Monkey Valley - Now Open!

Adventure into Monkey Valley at ZSL London Zoo

Our colobus monkeys have leapt into their soaring new home!

ZSL London Zoo’s landmark Monkey Valley is now open to visitors, with the iconic Snowdon Aviary newly transformed into a walk-through exhibit that soars an incredible 80ft above the London skyline. 

Transporting visitors to the lush mountainous forest of Central Africa, against the backdrop of a 30ft waterfall and peaceful lagoon, be one of the first to step into Monkey Valley and experience our troop of gravity-defying, 'high-flying' colobus monkeys leaping, lounging, swinging, and snoozing, in their new tree-top inspired habitat.
 

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The walk-through may be closed at certain times throughout the day for a limited period of time to allow our monkeys to rest, however visitors can still explore the surrounding area or come back later to experience the walk-through. Monkey Valley is currently open to walkthrough tours from 10am - 12pm and 1.30pm - 4pm (last entry at 3.55pm). Opening times are subject to change at short notice and we apologise for any disappointment caused. 


Soaring 80ft above the Primrose Hill skyline - the height of six London double-decker buses - the new walkthrough in Monkey Valley features a range of monkey upgrades, including multi-level sunny and shaded basking spots for the ten troop members to lounge in, more than 800 metres of rope to swing on, 1,347 new plants and trees to leap amongst and a 30ft waterfall.

Visitors can walk alongside these incredible monkeys before learning to translate ‘colobus speak’ in Colobus Corner, and practising colobus leaps - which can span 50 feet – in Colobus Park.  Discover the Grade II* listed structure’s fascinating history and relax in our quiet zone. 


Photo of Monkey Valley walkthrough exhibit

The Snowdon Aviary was a landmark innovation in design when it was constructed in the 1960s, harnessing a combination of structural tension and balance to create an enormous space for birds and people to share.

The Grade II* listed former aviary is now enjoying a new lease of life in Monkey Valley, a new home for ZSL's eastern black-and-white colobus monkeys. The redevelopment was made possible by a £4 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

 

Made possible with Heritage Fund

A tribute to Lord Snowdon

Lord Snowdon with HM Queen Elizabeth II - Snowdon Aviary
Lord Snowdon with HM Queen Elizabeth II at ZSL London Zoo's Snowdon Aviary

Find out more

 

Read more about ZSL London Zoo's historic architecture

Snowdon Aviary

Discover amazing buildings

 

 

Meet the Eastern black-and-white colobus

These fluffy-tailed monkeys are currently housed right next to London Zoo's Gorillas. Born entirely white, they change colour as they age, developing patches of black across their bodies. Expert climbers, look our for them swinging around on your next visit.

...

Icon for visual impairmentThere are four audio descriptions about Monkey Valley, developed for visually impaired visitors.

You can listen to the audio descriptions on your personal device as you walk around Monkey Valley or listen online using the links further down this page

They describe different areas of the exhibit, the colobus monkeys and their way of life. Each description is associated with a tactile object. You can listen to them in any order, as they are not an audio described tour around the site. 

Clear signage is used to signal the location of the 4 audio descriptions within Monkey Valley. The signs contain a QR code and a weblink which you can use to open the audio file.

We recommend bringing headphones, so when monkey sounds are played they will be for your ears only and not upset the real animals.

In the meantime, If you would like to join an audio described tour at the Zoo, please see dates and details on the link below:

Audio Described Tours

 

Colobus monkey sits on a platform and holds onto a tree branch in Monkey Valley

Monkey Valley Information

Monkey Valley is home to eastern black-and-white colobus monkeys. They roam and leap through the iconic Snowdon Aviary, a structure originally built for birds in the 1960s, but now transformed to meet the needs of these tree-top dwelling monkeys.

There is a tactile and large print map on the Zoo’s West Footbridge, which leads over a canal to Monkey Valley. The location of the audio descriptions is marked on the map.

large print map monkey valley

Download a copy of our large print map

Occasionally the walkthrough section of this exhibit needs to close, to allow the monkeys to rest. You can still access the description outside the entrance and staff can inform you when it will reopen. Sometimes guides will also be there, leading small groups of visitors through the walkthrough.

Listening to the audio descriptions online

Listen to the 4 individual audio descriptions by pressing the individual links below

Stop 1  - The amazing architecture of the Snowdon Aviary

Stop 2 – The colobus walkthrough

Stop 3 – Colobus corner, the far corner of the exhibit

Stop 4 – The colobus house
 

We want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy a brilliant day out with us, to benefit from the amazing animals who live at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, connect with nature and help us create a world where wildlife thrives.

