Frequently Asked Questions

Please select a topic below to see more information.

General information
  • What are your opening times?

For ZSL London Zoo - Until 19th October 2018, our opening times are 10am – 5.30pm (Last entry 4.30pm). From 20th October 2018 until 27th October 2018 our opening times are 10am - 5pm (Last entry 4pm).  From 28th October 2018 until 15th February 2019 our opening times are 10am - 4pm (Last entry 3pm).

For ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Until 19th October 2018, our operning times are 10am - 5.30pm (Last entry 4.30pm).  From 20th October 2018 until 27th October 2018 our opening times are 10am - 5pm (Last entry 4pm).  from 28th October 2018 until 15th February 2019 our opening times are 10am - 4pm (Last entry 3pm)

  • How much are tickets to the Zoos?

Our ticket prices vary at each Zoo and throughout the year - see prices for ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

  • Can I buy tickets when I arrive?

Yes, you certainly can buy your tickets at the main entrance. However if you want to beat the queues and save 10% off the ticket price, we recommend you book online in advance!

  • I have tickets booked for certain day – can I change the date we use them?

Tickets are non-refundable, non-exchangeable as per our T&C’s so pre-booked tickets are only valid on the specified date.

  • I am bringing children with me who are under three. Do I need to pay for them?

Children under the age of 3 years are entitled to free entry to both of our Zoos.

  • Do you have any offers?

We occasionally run special offers and ticket promotions, so do keep an eye on our website for the latest information. 

  • I have a London Pass – can I get in free? (ZSL London Zoo only)

Yes. As long as the London Pass is valid it will grant you free access to ZSL London Zoo.

  • How do I use National Rail’s 241 offer? (ZSL London Zoo only)

The National Rail 2 for 1 voucher is available to use throughout the year. On arrival, one adult (or child) is admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult who pays the full adult price at the main entrance.

One discount voucher may be used per two people. Please make sure you bring train tickets valid on the day of your visit and a printed copy of the voucher or booklet. Train tickets need to display the National Rail symbol and be valid on the date of your visit. This voucher cannot be used in conjunction with pre-booked tickets, other promotions, or vouchers such as Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

For further information, please check out the Days Out Guide page.

  • How can I use my Tesco Clubcard points? Do you still accept Tesco paper vouchers?

To use your Tesco Clubcard points, you need to redeem your points with Tesco prior to visiting ZSL London Zoo or ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Tesco will then issue a QR Code which needs to be shown on the day you wish to visit. This code can either be printed and brought with you or shown on your phone upon entering.  
On arrival, the QR code is scanned and points are deducted off the total cost of entry tickets. You can then pay any remaining balance on your purchase, by card or cash.

Tesco Clubcard vouchers cannot be used as payment for online ticket purchases, ZSL Membership, experiences, car parking, or car entry. Tesco Clubcard paper vouchers are still accepted and valid until their issued expiry date.

  • Can I use my Blue Peter badge to obtain free entry? What do I need to show for this?

Yes, we grant Blue Peter badge holders here at ZSL, free entry. To take advantage of this, each badge holder must be accompanied by one adult having purchased a full-price adult ticket at the main entrance. The badge holder will need to bring their badge or supporting card with them on arrival to gain free entry.

  • Can I store my luggage when I visit?

We have a limited number of self-service lockers for hire at ZSL London Zoo. These are located next to the aquarium. They can be used from £1 per hour for a medium sized locker or from, £2 per hour for a large locker. Unfortunately they cannot be reserved and there are a limited number available on a first-come-first-serve basis so we do recommend wherever possible that you don’t visit the Zoo with luggage. We unfortunately cannot hold luggage once all the lockers are occupied.

We do not currently have self-service lockers for hire at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

  • Can you hire wheelchairs?

Yes, wheelchairs are available for hire from both ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on a first come, first served, basis. Alternatively, you call ahead and reserve one of our wheelchairs in advance via 0344 225 1826. You’ll need to pay a £25 deposit when hiring a wheelchair, but this will be refunded after the wheelchair is returned to Zoo staff undamaged.

  • Can you hire prams?

Yes, prams are available for hire from both ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on a first come, first served, basis.

  • Can you hire trikes?

Yes, trikes are available for hire from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo only, for a fee of £5, on a first come, first served, basis. They are suitable for children aged 18 months up to a maximum weight of 20kg and can be hired from the retail tills at our Visitor Centre. You'll need to pay a deposit of £20 when hiring a trike, but this will be refunded after the trike is returned at the end of the day.

We recommend that all children using these use a helmet - we have a limited number available, please ask.

  • Do you offer a discount for students?

If you are a UK or international student then you will be entitled to our concession rate ticket, please remember to bring any valid ID with you that shows you are a student, on the day of your visit, to guarantee entry.

  • I have a disability. What tickets do I buy?

Adult and child guests who are registered disabled are entitled to our disabled adult or child ticket rates. An essential carer enters free with each ticket. To collect the essential carer ticket, please make sure you bring along your supporting documents that shows you require a carer as well as a copy of your ticket if you have purchased in advance. These may include the following:

  • Disability Allowance Letter
  • PIP letter
  • Freedom pass
  • Any other appropriate supporting documentation as issued by your local authority

 

  • Do you do discounts for NHS and military staff?

Unfortunately we do not currently offer any military or NHS discount.

  • Are there accessible facilities available at your Zoos?

