Can I visit ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos?
Yes, our Zoos are safely open and covid-secure. Both ZSL Whipsnade and London Zoos fall under social distancing guidance, which should have a minimal impact on your visit. You can pre-book your ticket here.
Visitors will need to pre-book tickets online (including Members, Fellows and Patrons). From 17 May, Members, Fellows and Patrons will only need to pre-book for peak-day visits, which are weekends as well as school and bank holidays. Visitors will select a date to visit and are granted entry any time after their selected time up to 5pm, one hour before we close at 6pm.
Please wear a face covering on entering Whipsnade Zoo unless you are exempt or are entering the Zoo by car. You can remove it when you are outdoors and have passed through our admissions gate.
Will the Zoos be very busy with lots of queues?
We have strictly limited the number of tickets on sale each day. We will also be quickly scanning visitors on arrival to avoid big queues at the entrances, and we have marked out areas where queues might occur to help everyone maintain 2m distance from one another.
We have also postponed 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?
We are working hard to have as much of our experience open as possible but all of our indoor enclosures at both our Zoos remain closed to ensure we adhere to social distancing rules. They will reopen from 17 May onwards where possible.
Where open, masks are advised and are mandatory for visitors in indoor areas such as our gift shops and walkthrough exhibits such as Gorilla Kingdom at London Zoo. You don't have to wear a mask during the rest of your visit in outdoor areas, but we do encourage it as a courtesy to other visitors and staff.
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' area will close half an hour before zoo closing time.
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. If you leave the premises, you will not be granted re-entry.
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, but the Splash Park remains closed. At Whipsnade, Hulabazoo indoor play will reopen on 17 May, and our brand new outdoor play area is now open.
Are the cafes and shops open?
In line with government advice our Terrace Restaurant at London Zoo is operating a take-away only service but will reopen for indoor dining from 17 May onwards. At Whipsnade, our Base Camp restaurant will open for indoor dining from 19 May, with social distancing measures in place.
Additional take-away units are open around both of our Zoos including a fish and chip van and a barbecue both on-site at Whipsnade. You are welcome to bring your own picnics and packed lunches, as mentioned below. You will still be able to refill water bottles at our Visitor Centre at Whipsnade and by Penguin Beach at London.
Our on-site shops are safely open and our online shop is a great place to pick up a souvenir online.
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?
As these attract groups of people standing in close proximity, we are not running our regular talks programme until further notice.
What about animal experiences like ‘Meet the animals’ or overnight stays in the Lodges?
Experiences are available to book in advance - please see the Experiences section of the website for the latest details.
Anyone with pre-booked experiences whose booking has been affected by previous closures will have been contacted by our Supporter Contact team. If you haven't heard from us, please email us.
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 have set a limit of buying no more than 6 tickets in one transaction. If you are visiting as a larger group adhering to the rule of 6, you can book over more than one transaction.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
Yes, please make sure each of your party bring one with you and review our face mask guidance lower down on this page.
How is ZSL contributing to NHS Test and Trace, and what does this mean for my data?
In accordance with the latest government COVID-19 guidance, ZSL is required to ask for names and contact details of all Zoo visitors aged 16 and over for NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace purposes. Please submit this data before your visit here.
If you visit one of our Zoos, we will ask you to give us some basic information at the point you purchase a ticket, including your name and email address. Government guidelines ask us to do this to help NHS Test and Trace reduce the risk of a further COVID-19 outbreak. You will find check-in points in some areas for use with the app.
If the information is requested by the NHS Test and Trace service, we will share it with them so they can use it for contact tracing and to investigate local outbreaks of COVID-19. Only the basic information needed for NHS Track and Trace will be shared, and only if deemed necessary by the NHS – other details collected during your transaction (e.g. payment details) are not passed on. This process allows NHS Test and Trace to quickly identify people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. NHS Test and Trace can then ask them to act in ways that keep them and others safe.