Can I visit ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos?
Yes, our Zoos re-opened on 15 June. You can pre-book your ticket here.
The Zoo’s summer opening hours of 10.00 – 18:00 remain the same, but visitors need to pre-book a timed slot.
Will the Zoos be very busy with lots of queues?
We have strictly limited the number of tickets on sale each day and split them into timed slots to spread visitors throughout the day. We will also be quickly scanning visitors on arrival to avoid big queues at the entrance and we have marked out areas where queues might occur to help everyone maintain 2m distance from one another.
We have also stopped several promotions and all third-party sales so that we can control numbers more effectively and ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Are all the exhibits open?
All outdoor exhibits are open along with many indoor areas. However animal walkthrough exhibits are still closed. As we open up more of the Zoos, masks may be required to enter certain areas, so please bring one with you.
We have also introduced one-way routes around London Zoo to help with visitor flow and to ensure social distancing. Visitors can choose from 3 different routes depending on the animals they would like to see and the time they would like to spend in the Zoo.
At Whipsnade, our penguins close at 5.30pm, and last entry to the Butterfly House is at 5.15pm.
Can I take the one-way routes around London Zoo multiple times?
Yes, all the routes end in the Zoo's central courtyard so you can take them in any order and as many times as you wish, as long as you remain in the Zoo.
Tickets are for single entry to the Zoo only.
How long can I stay at the zoo?
There is no time limit on your visit but to manage capacities and ensure safe distancing, we would recommend you stay no longer than 4 hours.
Are the play areas open?
At London Zoo the Animal Adventure play equipment is open from 4 July. The splash park remains closed.
At Whipsnade Zoo, Hullabazoo (indoors and outdoors) remains closed until further notice.
Are the cafes and shops open?
In line with government advice, our sit-in cafes remain closed. If government advice enables them to open, then they will be done so with appropriate contingencies in place including limiting numbers, protective screens, social distancing measures and card transactions.
Take-away units are open. Only limited hot food options are available at Whipsnade, so we encourage you to bring your own picnics and packed lunches, as mentioned below. You will still be able to refill water bottles at our Visitor Centre; buy cold drinks, ice cream, sweets and crisps at each of our Sealion Shop, Penguin Kiosk and Visitor Centre, and treat yourselves to an ice cream at Jude's Ice Cream Van [near Lions] and our Railway Station, on site at Whipsnade. Our Station Store and Africa Outpost will also be able to offer you sandwiched, salads, hot drinks and bakery items.
Our zoo shops are open, so you'll be able to pick up a souvenir there, from outdoor pop-up vendors, or our online shop.
Can I bring my own food and drink? And where can I eat it?
Yes, you can bring your own food. There are open-air picnic areas at both Zoos and outdoor tables will be 2m apart and cleaned regularly. We kindly ask everyone, whether bringing their own food or buying food on site, to help our staff and please dispose of all waste in bins provided.
How will you manage your toilets so they are safe to use?
We are providing extra hand sanitiser for people to use before and after entering the toilet blocks. We also have social distancing markers and reminders for everyone, and expect all visitors to respect these whilst using these facilities. Our cleaning staff will also be cleaning all bathroom facilities with increased frequency. In addition, a queuing system will be in place for the main toilets at Whipsnade with only one family/household being allowed in the toilet block at any one time.
Will you be running talks and demonstrations?
No. As these attract groups of people standing in close proximity, we are not running our talks programme until further notice.
What about animal experiences like ‘Meet the animals’ or overnight stays in the Lodges?
Selected animal experiences are now available - please see the Experiences section of the website for the latest details.
Anyone with pre-booked experiences whose booking has been affected will be contacted by our Supporter Contact team.
Are the Zoos still accessible for wheelchair users?
Will I still be able to hire a wheelchair?
Yes, both Zoos will still have wheelchairs for hire which will be cleaned after each use.
Is the number of tickets I can buy restricted?
In order to maintain social distancing, we need to limit the number of people visiting the Zoo, therefore initially we have set a limit of buying no more than 5 tickets in one transaction. We will monitor our visitor numbers on a regular basis with a view to increasing our capacities when it is safe to do so.
Will I need to wear a mask?
We want you to feel comfortable during your visit. You’re free to wear a facemask if you’d prefer to although, in line with government guidelines, you don’t have to. As we open up more areas of our Zoos, we may need to ask you to wear a mask to access certain areas. For this reason we suggest bringing one with you when you visit. You may also spot some of our team wearing masks when you get here, too.
Why are some zookeepers wearing masks?
Some zookeepers are wearing masks as an extra precaution while going about their work.