We work hard to ensure both ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are accessible for all visitors. Please see more information about accessibility at ZSL London Zoo here, and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo here.

  • My ticket has an entry time of 10am, does that mean I have to be there for 10am?

Your ticket to either Zoo is valid for entry any time from 10am onwards, up until an hour before closing time.  Closing times vary throughout the year, so please double check the closing time before your visit.

  • The tickets say my name on, can anyone use them?

This will not affect entry for the person using the ticket.  The name of the purchaser will always be on the ticket when processed; however this can be different to the person using the ticket as long as they have it with them on arrival.

  • Do I need to print my tickets?

As long as you have purchased your tickets directly from ZSL via our website or phone line, you do not need to print your tickets; they will be accepted when displayed on smart devices such as phones or tablets.  Simply download your tickets and present the relevant barcodes to a member of our admissions team on arrival.

For tickets purchased from third-party companies, please print the ticket to show on arrival.

  • Can I buy tickets and Experiences as a gift?  Do I receive anything in the post?

We do offer gift vouchers for our experiences; when these are purchased you will receive a voucher in the post, themed to fit with the experience.  The vouchers are valid for 1 year from the date of purchase during which time it will need to have been booked and redeemed.

We also offer flexi tickets for entry which are open ended tickets valid for 1 year.  For these, you do not have to book the date of your visit in advance; just bring them with you to your chosen Zoo.

  • Is ZSL part of Merlin?

ZSL is not under the Merlin Group; therefore we do not accept Merlin passes.  ZSL is a conservation charity and so for those wishing to support us whilst enjoying the benefit of entry to both our Zoos, we do offer annual memberships.  For more information, please visit our membership page.

  • Where can I buy food at the Zoo?

We have a variety of food outlets and restaurants available at both London and Whipsnade that offer a selection of food options, and are currently run on a first-come-first-served basis for seating. To help plan your day, check out our food pages for ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

  • Do you offer gluten-free food?

Yes, we provide a variety of gluten free options at both Zoos. Given enough notice the catering team can make suitable arrangements for any dietary requirements. Please ring Supporter Services via 0344 225 1826 or email us to discuss this further.

  • Can you bring a picnic into the Zoo?

You are welcome to bring your own picnics and we provide picnic tables around both of our sites for you to use. We do also offer a limited amount of covered indoor space for you to use should the weather require you to find some shelter. At ZSL London Zoo, there is some shelter in the foyer area in the B.U.G.S exhibit and the Aquarium.

At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, there is shelter and seating in the Butterfly House. We do however ask that you don’t bring glass or alcohol with you and please dispose of any rubbish.

  • Where can I park my car?

ZSL London Zoo

Parking is available in the Zoo’s Gloucester Slips car park. This is at a cost of £14.50 payable on the day. Due to ongoing third party works, the Zoo’s main car park capacity is currently significantly reduced. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you in advance for your patience. We would recommend travelling to the Zoo using public transport and you can find more information regarding nearest stations and bus routes on our Directions page.

If you’re unable to park in the Zoo’s car park, there is a small amount of on-street parking available on the outer circle main road

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

We do allow car entry inside the Zoo for all visitors at Whipsnade - this is at an additional cost of £25 However, if you wish to leave your car in our free car park, we do offer a free bus for you to hop on that will be available from the May half term.

  • Where can the coach park?

ZSL London Zoo

Due to works being undertaken by Thames Water and HS2, the car park will be reduced in size from 1 January 2018. We will be creating new coach drop-off spaces but once groups have disembarked, all coach parking will need to be found off site. If your group has specific access needs, we will do our best to accommodate coach parking in the ZSL London Zoo car park. Please contact our Supporter Services team as far in advance as possible to discuss your requirements: email us or ring us on 0344 225 1826.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Coaches can park for free in the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo car park, subject to available space. Minibuses can enter the Zoo for an additional charge of £25.00. Coaches are not able to enter ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, however a free Safari Bus provides transport once visitors are inside the Park.

  • Do your car parks have height restrictions?

No, neither the car park at ZSL London Zoo or ZSL Whipsnade Zoo have height restrictions.

  • When do the car parks open/close?

The car park at ZSL London Zoo is open from 9am while, the car park at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is open from 8am, with each car park closing roughly an hour after the Zoo closes.

  • How busy is the Zoo?

We cannot always predict how busy we will be each day, however we do tend to get more visitors during weekends and school holidays. To help ease this, we offer a Fast-track entry ticket online at ZSL London Zoo which enables visitors to skip the queues and enter the Zoo via our convenient Fast-track gate, closer to Camden Town station than the main entrance. However, you can still buy standard entry tickets online or at the gate.

  • Are all animals on show?

Your great day out is of paramount importance to us. However, so is the welfare of our animals and on occasions, we may have some important care that we need to do for our animals, that requires them to remain off show.

  • Can I feed any of the animals?

All of our animals are fed diets which are specifically designed for their needs. We therefore do not allow members of the public to feed our animals. However, we do offer special experiences where you can, with the help of a zookeeper, meet and feed some of our amazing animals.

  • Are any of the enclosures closed in the winter months?

Some of our animals do like to stay indoors when it is a bit colder or wet outside and as such, we have indoor viewing areas for most of our enclosures. So do be sure to take a peek inside if you cannot spot them outdoors!

  • How do I report lost property?

