Explore The Adventure: Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is pretty impressive. It has been on our bucket list for exploring the adventure for some time, but due to the fact that it's more than two hours away it has always taken a back seat. We have had many fun adventures at Banham Zoo so we needed to go and explore a different adventure. I have heard so many great things about Colchester Zoo, especially as it's one of the top ten list of zoos recommended visiting in the world. So we knew that we were in for a great day out. At Colchester Zoo we saw so many different species from around the world and even had the chance to see the animals being fed and watch a couple of training sessions too. As we walked around the zoo we saw many places to eat and even a great play area including an indoor soft play area Jungle Tumble with all new play equipment where my daughter unleashed her wild side. 

On our visit to Colchester we discovered some great enclosures with butterflies and Rainbow Lorikeets allowing us to get close to the animals and feeding them nectar. For us, one of the best experiences that we will probably ever have was getting the opportunity to feed the elephants. My daughter was ecstatic that she got to feed an elephant some cabbage. We also walked through an underwater tunnel watching the cheeky seals and other sea water animals was a wonderment. So as you can see already, it was a fun filled day full of adventures that we won't forget in a hurry.

As we drove into Colchester Zoo's car park I couldn't believe how big it was. There were clear rows and ways to work out where you parked meaning that you could easily locate your parked care after your zoo adventure. Walking to the entrance was an odd one, it looked like an airport and reception staff seemed like they wanted to get people through as quickly as possible. Thankfully we pre-booked our tickets online and our wait wasn't long at all and we were handed our tickets, leaflets and an explorers booklet, however my husband forgot to pick up a map and made his way back into the crowd to grab one. So when you go to Colchester Zoo make sure that you have everything you need to ensure you're not waiting too long or getting lost in the crowds to get a map!

Just a quick note if you're planning to grab lunch from your car, you’ll need to go to the gift shop and get a wristband to get back in, as your ticket won’t work. It’s also a long walk, so if you can take everything you need with you, then do. The zoo is accessible for all and has different coloured paths so those that may have difficulty tackling their slopes can take a more level route without missing all the animals. There are a range of eating outlets within Colchester Zoo including meal deals and healthier options, again these cater for all needs and high chairs are available. But we did find this a little more expensive that regular restaurants. Alternatively you can take your own pack up. Toilets are a plenty and they have baby changing and disabled toilets.

Exploring the Adventures with the Animals

There are so many animals at Colchester Zoo and surprisingly other experiences too. All we knew was that we wanted to try and see every animal in the zoo, but soon found out that is was quite the challenge. A lot of the zoo keepers told us that many families tend to come back to finish their adventures, as there is so much to see and do. But making sure that we kept to the map we managed to see every animal, went to a couple of the displays and even got to ride on The Lost Madagascar Express. There were so many favourite parts of the zoo for us but a couple enclosures really stood out for us. Our favourite exhibit by far was Kingdom of the Wild that had a range of different Asian species from giraffes, zebra, hippos, rhino and ostriches to lizards and tortoises. Many of the animals could be seen mixing together in the main paddock which was absolutely HUGE, they had so much space to move around in and it was very reflective of a Savannah environment.

Opposite was Elephant Kingdom which was equally impressive. There has much thought and design with the enclosure featuring everything from night stalls and bull elephant quarters to waterfalls and a pool area. They even had set times for elephant feeding. And one not to shy away from an opportunity we got into the queue straightaway, the zoo keepers gave us all a piece of cabbage to feed to the Elephants and it was so lovely to see them take the cabbage with their trunks. My daughter was so happy that she got to feed an elephant. 

Australian Rainbows was an enclosure that I have never experienced before. This enclosure has only been open for a few years and previously was the Wild About Animals Theatre where seating was removed and the roof replaced to give the correct 'tropical rainforest' atmosphere. It's an impressive enclosure giving guests a real opportunity to get up close and personal with the exotic aviary of lorikeets whilst feeding them a pot of golden nectar for an additional £1. Even my daughter had a go at feeding them some nectar, however our cheeky bird decided to take the pot too but thankfully daddy was quick enough to grab it from him quickly.

I love Chimpanzees and so I couldn't wait to go to Chimpanzee Lookout,  if I'm honest I could have stayed their for hours watching them, they have such funny characteristics. One of the chimps was being a cheeky chap by picking his nose and eating it, gross. But that aside watching them all play with one another and swing on the ropes was so wonderful. There are eight Chimpanzees in the enclosure, three males and five females. However these little Chimps were not the only primates we got to see at Colchester Zoo. We got to meet the very grumpy Orangutan, I literally couldn't believe how big this fella was, but boy was he a grumpy one. My daughter was amazed with how grumpy his face was and kept trying to copy his little face. 

My daughter loves the sea and going under one of the largest straight underwater tunnels in Europe was an an absolute must. Play Patagonia was a sight, that's for sure. The glass in the tunnel is 10cm thick and the enclosure holds a massive 500,000 gallons of water! It's quite impressive. The enclosure is currently home to our five females patagonian sealions named Atlanta, Milan, Winnipeg, Paris and Sydney. It was so cool walking under the tunnel trying to look out for all the sea life. 

No trip to Colchester zoo is complete without a ride on The Lost Madagascar Express. A little journey to discover countries and continents, led by a ranger guide before disembarking at Lost Madagascar, where the adventure will really began. On our trip on the Lost Madagascar Express there was so much to try and look out for and my daughter spotted a couple of wolves and after the train journey ended she wanted to make a bee line for the Wolves to get a closer look at them. We had a fantastic day at Colchester Zoo at the end of the day we were super tired and couldn't wait to make our way home. Before we even got out of the car park, our daughter was snoring her head off. We had such a lovely day there and we cannot wait to go back, it's definitely a firm favourite. 

Have you been to Colchester zoo? If you have what was your favourite enclosure?


  1. Looks like a great zoo and a great family day out x

  2. I love love love the zoo! I wanna go and see elephants next! Looks like you had such a lovely day!

  3. This looks like a fantastic day out - I would love the underwater tunnel! My kids would love this and I don't think it's too far for us. Great photos! x

  4. Love Chester Zoo! The elephants there are everything! Love them x x

  5. I'm so jealous you got to see an elephant! I'm glad you had a good time xx