Sa­fari park ex­pe­ri­ence wows top tourism judges

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Ella Copeland ecopeland@thek­m­group.co.uk

A SLICE of Africa is en­joy­ing the taste of suc­cess.

The Liv­ing­stone Lodge Overnight Sa­fari at Port Lympne wild an­i­mal park near Hythe is cel­e­brat­ing af­ter win­ning the Best Tourist Ex­pe­ri­ence cat­e­gory at the an­nual En­joy Eng­land Awards for Ex­cel­lence.

The venue, sit­u­ated in­side the an­i­mal park, of­fers vis­i­tors the chance to spend the night on sa­fari ... in Kent.

Guests can sam­ple a night un­der the stars and first-class au­then­tic African din­ing. They can then go on a dawn sa­fari to see an­i­mals such as ze­bra, wilde­beest, rhino, gi­raffe and ostrich.

Port Lympne spokes­woman Char­lotte Jones said: “We are so de­lighted to win this award and be recog­nised on a na­tional level.

“Stay­ing at Liv­ing­stone Lodge is a com­pletely unique ex­pe­ri­ence that, strange as it may sound, re­ally is like be­ing on a sa­fari in Africa.”

An­other de­lighted nom­i­nee at the awards cer­e­mony was An­drew Thomp­son, owner of Cold­har­bour Cot­tage, Stone-in­Oxney.

The hol­i­day cot­tage picked up the sil­ver award in the Self Cater­ing Hol­i­day of the Year cat­e­gory.

Cold­har­bour Cot­tage, which can sleep up to six peo­ple, was com­pletely ren­o­vated in 2006, with all its orig­i­nal fea­tures ei­ther re­stored or re­placed by lo­cal crafts­men.

Win­ners re­ceived their awards from VisitEng­land chair­man Vis­count­ess Cob­ham at a cer­e­mony held at the Brighton Dome.

The awards, which are now in their 21st year, aim to recog­nise the “out­stand­ing qual­ity” of the UK’s very best tourism busi­nesses.

Liv­ing­stone Lodge won the Best Tourist Ex­pe­ri­ence cat­e­gory at the En­joy Eng­land Awards for Ex­cel­lence

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