To report a lost item at ZSL London Zoo, please fill out our lost property log, and one of the team will get back to you if it's been found.

To report a lost item at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, please fill out our lost property log, and one of the team will get back to you if it’s been found.

  • What is ZSL?

ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is an international conservation charity.  Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we're working every day to achieve this.  From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction.  Through the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists and our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos, we guide and enable others in the UK and all across the world.  Inspiring, informing, empowering - working for wildlife.  Find out more about ZSL.

School visits
  • How much do school visits cost? 

Our rates for Educational establishments, vary depending on time of year and whether you are looking to book in an Education session. We provide unique learning education sessions for all ages and abilities. Linked to the National Curriculum, we aim to deliver interactive experiences using resources such as live animals, biofacts and multimedia. You can see costs for ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos.

  • How do I place a booking?

If you are looking to book in a self-guided visit then please visit our Education page and fill out our reservation form; you can also book and pay on our website if you do not wish to reserve first.

If you are looking to book a visit with a guided Education session, please call us on 0344 225 1826 or email schools@zsl.org  and one of the team will be happy to assist.  

  • Can 1:1 staff supporting SEN students come for free?

Any SEN students are entitled to a free carer entry in addition to the free adult ratio. The free adult ratio is one adult admitted free for every six paying primary pupils or every 10 paying secondary/post-16 pupils. Any adults above this ratio are required to pay the additional adult admission price.

Please call us on 0344 225 1826 or email schools@zsl.org to inform us of any SEN requirements ahead of your visit.

  • How many free adults for children?

We currently have a 1:6 adult ratio for Primary School children and 1:10 for Secondary and Post-16 students.  This is a pricing benefit and shouldn't be used as a guide for child supervision.

  • Is your adult-child school ratio essential or a recommendation?

To ensure good supervision of groups at all times, one adult is admitted free for every six paying primary pupils or every 10 paying secondary/post-16 pupils. Any adults above this ratio are required to pay the additional adult admission price.

Our free adult to child ratio is only a recommendation and based on a pricing benefit. This is not to be used as an essential amount of adults per visit. 

  • What does an Education session cost?

In addition to the school visit fee, our Education sessions are priced from an additional £1.50 per child and can be booked in advance depending on availability and group size. We have a variety available for all different key stages. Please see this page for more information on the sessions we offer.

Please note that Education sessions at Whipsnade are only charged for between March and September. Sessions are free for the rest of the year.

  • How can I check Education session availability?

Please call our Supporter Services team on 0344 225 1826 and we will talk you through which sessions are available to book.

  • How do I book a risk assessment pre-visit?

If you would like to arrange a visit prior to your trip in order to perform a risk assessment, please bring your confirmation email or reservation confirmation on the day of your chosen visit and our admission team will confirm this on your order on arrival. We have a pre visit check list for ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos available on our website to help plan your trip. This includes information about our Education risk assessment and other downloadable information you may need.
 

Experiences and lodges
  • My preferred experience is booked up, do you have a waiting list?

Unfortunately we do not hold a waiting list for our experiences. If we do get cancellations, the tickets will be re-released for public sale. Please check the website to keep an eye on updates, call us on 0344 225 1826 or email us.

  • How many people can stay in on an overnight lodge experience?

Our lodges, both Lookout Lodges at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and Gir Lion Lodges at ZSL London Zoo, are designed to sleep a maximum of two adults and two children aged between five and 13 years. Any child over the age 13 will classify as an adult.
 

  • Why can’t I have more than 2 adults in 1 lodge?

This is due to the sizing of the sofa bed. The sofa bed is small and only designed for children aged 5-13 years. We can only cater to a maximum of two adults and two children between the ages of five and 13 (or 1 adult and 3 children) in each lodge.

  • Are the lodges Wheelchair Accessible?

Gir Lion Lodges at ZSL London Zoo has one lodge which is fully-accessible for wheelchairs. This lodge has two zip lock twin beds (can be converted to a double) and an accessible en-suite with shower. It can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults (or 1 adult and 1 child) and 1 additional child, due to the size of the sofa bed. 
  
Lookout Lodges at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo have a double and a twin lodge that has level access for wheelchair users, who are able to bring along a carer and we have a disabled toilet a short walk from the lodge area available, but no wheelchair-accessible shower. These can be booked online by selecting the wheelchair user option  .
Please call us on 0344 225 1826 or email us to advise us of any specific requirements that you may have. Please note that if no wheelchair user option is displayed, this indicates that we have sold our accessible lodges already. 

 

  • Do you offer concession tickets for overnight lodge experiences?

We do offer a single occupancy rate for those who wish to stay in a lodge on their own. Single occupancy or disabled guests attending with a carer are entitled to a 30% discount on the full-paying price of two guests. This can be booked online by selecting the relevant ticket type. 

  • What are the age restrictions on the lodges?

On adult only nights, guests aged 14 years and over, are welcome to attend with an accompanying adult. The accompanying adult must be over the age of 18.
On family nights, children aged 5 - 13 are welcome to attend and must be staying in a lodge with an accompanying adult. Children under 5 are not able to attend.
Each lodge can accommodate 2 adults, or 1 adult and 1 child, plus a maximum of 2 additional children. The accessible lodge can accommodate 2 adults or 1 adult and 1 child, plus a maximum of 1 additional child. The additional child will sleep on a pull-out sofa bed and must be aged between 5 and 13 years of age.
Young adults aged 14-17 years are welcome to stay in a lodge on their own but must have an accompanying adult aged over 18 years old staying in an adjacent lodge on the same night.

