Apart from the various attractions like Big Ben, London Eye, London Bridge, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace, visiting a zoo with family is on top of everyone’s list. The ZSL London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo, opened on 27th April 1898. It is strategically located in the central part of the city and a short walk away from Primrose Hill and various tourist attractions like Regents Park, Madame Tussauds, and The British Museum. Camden area, Paddington area, and Baker Street are near the zoo. Take a trip to this oasis with over fifteen thousand animals of more than seven hundred species.
Visitors can meet the animals in their natural habitat, divided into enclosures spread over fifteen hectares of land in the ZSL London Zoo. Pick your way from the color-coded pink, blue, and orange routes and immerse yourself in the magical kingdom of animals. Each route ends in the same place.
Attractions and Activities in ZSL London Zoo
The newly opened Monkey Valley in August 2022 will transport you to the mountainous forests of Central Africa, set against a peaceful backdrop of a lagoon and a 30 feet waterfall. See the colobus monkeys swinging, leaping, sleeping, and lounging in their tree-top-inspired habitat.
Land of the Lions
The Land of the Lions, gives visitors a chance to get closer to Asiatic lions and explore the 2500 square meters of Indian-themed exhibit.
The Gorilla Kingdom is a moated island and home to western lowland gorillas. There are crested black macaque and white-naped mangabeys too.
Animal Adventure is a favorite among children, featuring a playground and a water fountain. Animals found here are alpacas, llamas, ring-tailed coatis, crested porcupines, goats, and kunekune pigs.
The largest penguin pool is at Penguin beach. Watch the Humboldt penguins swimming, having fun, and diving in the water in search of food from an underwater viewing area.
Come face to face with the giraffes from the viewing platform and see the Chapman’s zebras, okapis, warthogs, pygmy hippos, and African wild dogs in their natural habitat.
Rainforest Life and Night Life
Go on a journey to the treetops and meet a variety of species like the two-toed sloths, red titi monkeys, emperor tamarins, Geoffrey’s marmosets, and many more in the Rainforest Life. Meet the creatures like pottos, slender lorises, Seba’s short-tailed bats, and blind cavefish in an amazing nocturnal experience at Night Life.
Come face to face with nature’s awesome predators in the Tiger Territory and learn about the Sumatran tigers.
Visit the Aquarium to learn about marine life. The ZSL London Zoo’s Aquarium is home to European and rudd eels, stingrays, sea horses, angelfish, piranhas, clown fish, butterfly fish, and more.
The Reptile House
The Reptile House, opened in 1927, is home to rattlesnakes, chameleons, crocodiles, king cobras, puff adders, emerald tree boas, Yemen chameleons, and poison dart frogs.
Giants of the Galapagos
Opened in 2009 in memory of Charles Darwin, step inside the Giants of the Galapagos exhibit to enjoy the climate of the Galapagos archipelago, and home to three giant tortoises, featuring two heated pools.
The Attenborough Komodo Dragon House
This enclosure that houses Komodo dragons is designed to resemble the natural habitat of dragons with a dry river bed and the sounds of Indonesian birds playing in the background.
In with the Lemurs
Meet the ring-tailed lemurs, aye-ayes, and white-tailed antsangys in this exhibit. This exhibit resembles a shrub forest in Madagascar with Chusan and Loquat trees.
In with the Spiders
This exhibit is a walk-through experience where visitors are surrounded by golden orb spiders and see them spinning their delicate webs.
Visitors get the opportunity to see a species of butterflies like the blue morpho butterfly, clipper butterfly, glass wing butterfly, and atlas moths, as they flutter around in this temperature-controlled environment.
Bird safari is a walk-through exhibit that houses Scarlet ibis, Sacred ibis, Abdim’s storks, Bernier’s teals, and Marbled teal.
Tiny Giants: From Minibeasts to Coral Reefs
Tiny Giants is a newly opened exhibit in the year 2021. Visitors can spot smaller creatures, such as fruit beetles, leafcutter ants, cave crickets, African land snails, and underwater corals.
The Blackburn Pavilion
The Blackburn Pavilion is a rainforest-themed bird aviary that houses fifty different species of exotic birds like Victoria-crowned pigeons, Red-tailed laughing thrush, Scarlet-chested sunbirds, Socorro doves, Red-crested turacos, etc.
Restaurants in the ZSL London Zoo
Be sure to visit the restaurants in the London zoo, especially the Terrace Restaurant near the Zoo’s exit, for their grills, soups, fish and chips, stone-baked pizza, and deli counter. The Peckish Parrot Cafe and Aquarium Kiosk near the entrance of the Zoo serves pastries, sandwiches, and hot drinks. The Animal Adventure Cafe next to the children’s area is a favourite spot for sandwiches and drinks (hot or cold).
Feeding Times and Shows
- Early Birds Feeding Time – 11 am.
- Daily Tour of the Zoo – 10 am.
- Otter Snack Time – 11.30 am.
- Penguin Beach Live Shows – 11.30 am, 1.30 pm, and 4.30 pm.
- Tiger Feeding Time – noon.
- Coati Crunch Time – noon.
- Porcupine and Coati Feed Time – 4.30 pm.
- Animals in Action – noon.
- Meet the keeper – 1. at 30 pm.
- Megabugs Live – 1 pm.
- Land of the Giants – 2 pm.
- Rainforest Live – 2.30 pm.
- In with the Lemurs – 3 pm.
- Spiders live – 3 pm.
- Super Species Live – 2.15 pm and 3.30 pm.
- Camel Chat – 3.15 pm.
- Giraffe High Tea – 3.30 pm.
London Zoo is a twenty-minute drive from Central London. There are trains from Camden Town Station – a 15-minute walk, and Regent’s Park Station – a 20-minute walk from London Zoo. There are buses too that drop you just outside the zoo.
ZSL London Zoo tickets
The cost of Standard tickets is (excluding the voluntary 10 per cent donation):
- Children (3 to 15 years) – £21.45
- Adults (16 to 64 years) – £33
- Senior Citizens (65 years and above) – £29.70
There are discounts on tickets available for students, senior citizens, and the disabled. Children under the age of three can enter the zoo for free. If you are travelling in groups of 10 or more or with family, you can take advantage of the discounted ticket package options.
ZSL London Zoo opening hours
The ZSL London Zoo is open daily (except Christmas Day) at 10 am. The closing time varies depending on the time you are visiting the zoo. The closing time from April to August is 6 pm, September to October is 5.30 pm, and November to March is 4 pm. Visit the ZSL London Zoo website to learn about the seasonal opening times.
With fabulous opportunities to get closer to animals at Meet the Animals and interactive experiences like being a zoo keeper for the day, discover wildlife at the ZSL London Zoo. You can contribute to several conservation programs for endangered species too. Incorporate education into a family vacation by visiting the ZSL London Zoo for a memorable experience with your loved ones.