I’ve always loved going to the zoo, something about it brings out the big kid in me and I first visited London Zoo a couple of years back. What I love about ZSL is that they manage to balance a great visitor experience with real compassion for the animals and giving back through their conservation efforts. Last weekend I went back for a return visit – and definitely enjoyed myself just as much as I did the first time!
One of the most popular areas in the zoo is Gorilla Kingdom – and I love the way ZSL have made the whole area really informative. Turns out I’m definitely shorter and a LOT lighter than a fully grown gorilla, unsurprisingly. After a bit of shuffling so I could actually see the gorillas over the heads of the tourist horde, watching them wander around and interact was a bit magical. They actually seemed really ‘human’ in their ways of walking and mannerisms – and strangely graceful, despite their size and weight. In even more exciting news, one of the female gorillas had recently had a baby, so we got to check out the whole family!
We also got to see the tigers chowing down on their lunch – we managed to get a much closer spot than I did last time, although we did have to crane our necks a bit around an awkwardly positioned tree. Last time I went, the one thing I missed out on was the penguin feeding – we just stood staring out at far away flippers in the grim, cold weather (not that the penguins probably minded). This time round, we arrived at Penguin Beach when the feeding was in full swing – and they stuck around for a swim afterwards. FYI, I bloody adore penguins.
Something ZSL London Zoo does really well is bringing visitors up close and personal with the animals. One of their newest exhibits, In With The Lemurs, lets you walk through the lemur enclosure, getting almost close enough to touch (but don’t, they’ll tell you off) the little critters. And even take a selfie with one if you’re that way inclined.
Visiting tourist-y spots in London can be pretty expensive at times – but with 365 Tickets, you can save cash on the usual gate prices. Although 365 kindly provided our tickets, they would have been £19.80 each, saving £10 in total off the usual entry price. Considering we were there for pretty much the whole day, that’s pretty good value. We also kept our costs low by bringing our own lunch – Conor made up some sandwiches and we picked up crisps and grapes for a mid-day picnic. We had a really fun day – thankfully, the weather was beautiful and we managed to organise our time so we saw the displays we wanted. I’d definitely go back every few months if I could!
Have you ever been to London Zoo? What were your favourite animals/exhibits?