Lions of the Serengeti

African lion at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The Lions of the Serengeti exhibit provides unique and intriguing views of our pride of African lions – a truly unforgettable experience.

African lion at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Intrepid visitors can experience the sights and sounds of Tanzania's Serengeti National Park in the heart of Bedfordshire, where they will follow a village trail visiting a traditional Maasai dwelling and goat enclosure (boma) on the way to the lion viewing area. They will also be able to learn how herders share the environment with this awe inspiring king of the beasts.

Our innovative viewing area offers uninterrupted views of our pride roaming the plains of Whipsnade, through three metre high floor to ceiling viewing windows. We have even constructed a 'kopje' or sculpted mound in front of the windows, which has proved to be a favourite haunt of the lions, allowing a real close encounter with the pride of Whipsnade!

We have also included special feeding and demonstration areas where keepers will undertake their daily routines to ensure that as well as watching the lions up close, visitors will be able to hear them roar and even smell them! All in all, a truly sensory experience which introduces visitors to some of the complexities of practical conservation in this East African region.

    Lions were brought back to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in 2005 for the first time since 1998. 

    Meet Saturn, Max, Toto, Kia, and Neo face-to-face at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

    African lions at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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    Book your tickets now for a real day out that makes a real difference!

    Gifts for lion lovers

    Meet the Lions at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    Meet the Lions 

    Be one of the privileged few to get up close and feed our pride of African lions with our special Meet the Lions experience.

    Book now 

    African lion at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    Adopt the lions 

    With an adoption pack, you can help to care for our lions at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoo, and support our conservation work to protect lions in the wild. 

    Adopt the lions

    Lioness soft toy

    Lion gifts 

    Find the perfect present for lion lovers in our online shop. 

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    Interesting facts about the king of the beasts, the majestic African Lion.

    African lion at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    Common Name:

    African Lion

    Scientific Name:

    Panthera leo

    Distribution:

    Extinct in North Africa. Now found in Africa, south of the Sahara

    Size:

    Length: Male: 2.6 - 3.3m excluding tail
    Female: 2.4 - 2.7m excluding tail
    Tail: 60 - 100cm

    Weight: Male: 150 - 250kg
    Female: 110 - 180kg

    Lifespan:

    In the wild the lifespan of lions is approximately 15 years, however in captivity it can be as long as 30 years.

    Breeding:

    Lions reach sexual maturity at 2 years old and mate at all times of the year. The gestation period is 102-112 days which usually results in 2 to 5 cubs.

    Lifestyle:

    Lions are social and territorial animals who live in family groups called prides

    Diet:

    Carnivorous, mainly mammals from giraffes to buffalo, deer and carrion

    Habitat:

    Varied, from grasslands of East Africa to sands of the Kalahari Desert

    Status in the Wild:

    Range constantly being reduced but not endangered yet.

    Special Features:

    Lions are unique among cats in that the male can be easily distinguished from the female (lioness) because he possesses a mane of hair. As in most cats, the eyes are adapted for seeing at night when they do a lot of hunting. The claws can be retracted in sheaths to prevent them getting blunted when walking across the savannah, which they can do almost noiselessly on soft pads.

    Book Tickets

    Book your tickets now for a wild day out!

    African lions at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    Meet the Lions
     

    Be one of the privileged few to get up close and feed our pride of African lions with our special Meet the Lions experience.

    £84 per person

    Go behind the scenes with one of our expert zoo keepers and spend time getting to know the lions in our pride, learn more about lions and feed them a tasty snack.

    This is a truly once in a life time experience!


    Meet the Lions experience includes:

    • Meet and feed an African lion
    • Behind the scenes access to Lions of the Serengeti 
    • Meet an expert zoo keeper and discover more about our lions
    • Kept to a maximum of four participants so you get quality time with the lion and zoo keeper

    Please note that admission to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is not included and must be purchased separately. 

    BOOK NOW

    What to expect on the day

    This 20 minute VIP experience begins with a health and safety briefing from our expert zoo keeper who will then take you behind the scenes at the African lions exhibit. You will then help our zoo keeper feed a lion whilst learning more about these amazing animals.

    There will be a maximum of four people taking part in the experience, giving you lots of time with the lion and zoo keeper.

    Tip: Meet the Lions takes place behind the scenes and due to the small group size, spectators are not permitted access to this area.
     

    Is this experience suitable for me? 

    Meet the Lions is available for adults and children over the age of 12 years old; however children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a participating adult who also has a valid Meet the Lions experience ticket. 

    Unfortunately this experience is not wheelchair accessible. Guests with carers can get a carer ticket which lets carers enter the behind the scenes area free of charge, but carers will not participate in the experience. To get a carer ticket please call 0344 225 1826.

    Please note that pregnant or nursing mothers who have given birth within the previous six months cannot participate for health and safety reasons.

     

    Availability

    • Meet the Lions takes place at 3pm, Friday – Monday from April through to October. 


    Price

    • £84 per person

    Please note: ZSL members receive a 10% discount on this experience. Please call us to book on 0344 225 1826 or email experienceenquiries@zsl.org


    How to book

    • Book online here
    • Call us on 0344 225 1826

    We also offer Meet the Lions as a gift voucher. Please visit our online shop here to book as a gift for someone.   

     

    Know before you book

    Important information before booking your Meet the Lions experience:

    • Admission to the zoo is not included and must be purchased separately
    • Participants must be 12 years of age or older 
    • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a participating adult guardian – each adult must also have a valid Meet the Lions ticket. No more than 2 children per adult
    • Pregnant or nursing mothers who have given birth within the previous six months cannot participate
    • Participants with learning or visual impairment must be accompanied by a carer. Accompanying carers can enter the behind the scenes area free of charge but will not participate in the experience. Carers will need to get a carer ticket. Please call 0344 225 1826
    • Wheelchair access is not available for this experience. For more information please discuss with us when you book
    • Appropriate closed toe footwear must be worn for the experience
    • The experience itinerary, content, duration and availability are subject to change without notice
    • Please arrive on time, we advise guests arrive at least 10 minutes before the experience begins
    • Please see our full terms and conditions for more information

    2019 Dates and Prices

    Dates

    Meet the Lions takes place at 3pm, Friday – Monday
    from April through to October. 

    Book now >


    Price

    £84 per person


    Call for reservations 0344 225 1826 or book online here


    African lions

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