Your Memorable Safari Stay
Experience the best wildlife holidays at Watatunga, where the variety of the reserve means every day is different. Nestled in the heart of Norfolk, we provide the ultimate safari park stay that promises a truly unique wildlife experience. If you’re looking for family holidays or short breaks in Norfolk, look no further.
Choose from one of our newly renovated holiday cottages – be it the Stable Cottage, Gate Lodge, or Major’s Lodge. Each promises an unforgettable Norfolk weekend break.
Guests who book direct are welcomed on a complimentary guided tour the morning after arrival, learning about the animals and their conservation stories, making it a perfect choice for those interested in conservation holidays. Once introduced to the reserve, you have exclusive use of electric buggies throughout your stay, allowing you to enjoy the magic of Watatunga’s wildlife at your leisure. A wheelchair accessible buggy is soon to be available to those staying at our accessible accommodation, Major’s Lodge.
The Gate Lodge
Ideal for a wildlife holiday or Norfolk weekend break, The Gate Lodge is our newest option for a safari stay. This perfect gabled cottage is a peaceful retreat. Lovingly restored to sleep four, the cottage is found on the fringes of the Watlington estate, overlooking one of Watatunga’s breeding paddocks. Imagine waking up to a blesbok outside your window or relaxing in the garden, overlooking your own safari scene.
This newly renovated, single-storey wooden safari lodge has stunning views over the vast grasslands and lakes of Watatunga Wildlife Reserve. Sleeping up to eight, it offers an immersive experience with views of endangered deer and antelope species right from the sitting room. Major’s Lodge is also a gem for those looking for wheelchair accessible stays or accessibility holidays.
The Stable Cottage
The Stable Cottage is a five-star retreat for those seeking a family holiday in Norfolk. Set within the beautiful walled garden of the Watlington estate, it provides year-round comfort. This luxury home-from-home comes equipped with an open fire, a picturesque garden room ideal for dining, and four bedrooms, including a ground floor bedroom suite. Each room has its own bathroom facilities, with a luxurious four-poster bed in the master suite.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are wheelchair accessible holidays like in our safari accommodation?
We welcome visitors with disabilities along with helpers and carers at all our properties. Major’s Lodge is currently the only property that has been adapted with wider doors, lower light-switches and a wet room. Please see our full Accessibility Guide for Major’s Lodge and do not hesitate to contact us (link) with any questions.
Are dogs allowed at Watatunga Wildlife Reserve?
Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in our accommodation.
However, for day visitors, we have three kennel spaces available to hire at reception. We can only accept fully vaccinated dogs and the price per kennel is £10.00. Each kennel is 2m long, 1m high and 1m wide and so each should fit 2 large and one small dog easily. We disinfect kennels between use with a product called Safe4 and while we can provide water bowls, we prefer that you bring your own. Our reception building is approx 0.4 miles from the roadside entrance – it is not necessarily staffed all the time while you’re out on tour but each kennel is provided with a secure lock. Please use the contact form to book. Dogs at reception are left entirely at their owner’s risk – each kennel is locked while you are out on tour. Unfortunately, we cannot facilitate dogs other than guide dogs on tour. Any further queries or to book a kennel space, please fill in the contact form on our website.
What is there to do on a family holiday in Norfolk?
Watatunga is the ideal spot for a multi-generational holiday as there is so much to do on and off the reserve. With north Norfolk’s best beaches under an hour away, you have easy access to the famous Norfolk coastline without the crowds that come with it. Sandringham, with its award winning play-area, is a 20 minute drive and the perfect place to stretch your legs and explore. Water sports galore, a seafront funfair and Sea Life centre await in Hunstanton or you can go inland to climb the canopy at GoApe Thetford or visit our partners at Pensthorpe Natural Park where young and old can enjoy the gardens, flamingos and another phenomenal play zone.
What is there to do on a short break in west Norfolk?
If you’re a keen wildlife photographer like many of our guests, you may find yourself in the reserve all day, but it is worth tearing yourself away to explore our beautiful surroundings. West Norfolk is a wildlife haven and with WWT Welney, Wild Ken Hill and the Norfolk wildlife Reserve’s sites in easy reach, there is plenty to see. If you need a more cultural break, Sandringham is a 20 minute drive as is the National Trust’s Oxburgh Hall. King’s Lynn, complete with historic port and the only known stage on which Shakespeare is known to have trod, has much to explore and Ely, with its magnificent cathedral and market place is also near at hand.
What is there to do in the local area?
In addition to visiting the Watatunga Wildlife Reserve, local activities include walking, cycling, fishing and golf.
The Angel Pub (01553 811326): They have a large outdoor seating space with a new BBQ menu and takeaway options. Specials almost always include local produce and, in season they serve local game and seafood.
Rodwell’s Fish and Chip Shop, 44 Downham Rd, Watlington, King’s Lynn PE33 0HS (07943 844133): A locally renowned takeaway which in late summer sells the best chips made from potatoes grown on our farm. If they aren’t open, there is a Fish & Chip shop in nearby Magdalen which is also highly recommended.
Sandringham Gardens and Estate
Sandringham Royal Park spreads over 243 hectares with waymarked trails for cycling or exploring by foot and a children’s play area which is fantastic and free to visit except for car parking costs. Tickets for the house and gardens must be prebooked, but you can enjoy a lovely walk, cycle ride and the fantastic children’s play area without booking. Please see the Ticket Pages to book. The website will give you up to date info regarding which parts of the estate are open.
The nearest sandy beach with easy parking close by is probably Brancaster but you may have to queue for parking unless you get there early. To avoid a long walk, park at the Beach Car Park next to the golf club. Don’t worry about the crowds near the entrance to the beach, head right or left and walk as far as you like to find space. The beach is vast.
Hunstanton beach right next to the town offers a step back in time with a promenade filled with food stalls, bingo halls and a fun fair at the end. The Wash offers no waves and a long walk out to sea. Great for beach cricket. Old Hunstanton beach is considerably nicer – the best place to park is Sea Lane car park to the right of Le Strange Arms Hotel. It’s free to park there from 5 p.m.
Holkham Beach is thought to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Norfolk. The hordes of visitors reflect that but again, if you’re prepared to walk and find a secluded spot, the stunning setting is worth it.