Leisure & Travel
by Aspect County

The Year of the Tiger

February marks the start of Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year because the dates of celebration follow the phases of the moon and in 2022 it falls on Tuesday 1st February. It is a festival that marks the end of winter and the beginning of a long-awaited spring. Much like astrology signs, every Chinese New Year starts with a new animal’s zodiac year (although these change yearly rather than monthly) this year it is time to celebrate The Year of the Tiger.

The Big Cat Sanctuary – Amasia

Big cats in Kent
This spring why not celebrate the Year of the Tiger with a trip to see these magnificent creatures? You don’t have to travel far to do so, as we in the South East are very fortunate to have two wildlife parks, home to both Amur and Sumatran tigers, in Kent!

The Big Cat Sanctuary
The Big Cat Sanctuary is a conservation charity in Kent dedicated to the conservation of wild cats. Founded in the year 2000, the Sanctuary is home to around forty cats spanning fourteen different species, eleven of which are classed as more than vulnerable to the risk of extinction on the IUCN red list. They offer sanctuary to retired cats as well as a being a breeding centre of excellence. 

The work they do is helping to create a future for some of the most endangered and iconic cats on the planet. Conservation has never been more critical, along with the need to maintain biodiversity in wildlife habitats where big cats play such an integral role.

Port Lympne – Amba & Amura

Port Lympne Reserve
Port Lympne Reserve, in Kent, currently holds one of the six remaining subspecies of tiger: the Amur tiger. The largest cat in the world, with males averaging 260 kg, these are true snow tigers, whose habitat in the boreal forests of the Russian Far East, Northeast China and possibly North Korea, is below freezing for several months a year. 

Port Lympne’s two beautiful tigresses, sisters Amura and Amba, arrived at the Reserve in 2018, as part of a conservation breeding programme. These programmes form part of a Global Species Management Plan for Amur tigers, coordinated by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in conjunction with its member regional zoological associations. The goal is the long-term preservation, through global collaborations between zoos, of a genetically diverse back up population of animals threatened by extinction.

Port Lympne – Amba

The Big Cat Sanctuary – Nias

Stay within a whisker of tigers
If you want to make it an unforgettable experience and spend more time with these captivating big cats then both parks have luxury accommodation on site for an overnight stay to surpass any other. For more information on events, open days and accommodation visit their websites below. 



The Big Cat Sanctuary – Puna