To help people who might find cost or other challenges a barrier to visiting ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, our Community Access Scheme provides discounted tickets.

Who can get a Community Access ticket? 

The Community Access scheme provides discounted tickets to:

  • Low-income households
  • People with additional needs or disabilities
  • People over the age of 60 and may be at risk of isolation.

See amazing animals including our elephant herd at Whipsnade

How to get a discounted ticket through the Community Access Scheme

Via one of our partner organisations

We work with a wide range of local councils, charities and community groups who apply for tickets and distribute them to the individuals and families they work with. Organisations in 31 out of the 33 London Boroughs are currently participating in the scheme and for Whipsnade, Central Bedfordshire Council is our lead partner. If you already have a relationship with such an organisation, please ask them if they’re already one of our partners. If not, we’d love to hear from them – please email us at CommunityEngagement@ZSL.org.

Help for Households scheme

In support of the Government’s Help for Households scheme we are providing an additional 500 tickets every day to both London and Whipsnade Zoos, from as little as £3 per person. These are available on a first come, first served basis and are strictly limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

These tickets can only be purchased from our admissions kiosks at the time of your visit – they are not available online or in advance. We are operating a cashless system on our sites and we ask that you pay with credit or debit cards, or contactless payment methods only. Regular admissions tickets, including those for anyone coming along with you, must still be booked online and in advance.

To be eligible for the £3 ticket, you must meet certain criteria and be able to prove that you are currently receiving Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

You will need to bring your proof of benefit letter along with you to the zoo when you buy your ticket from our friendly staff at the admissions gate. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to issue discounted tickets unless you bring along one of these documents per household as proof of eligibility.

A young boy and girl stand behind a fence watching giraffes eat leaves in their enclosure  

Visitors with additional needs and disabilities

As well as low-income households, our Community Access Scheme is keen to provide reduced price tickets (priced at £6.50) to people that have additional needs or disabilities. 
We are working with organisations to provide reduced price tickets to those who have additional needs of disabilities. Our partners have a wealth of experience in supporting disabled people and have been offering advice and support to us in approving accessibility.      


People over the age of 60 who may be at risk of isolation

Our scheme is also for eligible people over the age of 60 and may be at risk of isolation (priced at £6.50). If you are part of a community group for older people, why not contact the group organiser and see if the group is part of the Community Access Scheme. If not, please share this page with them so they can apply.

An elderly gentleman explore our squirrel monkey exhibit

Refugees

If you are an organisation that supports refugees from any background, you are eligible to apply for low-income household's vouchers even if the family you are looking to support are being hosted by a family who are on a higher income.  Please get in contact with us at communityengagement@zsl.org to enquire about providing tickets to your community. In these cases, we are not able to offer discounted tickets direct to individuals; instead, all Community Access tickets are provided by community organisations.
 

Ticket validity

Tickets obtained through the Help for Households scheme are valid for entry to the Zoo on the date of issue only.

Community Access Scheme vouchers obtained through a partner organisation are valid for 365 days from the date they’re issued and must be exchanged for a dated zoo ticket. For further details on tickets please refer to our Terms and Conditions.

Information on vouchers and pricing

We have 2 types of Community Access Scheme (CAS) vouchers and tickets:

  • Flexible use vouchers which will be valid for 12 months, allowing individuals to visit at a time that suits them best.
  • Alternatively, you can now book dated group CAS tickets which would save you from converting your CAS vouchers to General Admission tickets. You can do this by contacting us via generalenquiries@zsl.org with the date of your visit and the number of tickets per CAS group category.

Below is the pricing breakdown per person for organisations purchasing an allocation of vouchers (minimum of 10 vouchers). 

People from low-income households £3.00
People with additional needs and disabilities* £6.50
Older people £6.50     

Please note: Vouchers will require payment at the time of booking which is after your application has been accepted. Our team will contact you to confirm the total price before taking payment details. Vouchers will be sent via email for the organisation to distribute to service users. 

*Subsidised price includes a free carer

Can we buy more vouchers?

Once all the vouchers from you first purchase have been redeemed, you can email our Supporter Contact team via generalenquiries@zsl.org to reserve more vouchers and request to pay via BACS. Please ensure that you include your unique account number from your previous booking and number of vouchers per category required. Once the payment has cleared, your vouchers will be sent to you via email, this is most accessible option as our call centre can sometimes have long wait times.

