Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo: Hours, Address, Colchester Zoo Reviews: 4.5/5

Colchester Zoo
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Colchester Zoo is constantly developing and has won many awards for its work. With over 270 species to see, set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes, Colchester Zoo is well worth a visit. As you walk around the zoo there's plenty of play areas to try out including the indoor soft play area Jungle Tumble with a section for under 3s and all new play equipment where the kids can release their wild side! New enclosures include a walk through enclosure with butterflies and another with Rainbow Lorikeets offering visitors a chance to feed them a treat of nectar. Plus there's 'Bears of the Rising Sun', a state of the art enclosure which houses two beautiful sun bears , Jo Jo and Srey Ya. You can also come face to face with Komodo Dragons, see white rhino, giraffes, ostrich and kudu roaming together at Kingdom of the Wild and walk underwater through the 24m tunnel at the Playa Patagonia sealion pool. Learn more about the animals and see them up close by watching one of the 50 daily displays. You even get the fantastic opportunity to feed the elephants and giraffes yourself and take a ride on the 'Lost Madagascar Express' road train! Don't forget to pop into the discovery centre and have a go at handling some unusual bugs or get your face painted and transform yourself into your favourite animal!
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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6,198 reviews
Very good

Karen J
Essex, UK77 contributions
Myself and my other half always try to visit the Zoo once a year to support the fantastic conservation work that they do however due to the Pandemic over the last few years (we last visited in 2019) we were unable to visit.
On our first visit last Tuesday post pandemic the Zoo was still excellent value for money, the animals are wonderfully looked after and we were there in excess of four hours looking at everything.
I enjoyed feeding nectar to the Rainbow Parrots who fly freely and enjoy human interaction that was one of the highlights of the visit.
I am pleased the zoo is so popular, there were in excess of 30 coaches and lots of school visits whilst we were there which gives them a good financial boost as during lockdown the zoo had to close completely.
The only downside was that there was now only one lion as the lioness had died in March and the tigers were nowhere to be seen in their enclosure, they were probably hiding. The chimps and Orangutan did however provide entertainment with their antics.
Also, when we paid for our tickets on arrival we were not given a plan of the zoo as we had received previously when visiting the zoo.
Written July 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Enfield, UK111 contributions
We went to Colchester zoo on the 6th and we had a great time you really can't go wrong it's so modern now beware of the steep hills if your legs aren't strong enough or you're pushing a buggy other than that there's so much to see and do the animals were amazing the elephants rhinos you see them all we had some pizza at the restaurant there prgwini is I think it was called.. the thing is I had the fully loaded and we did laugh because it was anything but... It was tasty maybe £7 overpriced for the family including drinks came to 27 if they could bring that price down £2.20 for a bottle of Coca-Cola and this was on the meal deal so we were a little shocked but you're in a captive audience aren't you.. I'll show you the picture of my fully loaded other than that we had a great day can't fault it.. it feels like it's been modernised and following the arrows around the zoo gets you into all these beautiful places and is fantastic animals thank you Colchester zoo another great day out
Written August 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for your feedback following your recent visit, we are pleased to hear that you had an enjoyable evening with us. Your comments are very important to us as we strive on a daily basis to ensure our guests have a great day - we will certainly share your comments with the rest of the team at Colchester Zoo. We do hope to welcome you back for another enjoyable visit soon. Best wishes, Colchester Zoo
Written August 8, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carolyn A
Cambridge, UK7 contributions
Having been given a Keeper for the Day Experience I was looking forward to close contact with elephants and other animals including Komodo Dragons, Spotted Hyena, Mandrills and Cheetahs and it far exceeded my expectations. The keepers were incredibly knowledgeable, obviously cared deeply about their charges and were keen to pass as much information about them as they could. The experience of feeding chunks of carrot to an elephant as one would a pony and then watching it crunch up a whole coconut is something I will never forget. It was a hugely informative day but presented in a way that was very enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone.
Basic facilities around the zoo like loos are excellent as is the catering which is also sensibly priced so lugging a picnic around is not a necessity.
Written October 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

5 contributions
We were disappointed with the Zoo, a lot of the enclosures had no or few animals in them. Quite confusing to navigate and are sure we may have missed some areas.

I would recommend providing paper maps for guests as although they offer you to scan a QR code as you enter to download the app, there is very very little signal within the park so this is a waste of time.

I enjoyed seeing the animals that were there but there are many other zoos/animals parks that are much better value for money. around and about and I would suggest visiting them instead.

