ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos are currently closed and preparing to re-open on Wednesday 2 December

While we understand this national action is necessary to curb the spread of Coronavirus, it adds a huge burden to an incredibly tough year for us.

Our focus throughout has always been keeping our animals happy and well cared for, and knowing we would be able to share the joy of our Zoos with visitors again.

But once more we will need to shoulder the costs for the food and care of our 20,000 animals with no way to generate income for ourselves.
It’s now more than ever we need your support. Please, if you can:

Give what you can to our charity
Treat loved ones to something from our online shop
Buy a ticket for a future visit
Buy a ticket as a gift for someone

In the meantime, we have tried our best to answer any other questions you might have, below:

Information on previous bookings
  • I’ve booked for a visit and now you’re going to be closed, what now?

Our teams will be in touch with you over the coming days, don’t worry. Please keep an eye on your inbox, junk and spam folders – you’ll hear from us soon. If you booked by phone, we’ll give you a call. If you’ve not heard from us by within 72 hours of your booked visit, please email us.

  • I’ve booked for Meet Santa – what does this mean for me?

We are very sad that the Meet Santa events (Meet Santa, VIP Santa and the Animal Gift Giving and Enrichment sessions) at both London and Whipsnade Zoos this Christmas will no longer be taking place. 
At this stage, we do not know what government restrictions the Zoos might have to operate within when we are allowed to reopen in early December, and so we have taken the difficult decision to cancel these events now to avoid last minute disappointment during the festive season. We will therefore be refunding all tickets in full.

In the meantime, you do not need to do anything.

If you bought your tickets online, we will automatically be refunding the cost of your tickets back into the bank account of the original payment. This will happen during the first two weeks of November. 

If you bought your tickets over the phone, we will be calling you directly to arrange your refund.

If you bought a Zoo admissions ticket at the same time as your Meet Santa event, then we will be converting these tickets into a flexi ticket which can be used to re-book a visit any time over the next 12 months including your original visit date or during the peak Easter and Summer periods next year. These will be emailed to you separately.

  • I’ve booked an Experience – will it still run?

We have now contacted everyone who has booked a London Zoo Lodge, or other Experience at either of our Zoos, during the closure period. If you believe you haven’t heard from us and your booking is intended to go ahead in November or early December, please email our Experiences team.

  • Can I upgrade my previous Zoo ticket to become a member?

If you had a visit booked in November and would like to upgrade your tickets to membership ready for when we reopen, please fill in the form and email it to membership@zsl.org. Your membership will last for one year from purchase.

Visiting us in the future
  • When do you reopen?

We have every intention of opening on Wednesday 2 December, providing Government guidance allows. Please bookmark this page and check back for any updates from us.

  • Can I book a visit for December and further ahead?

Absolutely! We look forward to seeing you again and by buying a booked ticket or gift tickets to give to someone (Christmas is only around the corner after all!), you’ll be supporting us while we’re without income.
Book a visit
Buy a gift ticket

  • What will a visit be like when you reopen?

Over the past few months, we have been working hard to put safety measures in place at our Zoos. In the first phase of re-opening, both our Zoos operated as outdoor-only experiences, offering an open-air opportunity to see amazing animals and to reconnect with nature.

We have implemented several new precautions and followed Government advice so that we can provide a safe and enjoyable visit for everyone. While this may change as time passes, previously, we had the following measures in place to help each of you visit our Zoos, safely.

  • Limiting the number of visitors per day.
  • Visitors pre-booking tickets online so we are able to manage numbers safely.
  • One-way routes around London Zoo to help with visitor flow and to ensure social distancing.
  • Protective screens at contact points including at ticket checks and Member kiosks.
  • Hand-sanitiser/handwash stations at the entrances, exits and at regular stops around each Zoo.
  • Card or mobile device payments (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay) only, no cash being accepted.
  • Indoor animal exhibits closed in the first phase of re-opening.
  • Indoor and outdoor children’s play areas (including Hullabazoo at Whipsnade Zoo) closed.
  • Outdoor catering and retail kiosks only.
  • Talks and demonstrations cancelled to prevent over-crowding.
Information for our Members, Patrons and Fellows
  • What benefits will I receive during lockdown?