  • What is the age restriction on the Junior Keeper for a Day experience?

Participants must be aged between 11-15 years old at the time that they participate in the experience. People over the age of 16 years old can participate on our Adult Keeper for a Day programme.

  • What are the age restrictions on Meet the Animals?

We have several different Meet the Animals experiences across both our Zoos and the age restrictions vary depending on the experience. Please visit our ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos experience pages for more details. However, any child under the age of 16 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18, to take part in the experience

  • Can my carer take part in the experience?

All guests who are registered disabled will be entitled to have a free carer accompany them during the experience. They will not be able to take part in the experience but will be there for your support.

  • How far in advance do I need to book an experience?

All of our experiences are very popular and can get booked up far in advance. We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

  • Do you have ZSL Member discount on experiences?

We offer 10% discount to ZSL Members on all experiences booked directly with us, on your chosen date, subject to availability. This discount does not apply to open-ended vouchers.

  • Can I change the date on my experience voucher?

A full refund will be made on open-ended vouchers, providing a date has not been booked and the voucher has more than three months until expiry.
Once a date has been booked for Keeper for a Day (adult and Junior), Photography workshops, Gir Lion Lodge and Lookout Lodge, a full refund or date change can be provided as long as it is a minimum of 2 months before the date of the experience.


Once a date has been booked for BedBUGS sleepovers, Camping Experiences, Friendly Spider Programme or Meet the Animals experiences, a full refund or date change can be provided as long as it is a minimum of 14 days before the date of the experience. After this time, only exceptional circumstances will be considered for date changes, extensions or refunds. 
All refunds are made to the card that the experience was purchased with. The participant’s name can be exchanged providing ZSL is given a minimum of seven days’ notice. If the person who arrives does not match the name provided on our records they will not be granted admittance to the experience.

 

  • What animals do you get to interact with on Keeper for a Day?

ZSL London Zoo

Some of the animals you may be working with on the day include: giraffes, penguins, meerkats, coatis and Galapagos tortoises.


ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Some of the animals you may be working with on the day include: elephants, rhinos, giraffes and others which could include lions, tigers, hunting dogs, sloth bears, lemurs, meerkats, penguins or otters.

The programme at either Zoo may be altered on any given day due to animal welfare or health issues or a change to the Zoo's animal collection, but ZSL will ensure that in these instances, the activity will be replaced with another similar task.
 

ZSL Fellowship
  • What is ZSL Fellowship?

A ZSL Fellowship offers an exclusive insight into the work that ZSL undertakes both in the UK, in our two Zoos and also in our active conservation programmes in over 50 countries across the globe. We are in a unique position to apply the world-leading science from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology and the expertise of our Conservation Programmes to our projects around the world to ensure impactful outcomes and the conservation of endangered species and their habitats. For further information, please visit the ZSL Fellowship page on our website.

  • How do I qualify for Fellowship?

You must meet one or more of the following criteria:

- You have an active interest or involvement in the fields of zoology, biology or a related area.
- You are studying conservation, zoology, or a related life science or subject.
- You have been a ZSL Member for more than three years consecutively.

  • How can I become a ZSL Fellow?

To become a ZSL Fellow you can contact the team on 0344 225 1826 or register online

  • What are the benefits of Fellowship?

As a ZSL Fellow, you will receive the following benefits:

•    Unlimited entry to ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
•    Personal sign-in of one additional family member per visit
•    Two additional half-price entrance tickets per year, for family members
•    Complimentary car entrance at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
•    Complimentary car parking at ZSL London Zoo outside of peak times
•    Shop and café discounts at 10%
•    Discounts on ZSL Experiences and select events at 10%
•    Free subscription to Wild About, our award-winning magazine


As a ZSL Fellow, you also have the following privileges:


•    Voting rights on ZSL matters, an invitation to the Annual General Meeting and the right to stand for ZSL Council.
•    Discounts on Wiley books at 35%.
•    Discounts on subscriptions to Animal Conservation at 60%.
•    Discounts on ZSL's ticketed lectures and symposia, including ZSL's keynote scientific lecture of the year, the Stamford Raffles Lecture.
•    A complimentary drinks reception for ZSL Fellows and their guests before every ZSL Science and Conservation lecture run throughout the academic year.
•    Borrowing rights in the extensive ZSL Library at Regent’s Park, the largest zoological collection in the country and a great place to study and research.
•    Invitations to ZSL events with opportunities to meet ZSL staff.

  • Do I have to bring the same free guest on each visit?

You can bring a different guest per day on each visit with your Fellowship.

  •  Do I get Wild About if I am a Fellow?

Yes, you will receive a Wild About Magazine as a Fellow.

  • Where can I find information about upcoming events for Fellows?

You can find information about upcoming events on this page 

  • How old do you have to be to become a ZSL Fellow?

You can become a fellow from 18 years onwards.
 

ZSL Membership
  • How can I buy ZSL Membership?

You can buy ZSL Membership on our website, on the phone by calling 0344 225 1826, or when you visit ZSL London or Whipsnade Zoos.   

  • How much does ZSL Membership cost? 

You can save 20% if you pay by annual Direct Debit. See our ZSL Membership page for our full list of prices.

