For a taste of real-life safari without the trip to Africa, head to Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent.
We love it because... This conservation park looks (and feels) better than a trip the zoo, with the animals roaming relatively freely around these huge tropical gardens. Unlike some bigger drive-through safaris, you're more likely to actually see the animals too, because they're in close range. It's also the perfect size for kids and toddlers (ours managed to walk round pretty much the whole thing) and the paths are buggy-friendly.
We spotted... The BEST selection of animals that we've seen in the UK. We won't claim to be animal experts but the kids were amazed at the sight of leopards, elephants, rhinos and lions in close proximity.
What to know... It's perfectly set up for families, with a large carpark and annual visitor pass options, loads of loos and animal juices in the multiple cafes! It's free for under 3's so make the most of the pre-school years while you can!
What's not so good... It's a good 1.5/2 hour drive from South London, so make the most of those 6am starts and get going early!