Our Members, Fellows and Patrons are the backbone of ZSL and your support over the years, especially your generosity during the COVID pandemic, has been incredible. During lockdown though we cannot welcome you to our Zoos, you will continue to receive news about ZSL and our animals and you will be the first to know of key updates regarding the re-opening of London and Whipsnade Zoos.

Gold members, Fellows and Patrons will also still be able to use 10% discount in our online shop - check back in your emails for the latest code, or in the welcome pack for new members. Keep an eye on your e-mails for any other Member, Fellow and Patron exclusives we can send your way.

  • When the Zoos re-open on 2 December, will I need to pre-book a ticket to visit?

When we reopen, we will be operating on a reduced number of visitors at the Zoo per day to ensure that we keep everyone safe within government guidelines. This means that December will be peak time, so all Members, Patrons and Fellows will need to pre-book free slots to visit the Zoos during all days in December up to 4 January 2021.  

Tickets will be released on the ZSL website on these dates: 

  • Thursday 26 Nov, 11am: release for dates 2 – 13 Dec 
  • Tuesday 8 Dec, 11am: release for dates 14 – 27 Dec 
  • Tuesday 22 Dec, 11am: release for dates 28 Dec – 4 Jan  

Keep an eye out on your inbox for an email with your exclusive ticket link on the release day. 

Please note when pre-booking free tickets: Every pre-booked free ticket is for members only, valid on the selected date for the selected Zoo and in conjunction with a valid ZSL Members, Fellows and Patrons card, or temporary slip for new members. Otherwise, unfortunately, we will not be able to grant you entry into the Zoo.

  • Will my membership be extended for the time the Zoos are closed?

Given the major financial losses from lockdown earlier in the year, we are not able to automatically extend memberships for the duration of this time-limited closure. We are reliant on every bit of support we receive to get us through this difficult time and we are simply not able to bear the further loss of income this time around.

We are working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to open from the moment lockdown ends – to offer all our members a COVID-secure destination from 2 December and long into the future. We understand that the current situation will be more difficult for some of our members. Please get in touch with us if you would like to speak to us about your membership individually.

  • I want to do more to help. What can I do?

We need every bit of help we can get so a donation, of any size, would help us survive this second lockdown. You can donate online at donate.zsl.org.

Treat your loved ones and support us, with a purchase from our online shop!

Although our Zoos are closed, our elves are still bustling away behind the scenes and packaging up everything an animal-lover could possibly desire this Christmas, from animal adoptions to pangolin pyjamas and everything in between. Gold Members, Patrons and Fellows even get a whopping 10% off.

Now more than ever is time to treat yourself. So have at it, head on over to shop.zsl.org and grab yourself a gift with a difference!

Shop now

Click and collect is off the cards for now while our Zoos are closed. But we are posting as normal and hope very much that your items aren’t delayed as a result of the Lockdown.

Information for schools

Although the Zoos are now closed in line with government guidelines, our Learning teams can virtually bring Whipsnade Zoo straight into your classroom throughout November. We will also continue to answer your queries about upcoming visits when the Zoos are allowed to reopen. To book a digital session or to find out more please contact us at learning@zsl.org - thank you.

Venue hire

Our hire venues aren’t operating at the moment, and our Events and Hospitality offices will close until Wednesday 2 December 2020. Please do email us in the meantime, one of the team will get back to you on their return.

Accessing the ZSL Library

ZSL’s Library is currently closed. If you have borrowed books we will be automatically renewing your loan, so please don’t worry. There’s no need to attempt to return your books at the moment.

I have another question that isn't answered here, how can I get in touch?

Please contact us on the details below if you have any questions that have not been answered in our FAQs

MTA Giraffe

Book a ticket for ZSL London or Whipsnade Zoo

Make sure to book in advance - select your chosen timed slot online now.