  • Can I pay for ZSL Membership using a monthly Direct Debit?

We don’t offer ZSL Membership by monthly Direct Debit. The payment is an annual Direct Debit; payment is taken in the same month your membership renews each year.

  • I’ve just signed up for ZSL Membership, when can I visit the Zoo?

Once signed up for ZSL Membership you are welcome to visit ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos straightaway. You will need to present your confirmation email or letter on your first visit.

  • How do I get my ZSL Membership card?

On your first visit to the Zoo, please present your confirmation email or letter on arrival. You will be directed to our ZSL Membership Kiosk where we will take your photo and issue you with a card. Please ensure you bring a form of photo ID with you.
Alternatively, you can request your card to be sent to you in the post. To do this, please email membership@zsl.org or post your photo to Supporter Services, ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY.

  • How long does it take for my ZSL Membership pack to arrive?

Your pack will be sent out after purchase and should arrive within five working days.

  • What day does my ZSL Membership start from?

Your ZSL Membership starts from the date of purchase. 

  • Can I buy ZSL Membership as a gift?

Yes, you can also select the date when you want the ZSL Gift Membership to start from. Please note there’s no Direct Debit payment option available.

  • I’ve just visited, how can I become a ZSL Member?

You can upgrade tickets purchased via ZSL (except for promotional offers) against membership within 14 days of your visit.  You can use your entry tickets to upgrade against the equivalent membership package and only pay the remaining difference.

If you have just visited one of our Zoos and would like to become a member, you can deduct the cost of your ticket from that just paid . Simply complete an application form and send it by email to membership@zsl.org or call our Supporter Services team on 0344 225 1826.  Alternatively, you can post your application to FREEPOST RTLJ-KYEJ-CXZY Supporter Services, ZSL London Zoo, Regent`s Park, London, NW1 4RY.

  • Who can use my ZSL Membership?

Membership is for use by the named holder only, and is not transferable under any circumstances. Any misuse of a membership card will result in it being confiscated with no refund. A card can not be given away, sold or transferred. Membership card photocopies are not valid. 

  • If I come to the Zoo to visit, can I buy a ZSL Membership on arrival instead of an entry ticket?

At ZSL London Zoo, you can purchase entry tickets on arrival and upgrade to membership at our ZSL Membership Kiosk. This is located in the Barclay Court opposite our main ZSL gift shop.

At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, membership can be purchased at our membership desk in the Visitor Centre.

  • I’ve lost my ZSL Membership card, can I get a new one?

We can replace your card for a charge of £5. If your card has been stolen, please contact our Supporter Services team on 0344 225 1826 and provide us with your crime reference number and we will replace your card free of charge.

  • To buy joint or family membership, do we have to live at the same address? 

Yes, members need to be living at the same address. This is to allow us to claim Gift Aid on your membership fee. 

  • What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid allows charities like us to reclaim tax from the government on your ZSL Membership through the Gift Aid scheme. Gift Aid enables us to claim an additional 25p for every £1 you spend, at no extra cost to you. However Gift Aid can’t be claimed on behalf of someone else, because it’s considered a gift to the person whose membership is paid, not to the charity. It’s possible for spouses, civil partners and other persons living together to make a ‘joint’ declaration on the same form.  

  • Can I change my ZSL Membership once it’s already started? Can I add more members?

Please call us on 0344 225 1826 and we can take a pro-rata payment to add new members to your membership until it expires.

  • My child turned 3, what do I need to do?

Please call us on 0344 225 1826 and our Supporter Services team will add your child onto the membership for a pro-rata rate until the expiry of the membership. The pro-rata child rate is charged on the day you add the membership until the expiry date of the.  This will change your membership into a family pass.

  •  I am a childminder. Can I have a family membership for more than one child?

Unfortunately we do not offer family membership to childminders. All members need to be living at the same address to allow us to claim Gift Aid, and cannot be changed once on the membership. 

 

  • As a ZSL Member, what do I receive?

As a ZSL Member, you will receive:
•    Unlimited visits to both ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
•    Free off-peak parking at ZSL London Zoo*
•    Fast track entry to both Zoos
•    Priority booking and discounts on selected events and experiences
•    Subscription to our award-winning magazine, Wild About
•    Discount on Jumbo Express at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
•    Reference use of the ZSL Library at Regent's Park
*Free car parking is not available on weekends, bank holidays and on the below peak dates. Car parking at these times will be charged at the applicable rate.

  • As a member renewing my membership, what do I receive?

When renewing your ZSL Membership you'll receive two half price vouchers per member to either ZSL London Zoo or ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. If you have had a gap on your membership when you restart it, it’s treated as a new membership.

  • When is parking free for ZSL Members?

External parking is free for all visitors at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo all year round.
At ZSL London Zoo, parking is free during off-peak periods, and parking fees apply during the following peak periods (Weekends, Bank Holidays and School Holidays):

October half term: 22-28 October 2018 
Christmas 2018/19: 22 December 2018 - 6 January 2019

Zoological Research
  • How do I apply to carry out a research project at ZSL London or Whipsnade Zoo? 

You need to complete the File ZSL Zoological Directorate Project Application Form (PAF) May 2018.docx (36.16 KB) (36.16 KB)and agree to the terms laid out in the PDF icon ZSL Zoological Directorate Research Policy (May 2018).pdf (712.29 KB). These can all be found on the ZD research page.
 

  • What level research projects are accepted at the Zoos? 

We host undergraduates carrying out their BSc dissertations, MSc and PhD students, as well as professional researchers. We also work collaboratively with other zoological collections and academic institutions (eg the Natural History Museum and Royal Veterinary College). Schoolchildren or anyone at a lower level than BSc should contact the Discovery & Learning Department.
 

  • Can I get biological samples from the Zoos? 

It is possible to obtain biological samples from the Zoo animals subject to the terms laid out in the PDF icon ZSL Zoological Directorate Research Policy (May 2018).pdf (712.29 KB). Samples could be faeces, urine, hair or blood. Research involving samples from live animals will be subject to ethical review and it must be clearly stated how the provision of samples will directly benefit the animal or species concerned.
 

  • Can I survey visitors at the Zoos? 

It is possible to survey visitors however, you will need to apply and provide a copy of your survey. We receive many requests so need to limit these opportunities and only relevant and high standard research will be authorised.
 

  •  Are there any fees to carry out research at the Zoos? 

If you intend to visit the Zoo site(s) on multiple occasions we ask that you join the ZSL Fellowship. There are discounted rates for students and this includes access to both Zoo sites as well as other benefits.
 

  • Can I use the Zoo’s animal records for my research project?

ZSL holds extensive records on all animals in its care, on the Zoological Information Management System  (ZIMS). This is subject to conditions laid out in the Research Policy (see above) - these are available for use in approved research.

Animal adoptions
  • What does the purchaser receive?

The purchaser of the adoption will receive an email confirmation which should appear in their inbox shortly after the purchase has been made. If the purchaser has not received this email please contact us at generalenquiries@zsl.org so we can check whether your order has been successful.

The purchaser may choose to provide their address as the nominated delivery address. Animal Adoption packs are sent out within 1 - 2 working days.

  • How many visits is the free ticket valid for?

Your free ticket is for 1 visit, for 1 person but they are valid for 1 year. The ticket can be used at either ZSL London Zoo or ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, but we hope you would visit the zoo where your animal lives so you can see them.

  • I have an online adoption (no longer available to purchase), how do I access my free ticket?

All online adoptions have now expired so your ticket is no longer valid and you are unable to access the online adoption centre. If you have any questions regarding this please contact generalenquiries@zsl.org for further advice.

  • What should I do if I want to adopt an animal which you no longer offer for adoption?

We would hope that even though you can not adopt your preferred animal you would still choose to support ZSL and we would encourage you to make a donation instead by visiting our donation page . Your donation will not go directly to your preferred animal but it will help us to continue the important work that ZSL does in over 50 countries around the world, as well as help towards the running costs of both ZSL London and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

  • I am planning on visiting the zoo, will my adopted animal be on-show?

We hope that all of the animals in the adoption scheme are on-show everyday however we can not make any guarantees. Our animals are sometimes visited by our Veterinary team at short notice so they may be off-show or we may have some maintenance work taking place which means that their enclosure may be closed or obscured. We suggest visiting www.zsl.org/adopter before you visit as we endeavour to update adopters with any relevant information on this page.

  • Can I purchase a corporate adoption rather than one for an individual?

The adoption packs are designed as individual gifts only. If you are interested in a corporate adoption or sponsorship of an animal, please contact Sandra Crewe or call 0344 225 1826.

  • Any other questions?

If you have a question which is not covered in this list, please email generalenquiries@zsl.org and we will respond as soon as we can. If your enquiry is urgent please call 0344 225 1826.

Careers days

Zoo veterinary careers day

How much does it cost per student?

The cost per student is £120. This needs to be paid in full once we confirm your application has been successful.

  • What are the age restrictions?

Places for the event is limited to 40 students aged 13-18 and who are in full time education. Participants must be at least 13 years old on the day of the course. Students will be accompanied by staff during all sessions.

  • How do I book a place on the Zoo Vet Careers Day?

Please keep an eye on the web page or email zooacademylz@zsl.org for more information.

  • What personal qualities does the student need?

Students need to be in full time education and interested to work within the veterinary professions. You will be working with other young people and ZSL staff, so you must be a good team player and be willing to take part in a range of practical and classroom based activities.

  • Will the practical tasks be suitable for 13-18 year olds?

We have carefully selected practical tasks that are enjoyable yet appropriate for a group of young people. We risk assess all tasks so your experience is safely managed.

  • How many students take part on the course?

Each event will have a maximum of 40 students although this group will be broken into smaller groups for the practical sessions. Many will be like you and want to pursue a career working with animals in a variety of different fields. This course is designed to enable young people to gain practical. The whole course is supervised by a member of the education team to ensure an enjoyable, yet safe experience for all participants.

  • What is expected from the students?

We expect exemplary behaviour from all participants, towards each other, zoo visitors, ZSL staff as well as our animals!

Failure to behave in the expected manner could lead to removal from the course. ZSL reserves the right to remove a participant from the course for:

  • Unsociable behaviour
  • Endangering themselves and/or others
  • Compromising animal welfare

 

  • What happens if I am ill during the course?

If for any reason you cannot attend then please phone the Education department before 9.30am on the day of the course and leave a message. Please state your name, contact telephone number and the reason you are unable to attend. London: 0207 449 6501.

When is payment required?
Once your application form is complete, we will require full payment to secure your place on the course. A member of the ZSL team will contact you to send a parental consent/consent form to complete your booking. Your place cannot be confirmed without the completed consent form. Please ensure you have their permission before applying.