My 2 stars were for the man that drove the train, it was a lot of fun, he was very informative and made us all laugh.
Written February 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Keeping up with the Barbers
Bungay, UK480 contributions
Our family visited here a couple of days ago for the first time, I had been wanting to come here for years and we decided to make a trip from Bungay so our 13 year old Autistic son could see some different animals compared to Africa Alive and Banham zoo.
Firstly we thought the park was very over crowded and too many many people were let in considering you had to book, hardly anyone was wearing a mask including staff.
It would have been nice to be told or to read on the website that a lot of the park had hills and slopes considering I have mobility problems, I found it very difficult to walk up the steep slopes and this ruined my experience of seeing the animals.
My son really wanted to see the anaconda but it was blocked off for some reason and this made him really upset, there should be a notice to say what animals are not available to see to avoid disappointment.
A lot of the animals are behind glass which is not easy to see them as the glass was dirty and it’s not easy to get photos of them as you get reflections, other zoo’s we have been too have the animals in open enclosures so you can see them better. A lot of the animals were too far away to see as well.
The signage was not good, it was like a maze and you had to use a map off your phone as they were not giving out paper maps because of covid.
The toilets were filthy and had no soap or hand sanitizer either and you had to queue, my hubby had to queue for 15 minutes and there was no socially distancing either.
The shops and food kiosks were very expensive too, it was £2.70 for a magnum, I bought 3 bottles of drink and a magnum which came to £10.15. The gift shop was well overpriced and had things in there that didn’t relate to the zoo like ornaments and not of animals costing £50.
I think we will be sticking with Africa Alive in the future as the zoo is a lot cleaner and maintained.
Written August 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karon S
London, UK14 contributions
Visited for the first time after hearing how great this zoo is. The carpark is free which was great, as most places rip you off. It was quite busy but manageable and the staff were friendly.
If you’re disabled or have mobility problems, I wouldn’t recommend as it is quite hilly, also the signage isn’t good and although you can download the map onto your phone we walked round in circles for the first hour, it’s like a maze,plus you’d walk down a pathway expecting to be able to get out the other side and it just led to a dead end.
A lot of the animals are behind glass and difficult to see as they were far away, considering I didn’t think that their enclosures were particularly big and those that you could look over a barrier to see, had a lot of bushes in front of it making it very difficult to see anything, especially if you have small children.
There are a lot of eating places inside the zoo, which I think were fairly priced(considering what some places charge) and the food was lovely plus it wasn’t hard to get a seat.
On the whole, I won’t be rushing back.
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Caitlyn T
5 contributions
I was very disappointed when visiting Colchester Zoo, some of the staff were very rude, and the food was absolutely awful, I tried serval different things from each of the food stops and everything I tried tasted foul, for the price you pay for the food you would expect it taste decent! £3.80 for a tiny tuna sandwich that in my opinion was drier than the Sahara dessert, and didn’t even remotely taste like tuna, waited about 30 minutes for a hot dog for it to taste disgusting, there was no structure to collecting your order, the two people cooking the hotdogs were more interested in chatting amongst themselves both of which had relatively long hair but wore no hat or hair net.
After waiting so long for the hotdogs my partner asked them where our order was and one of them stormed to the back and came back with the hot dog but instead of apologising they slammed it down and walked off. I was very disappointed as I remember going as a child and I use to love it, I won’t be returning
Written September 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

1 contribution
The zoo has done everything it can to mitigate risks from Covid 19, one way systems, signage, car park attendants asking you to wear face masks inside etc but not many people actually follow the guidance. It felt like an awful day out and we came home early as no one was wearing face masks in the indoor areas and people just piled around you when you were looking at animals, everyone was ignoring the red lines on the floor and don’t touch signs. Not the zoos fault that people don’t listen but couldnt recommend it for a day out, it’s a lot of money and we left in less than 2 hours. Shame when we have been gold card holders for years, people need to be more considerate.
Written July 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Worthing, UK15 contributions
Having visited several zoo's, this is by far the best zoo I have ever been too.
We had a wonderful time - we were a group of 4 adults, and we were so impressed at the set up of the zoo and the variety of animals. The enclosures were so well thought out, with lots of viewing areas to see the animals, and animals seemed happy and content with plenty of space.
We booked the additional animal experience feeding the giraffe and elephants - this I feel was very reasonably priced at £20 per experience for upto 5 people per group for 5 minutes. these experience's were incredible, and well worth the money, the staff were brilliant and we didn't feel rushed at all
lots of food options avaiable, and picnic spaces as well.
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Charlotte M
8 contributions
My boyfriend surprised me with the perfect moments elephant experience for my 21st birthday and it exceeded our expectations completely. We were greeted at the experience check in by a lovely ,welcoming lady who told us all of the information we needed for our day.
Our experience wasn't until 3.30 so we had all day to explore all of the different areas of the zoo. There is something to look at everywhere you go ! The enclosures looked clean and spacious and all had great viewing areas both inside and outside to ensure you could view the animals wherever they were. I also loved the creativity in the enclosures and the different walkways and houses to explore. One of my favourites was the sea lion under water tunnel , that was simply amazing ! We watched the sea lion keeper feeding the sea lions and playing with them , was lovely to see her relationship with them and to see the animals clearly engaging and having a great time.

With our experience package we had a pre booked lunch at the Penguinis restaurant, the service we received here was just perfect. As soon as the lady saw our experience ticket , she took us to a seating area which was separate to the main restaurant area. The waitress serving us was so attentive and wanted us to have the best time. She kept offering us sides and drinks and said we could have as much as we wanted as it's covered in the ticket. We were so full and couldn't manage pudding so she gave us some in a box to take away with us. The customer service was fantastic and the food was such high quality we couldn't fault it at all and we felt this was a great part of the day.

At 3.30 we went to the elephant kingdom to start our elephant experience. It was raining outside and with it being late afternoon the keepers brought the elephants inside as they needed to bath the elephants. The keepers were lovely and very enthusiastic about what they do. She told us so many interesting facts about these animals , there was nothing they didn't know ! We had the pleasure of watching them Bath one of the elephants which was brilliant, I was surprised how well trained the elephants were and was lovely to see the animals being cared for. The keepers clearly love caring for their animals, they did all the daily health checks and made sure he was nice and healthy. We then got to hand feed the elephant, we were so close it was great !
This experience was one of the best days of my life , if you love elephants and want to see how the keepers care for them then this experience is for you , I would 100% recommend this ! Also , I was in awe of the relationship between the keepers and the elephants, it was lovely to see the trust ,communication and the love between them. The elephants were also very obedient.

We then finished our day in the gift shop with our 15% discount voucher , we then headed back to the experience check in where we received our souvenir which was a lovely engraved glass.

We had the perfect day, we didn't know what to expect from the experience but it went above and beyond our expectations. If you get the chance to do this , definitely do it
Written November 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM