of focus at the Sanctuary. However, our keepers will tailor their talks and information given depending on the questions and queries raised by the group and we encourage visitors to ask as many questions as they would like and again we’re sorry if this did not cover as much as you would have liked on your visit. You can find information on our contributions to global breeding programmes on our website and please also feel free to contact us if you would like a more in-depth knowledge on this or any other topic related to our cats or our conservation work.

Regarding your observation on the size of our enclosures, there are guidelines laid out by the Secretary of State for Zoo Licensing – all our enclosures either adhere to those guidelines or are larger and are most definitely compliant to the legal requirement. We endeavour to provide the best possible environments for all our cats here at The Big Cat Sanctuary by ensuring they are given enrichment to stimulate them both mentally and physically. You would have seen the high-rise walkways, pools, feeding poles, comfy dens in the inside areas, barrels, balls, ropes, scratch posts and other items in the enclosures all of which are given on a daily basis to really enhance the day to day lives of our animals.

Thanks again for your review and we hope to see you at The Big Cat Sanctuary again sometime in the future.

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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We celebrated our wedding anniversary. We stayed in the Puma Lodge excellent. We love small and big cats and the experience was amazing. The keeper who escorted us around the Sanctuary was knowledgeable and very interesting to listen to and to be so near the big cats, WOW. All in all excellent experience.

1  Thank Cindy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Having watched Giles Clark in Tigers about the house and Big Cars about the house we really wanted to visit the sanctuary to see how Maya and Willow were getting on. When the overnight lodge stay came up on secret escapes we jumped at the chance. From the moment we arrived and all through our stay we were welcomed warmly and looked after very well. The lodge was extremely well thought out and we had every thing we could possibly need. Even a small jug of proper milk in the fridge to make tea and coffee. The beds were very comfortable as well. We had afternoon tea which was pretty substantial and included sandwiches scones and cakes as well as tea and a glass of fizz. After tea we went on our first 2 hour tour around the sanctuary. Gemma out tour guide was very friendly and was extremely knowledgeable and we learnt a great deal about all the cats we saw. On this tour we checked in on Willow and she looked really well and settled. After an hour resting in our lodge we headed back to the main lodge for a pre dinner big cat themed cocktail and a delicious 3 course dinner. The food was excellent and the service was great and friendly too. Again we were very well looked after. All of our meals were served looking into an enclosure where two male lions were, with just a pane of glass between us. Brilliant view. After dinner we retired to our lodge for the night. Apart from the deep rumbling roars of Tiny and Kafara it was very peaceful and we had a good night's sleep. The following morning after an excellent full English breakfast we went on our second tour with Gemma. This tour started with a visit to the now famous Maya who looked fantastic. We then went on to visit other big cats and we all had the opportunity to feed one. All on all I would say this was a fantastic experience and well worth the visit. I would definitely go back. Thank you The Big Cat Sanctuary and everybody who looked after us so well and made it the experience it was.

1  Thank Wendy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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