  • Can I smoke during the course?

Smoking will not be allowed for the duration of the day 10.30am – 4.00pm.

  • Are lunch and refreshments included?

No, you will need to bring your own packed lunch and drinks for each day of the course.
Lunch times will be supervised and we may not be able to get to the Zoo restaurant.

  • What clothing and equipment will I need to bring with me?

You will be in a working environment so please make sure you wear sensible clothes and shoes with enough layers for cold weather. You may also want a notepad and pen/pencil. If you are unsure what to wear please ring 0207 449 6501 (London) before the course starts.

  • Can I bring a camera with me?

You are welcome to bring your own camera to record what you get up to on the day. However, the zoo takes no responsibility for loss or damage of personal clothing and equipment including cameras. ZSL staff will also be taking photos which can be made available to you after the course as well.

  • Will I be able to provide feedback on the course?

To aid the constant improvement of the ZSL Zoo Veterinary Careers Day we will ask you to fill in an evaluation form before and after the event.

Conservation Careers day

  • How much does it cost per student?

The cost per student is £120. This needs to be paid in full once we confirm your application has been successful.

  • What are the age restrictions?

Places for the event is limited to 60 students aged 14-18 and who are in full time education. Participants must be at least 14 years old on the day of the course. Students will be accompanied by staff during all sessions.

  • How do I book a place on the Conservation Careers Day?

We will be taking bookings for this event later in the year. Please keep an eye on the website for more information or email zooacademylz@zsl.org to be put on the mailing list for email updates.

  • What personal qualities does the student need?

Students need to be in full time education and interested in working in conservation. You will be working with other young people and ZSL staff, so you must be a good team player and be willing to take part in a range of practical and classroom based activities.

  • Will the practical tasks be suitable for 14-18 year olds?

We have carefully selected practical tasks that are enjoyable yet appropriate for a group of young people. We risk assess all tasks so your experience is safely managed.

  • How many students take part on the course?

Each event will have a maximum of 60 students although this group will be broken into smaller groups for the practical sessions. Many will be like you and want to pursue a conservation career. This course is designed to enable young people to gain skills and knowledge. The whole course is supervised by a member of the education team to ensure an enjoyable, yet safe experience for all participants.

  • What is expected from the students?

We expect exemplary behaviour from all participants, towards each other, Zoo visitors, ZSL staff as well as our animals!

Failure to behave in the expected manner could lead to removal from the course. ZSL reserves the right to remove a participant from the course for:

  • Unsociable behaviour
  • Endangering themselves and/or others
  • Compromising animal welfare
  • What happens if I am ill during the course?

If for any reason you cannot attend then please phone the Education department before 9.30am on the day of the course and leave a message. Please state your name, contact telephone number and the reason you are unable to attend. The telephone number is 0207 449 6501.

  • When is payment required?

Once your application form is complete, we will require full payment via our website to secure your place on the course. A member of the ZSL team will contact you to send a parental consent/consent form to complete your booking. Your place cannot be confirmed without the completed consent form. Please ensure you have their permission before applying.

  • Can I smoke during the course?

Smoking will not be allowed for the duration of the day 10.00am – 4.30pm.

  • Are lunch and refreshments included?

No, you will need to bring your own packed lunch and drinks for each day of the course.
Lunch times will be supervised and we may not be able to get to the zoo restaurant.

  • What clothing and equipment will I need to bring with me?

You will be in a working environment so please make sure you wear sensible clothes and shoes. Please also make sure you are wearing enough layers for cold weather. You may also want a notepad and pen/pencil. If you are unsure what to wear please ring 0207 449 6501 before the course starts.

  • Can I bring a camera with me?

You are welcome to bring your own camera to record what you get up to on the day. However, the zoo takes no responsibility for loss or damage of personal clothing and equipment including cameras. ZSL staff will also be taking photos which can be made available to you after the course as well.

  • Will I be able to provide feedback on the course?

To aid the constant improvement of the Conservation Careers Day we will ask you to fill in an evaluation form before and after the event.

BedBugs
  • Do members get a discount?

Members get a 10% discount on tickets.

  • Can I pay a deposit or do I need to pay the full fee when booking?

If your group size is under 20 children, you will need to pay the full balance when booking.

If your group has more than 20 children, we will accept a £500 deposit for an agreed number of children. The remaining balance needs to be settled in full at least six weeks before the date of your sleepover.

  • Can I use Tesco Clubcard Vouchers to pay for BedBugs?

Tesco vouchers are only accepted for general admission tickets (excluding car entry) when purchased on the day of your visit at the main gate. They cannot be used as payment for BedBugs sleepovers or any other ZSL experiences.

  • Can I spend the day in the Zoo before/after the sleepover?

Full day entry into ZSL London Zoo (on day of departure) is included in your BedBugs ticket price. The sleepover will finish at 10am in the morning, and you are welcome to spend the rest of day exploring the Zoo at your leisure!

  • Is there somewhere to store our bags whilst we visit the Zoo?

There is a room where you can store your bags after the night of your stay whilst you visit the Zoo you can then pick them up when you leave.

  • What dates are the sleepovers running on?

Please visit the Prices and Booking page.

We can only accommodate a maximum of 60 people per sleepover so places are very limited.