Alternatively, you can call us on 0344 225 1826 to speak to our Supporter Contact Team and purchase more vouchers, this route would enable you to pay for your vouchers via credit card. Check our Contact Us page for our phone line opening times.

How to apply to the scheme as a community organisation

If you are an organisation wanting to provide Community Access tickets to your community, please apply to the scheme on the button below. We provide tickets to a wide range of organisations that meet the following criteria:

1.Your organisation works with or supports one or more of the following: 

  • People from low-income households 
  • People with additional needs or disabilities 
  • Older people (60+) 

2. Your organisation works with people living in any of the 33 London Boroughs. 

If you would like to enquire about the scheme, please contact the Community Support Scheme advisor.

If you would like to apply directly, please do so on the link below:

Apply now

 

How to give us feedback

We require that individuals visiting through the Community Access Scheme complete a post-visit survey to share their experience of ZSL London Zoo. This feedback will support in developing our offering and in delivering on our commitment to becoming more accessible for everyone.

The survey link will be sent to the applying organisation at the same time we send the vouchers, it is up to the organisation to ensure all individuals complete the survey. We will review completed surveys and if an organisation chooses to apply for more vouchers we will consider their completed survey rate.

We also aim to make the application process as easy as possible, if you also have any feedback on this please email communityengagement@zsl.org.

Information for schools

If you are planning an educational visit, please visit our Education pages.

We are proud to be working with the National Lottery Heritage Fund

We're proud to be working with The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Heritage Fund

Photo - An older gentleman wearing glasses standing in front of a leafy green bush

Planning a visit?

We’ve got a range of information available to help plan a visit

Landmark new home for colobus monkeys unveiled ahead of August opening 

A colobus leaps from a rope ladder in the Monkey Valley walkthrough exhibit

ZSL London Zoo unveiled its landmark new Monkey Valley walkthrough exhibit this morning (July 28), revealing the iconic former Snowdon Aviary's transformation into a new home for Eastern black and white colobus monkeys – the first of its kind in the UK. 
  
ZSL Members Cat, Mason and Austin Avery were invited to a sneak peek at the unique walkthrough experience, ahead of its official opening on Monday 15 August - while keepers treated the lively colobus troop to an al fresco breakfast. 
 
Inside the soaring new canal-side walkthrough, visitors will be transported to the lush, mountainous forests of central Africa, and treated to 360-degree, panoramic views of the colobus troop, as they leap from tree to tree.
 
Soaring 80ft above the Primrose Hill skyline - the height of six London double-decker buses - the new walkthrough features a range of monkey upgrades, including multi-level sunny and shaded basking spots for the ten troop members to lounge in, more than 800 metres of rope to swing on, 1,347 new plants and trees to leap amongst and a 30ft waterfall, flowing into a peaceful lagoon. 
  
The exciting new attraction is also home to Colobus Park - a peaceful picnic spot, where parents can relax while little ones practise their own colobus leaps - and an interactive Colobus Corner, where visitors of all ages can learn to translate ‘colobus speak’, deciphering what their unique clicks and grunts really mean.   

Colobus monkey sits on a platform and holds onto a tree branch in Monkey Valley
 
ZSL London Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer Kathryn England said: “We’re excited to welcome visitors to Monkey Valley this summer - after seven years of careful planning and restoration, new life has been breathed into the former Snowdon Aviary, a remarkable piece of the nation’s architectural history.  
 
“Colobus monkeys are nicknamed the ‘high-flying monkeys’, because of their impressive leaps - as they drop from branch to branch, with their arms outstretched, it's believed they use the long hair on their body and tails as makeshift parachutes. It’s truly a sight to behold, and we can’t wait to share this and more about these incredible primates with our visitors.”   
 
The Grade II* listed Snowdon Aviary’s restoration and transformation into the Monkey Valley walkthrough involved 35,000 hours of sensitive construction: abseiling experts carefully replaced over 1115sqft of aluminium mesh wrap, before deep cleaning the four towering tetrahedrons that create its distinctive shape and replacing 37 cables to provide the tension that famously holds the structure in place.   
  
The historic renovation will allow generations of future visitors and schoolchildren to get even closer to the amazing animals at ZSL London Zoo while forming a new conservation breeding centre for the troop - part of a collaborative European-wide breeding programme focused on the preservation of the species, which is threatened by deforestation in the wild. 
 
The ultimate immersive family adventure this summer, the Monkey Valley colobus monkey walkthrough experience will exclusively open to ZSL Gold Members, Fellows and Patrons from Saturday 30 July, followed by a public opening on Monday 15 August. Visit zsl.org/MonkeyValley for more details.

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