ZSL London Zoo

Meet the Animals of the World at London Zoo

With over 750 different species London Zoo offers a great day out in the heart of the capital, where the whole family can see animals from around the world and book experiences they will never forget.

Highlights

  • Enjoy the underwater viewing area at Penguin Beach, watching the antics of the ever-popular Humboldt penguin colony.
  • Peer through the floor to ceiling glass windows for an up-close viewing experience with a Sumatran tiger.
  • Admire the sheer size of the Galapagos tortoise, the largest in the world, who can live for over 150 years.

What to See and Do

Land of the Lions

Immersive walkways allow you to watch these beautiful, but fearsome creatures from a variety of viewing points. The Indian-themed enclosure takes you on a journey through crumbling ruins, a temple, a train station, a guard hut and more. 

Help the zoo’s rangers handle an emergency in the lion’s Gir Forest habitat in an interactive adventure experience designed to help you learn and become even more inspired by these impressive big cats.

Gorilla Kingdom

Large viewing galleries allow you to watch the zoo’s colony of western lowland gorillas. The purpose-built environment includes an island and is designed to replicate their African rainforest habitat, making for an engaging and atmospheric place to view these wonderful animals. 

In recent years the colony has grown with the birth of two baby gorillas, part of the zoo’s ongoing conservation work.

In To Africa

When most of us think about wild animals we automatically think of Africa and the rich variety of iconic species this continent contains. London Zoo’s In To Africa zone gives you the chance to see up close a wide range of African animals. 

You will see giraffes, hunting dogs, warthogs, zebras, pygmy hippos and more as you explore this exhibit. Head up to the viewing platform where you can look out over the African landscape through a giraffe’s perspective.

Rainforest Life

Step inside London Zoo’s Rainforest Life exhibit where you can see a range of animals including monkeys, tamandua and sloths. This exhibit also has a night-time area to explore, where you will see how the forest’s nocturnal animals such as bats live.

Book a Rainforest experience to have a guide take you on to the forest floor where you will have the chance to hand feed the monkeys.

Animal Adventures

Satisfy your little one’s craving to explore and engage by making sure they visit the zoo’s Animal Adventure exhibit. Here they can meet animals such as meerkats, mongoose, porcupines and owls. 

What better way to stir their fascination for nature and wildlife then seeing and learning about them at such close quarters. If they still have energy to spare, Animal Adventures also has a play area and a water splash zone.

Did you know: (5 interesting facts!)

  1. London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world, originally founded in 1826 and opened to the public in 1847.
  1. Amid all the listed buildings at the zoo is a grade I listed telephone box, which is painted white with red window panels and can be found outside Penguin Beach.
  1. The AA Milne favourite, Winnie the Pooh, was inspired by a gentle black bear called Winnie who resided at the zoo between 1914 to 1934.
  1. Charles Darwin was a frequent visitor to London Zoo and this was where he saw his first ape, an orangutan called Jenny, whose behaviour he noted was like a human child’s.
  1. With so many animals there is obviously a considerable amount of natural waste produced, which is recycled and used as fertiliser.

History

  • 1828 – London Zoo founded, originally as a place for scientific study.
  • 1847 – Zoo opened to the public to help funding.
  • 1853 – Opens the first public aquarium.
  • 1902 – Major reorganisation of the zoo saw many animals placed in outside enclosures where they flourished, having previously been kept indoors as it had been thought they would not cope with the British weather.
  • 1947 – Arrival of Guy the Gorilla on Guy Fawkes night, one of the Zoo’s most well-known characters.
  • 1962 – An Arabian oryx named Caroline is lent to the world herd in Arizona as part of the first co-operative international breeding program.
  • 1991 – After an announcement to close the zoo following a period of financial difficulties, a swell of public support allows the zoo’s survival.
  • 2011 – Penguin Beach is opened, England’s largest penguin pool.
  • 2016 – Opening of Land of the Lions, five times the size of the original enclosure, and built to resemble an Indian Village, Sasan Gir.

Facilities and Accessibility

Although an attraction containing areas with many old buildings, much of the zoo is wheelchair accessible. This includes Land of the Lions and Tiger Territory, both of which are wheelchair friendly areas with lifts available for the viewing platform. 

Most buildings have ramps to allow for access, while the paths around the zoo are largely tarmac. 

There are a number of accessible toilets located around the zoo, while a changing places toilet facility can be found at the Animal Adventure area. Assistance dogs are welcome, though you will be required to meet with the Animal Duty Manager first for a briefing.

London Zoo offers a range of places to eat and drink, catering to a variety of dietary requirements. Wherever you choose to eat you can enjoy local, seasonal produce as you sit or on the go. 

From the restaurant and deli to the cafe and zoo kiosks, you should find something for everyone. If you are just looking for something to quench a thirst there are plenty of options for hot and cold drinks too.

The London Zoo gift shop stocks a wide range of animal-inspired souvenirs and collectables. Choose from books, clothing, toys, games, mugs and other assorted gifts.

Visitors to the zoo can mark their visit by opting for one of the animal adoption packs, helping to protect the species in the wild.