We can also run exclusive sleepovers for a fixed fee and your group size would need to be a maximum of 60 people. Please contact us on 0344 225 1826 or experienceenquiries@zsl.org to discuss further.

  • What are the age restrictions?

Sleepovers are aimed at 7-11 year olds. We can be flexible with the upper age, but due to health and safety reasons we are unable to allow anyone younger than seven years old on the experience. The accompanying adult must be over the age of 18 years old.

  • What will we do during the sleepover?

Please see the experience page

  • What group sizes are allowed?

The minimum size of a group must be one child and one adult, although please be aware that this experience is suited to slightly bigger groups. We recommend a minimum group size of two/three children, plus accompanying adult.

If you are looking to attend with a smaller group, you may be interested in our Gir Lion Lodge experience at ZSL London Zoo.

Please ensure you have at least one adult per five/six children. The number of adults per group can never exceed the number of children.

  • What are the sleeping arrangements?

You will be allocated a sleeping area for the group you have booked with. There are toilets nearby for the groups to get changed in. All groups need to have an adult with them throughout the night.

  • How many adults will be required?

We recommend one adult for every five-six children and two adults for seven-ten children.
If you are attending a public sleepover as a family we will allocate your sleeping areas in the groups you have booked - each family group will have their own separate designated sleeping area.

  • What if the adult accompanying the group is not the parent or legal guardian?

We ask that the adult(s) attending complete the adult consent form and brings it with them on the night of the sleepover. 

  • What do I need to bring with me to the sleepover?

  • Clothes to sleep in
  • Sleeping bag and a pillow
  • Camping mat
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • An evening snack and drink
  • A torch
  • Jacket or heavy jumper for the night tour 

We strongly recommend you do not bring things with you that are of financial or sentimental value.

For health and safety reasons we ask that you do not bring inflatable mattresses or camp beds.

 

  • Do we bring pyjamas?

We ask that you bring clothes that you are happy to sleep in whilst bearing in mind that there is always the chance we may need to evacuate the building during the evening if there is an emergency. In the slightly colder months (September - November), participants may wish to bring an extra blanket or fleece to wear in bed.

  • Do we bring food with us?

Each person should bring an evening snack and soft drink with them. We suggest that everyone has dinner before arriving at the Zoo as the evening break will not be until approximately 20:30pm. You will be given a simple breakfast in the morning, which usually consists of a croissant, yogurt, cereal, fruit and drink. Breakfast is included in the price.

  • Are we allowed to bring a birthday cake?

You are more than welcome to bring a birthday cake with you, however we are not allowed to use candles in BUGS. Please contact us at experienceenquiries@zsl.org to let us know if you would like to bring a cake. Please note we are unable to provide plates/cutlery/napkins.

  • Can I bring a child who has additional needs?

Yes, we welcome participants with special needs. Please be aware it is your responsibility to ensure that any child with special needs is capable of getting the most from the events and they are able to cope in an environment with lots of other children. Do let us know if you are planning on bringing along a child or children with special needs and we will do all we can to ensure that their needs are met wherever possible you can contact us on experienceenquiries@zsl.org or call 0344 225 1826.

  • When do we need to arrive and how do we get there?

Participants will be allowed entry into the Zoo for the sleepover at 19:00pm, so please try not to arrive earlier than 5 minutes before the start time as you'll need to wait outside. However, please ensure you are on time as we won’t be able to wait for you as there is a tight schedule. Please visit zsl.org/visit/London-zoo for directions to the Zoo. The nearest tube stations are Camden Town (15 minute walk) or Baker Street (15 minute bus ride on 274). Please note that Regent's Park tube station is a 25-minute walk from the Zoo.

  • Can I drive to the sleepover?

Yes, if you are an accompanying adult participating in the sleepover you are welcome to park in our visitors car park for free. Once you enter the Zoo you will not be allowed to revisit your car until the sleepover finishes at 10.00am.

  • Will I get any sleep during the night?

Due to the excitement of the evening and the number of people in the room, we cannot guarantee you will get a good night’s sleep, however we do encourage groups to keep the noise to a minimum once lights are off.

  • What are the responsibilities of the accompanying adult?

We require at least one adult per five/six children. The adult will be responsible for the group throughout the entire event.

They are expected to:

  • Ensure your group adheres to the rules set out in the health and safety briefing
  • Ensure all children in your group are the correct age (between 7-11 years old)
  • Ensure your group keeps together throughout the evening, and keeps up with your host during the tours of the Zoo
  • Address the behaviour of children in your group if they are impacting on the enjoyment of other participants
  • Ensure your group doesn’t disturb those who are sleeping, in particular keeping the noise down once the lights are off

 

  • What do I need to do if I need to cancel / amend my booking?

If you need to reduce numbers or cancel your booking you must tell us at least 14 days before the date of your visit.
We cannot accept cancellations or reductions in numbers within 14 days of your visit date. You will be asked to pay the full cost of the places you have booked.
You can increase your group number for BedBugs at any time, provided places are still available. If you are collecting ticket fees from large groups please bear these booking terms in mind and allow enough time to tell us about any changes in numbers. We are unable to confirm a booking until full payment has been received.

  • Will the ZSL staff be DBS checked?

The members of staff who sleep over and facilitate BedBUGS are DBS-checked and there will be at least one first aider onsite at all times.

  • Any other questions?

Please email us at experienceenquiries@zsl.org or call 0344 225 1826