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“Sunset Safari walk”
Review of Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo
Ranked #3 of 71 things to do in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Our 140-acre park is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings. Just by visiting Marwell Zoo (owned and operated by conservation charity, Marwell Wildlife) you'll be making a big contribution to our projects to conserve species and habitats, both here in Hampshire and around the world. Look out for Lemur Loop, a new walkthrough exhibit opening summer 2017, plus, The Great Brick Safari: An Interactive Experience with LEGO® Bricks EXCLUSIVE to Marwell Zoo 1 Aug - 1 Oct. Our £15-£19 adult entry fee varies across the year and includes a voluntary donation of around 10%. Please check our website for full ticket prices.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Stroller parking, Activities for young children
Reviewed July 22, 2014

Brilliant way to see the park without all the crowds. 2 excellent tour leaders who were really knowledgable and friendly. They took around the park and told us all about the animals, their jobs and made the tour really interesting. If you fancy going and avoiding the kids and crowds, do the sunset walk

Thank Joycethevoicer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2014

Hello there, thank you for leaving us feedback after your sunset safari! We are very pleased that you all enjoyed the experience and we hope to see you again soon.

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1,557 - 1,561 of 2,222 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2014

Beautiful countryside with animals in large grassy paddocks. Lots of animals to see and lots of space to enjoy.

1  Thank ZooSue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Hi there, thank so much for leaving us a five star review! We are very pleased you enjoyed your day here and we hope to see you again very soon for another lovely day out.

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Reviewed July 21, 2014

We visited Marwell Zoo on 19/06/2014. On arrival the cashier will automatically add on a donation to the already overpriced entry ticket. It then makes US as the customer feel awkward to ask them to deduct the supposedly "voluntary" donation from our total. Not a great start.

Marwell Zoo have stopped giving you free parks maps and so you have to rely on interactive ones around the site. You have one if you buy a programme for £2.95. Which again considering the over priced entry one piece of paper with directions isn't a lot to ask.

TAKE YOUR OWN FOOD. Me and my sister made the mistake of eating in their cafe. We order one very average quiche, a small bland pasta and cheese plus two drinks and it came to £14!!!!.
The enclosures are small especially the one for the tiger.

I recommend spending your hard earned pennies on going to Monkey World instead. All proceeds of monkey world got to rescuing primates from their lives of doom. It isn't a zoo, but a rescue centre. Which means each primate there is either there because the life they were living was awful or they are there with the view to be released back into the wild.

For me there is something quite wrong about seeing an animal caged for human amusement and with no view to release them. I understand that often seeing the animal can help educate us about them and their possible extinction, but there is such a different atmosphere at Monkey world that we are really supporting ethical care of primates and have the chance to see them in the flesh at the same time.

Another point to make is the unreasonable and quite frankly day light robbery prices of Marwell Zoo's shop!. My sister purchased a medium sized orangutan for £20 at Monkey World. The exact same cuddly and make was at Marwell priced at £32.99!!!. You would think that Monkey World would overprice their primate related toys not Marwell and yet still Monkey World exceed expectations in keeping the day affordable and ensuring all profits go to recusing primates.

I cannot stress enough that price, ethics and general day out is so much more better at Monkey World than Marwell Zoo. I for one will never be returning to a zoo that prides itself on containing animals in small spaces and charging tourists 400% mark up on the whole day!

1  Thank FrankandFox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2014

Hi there, thank you for taking the time to leave a review after your visit. We are saddened that your experience did not meet your expectations.

All staff at Marwell Zoo have an aim to make our guests feel as welcome as possible to ensure that they enjoy their day. Our admissions team are expected to ask each guest at the time of buying their ticket, whether they would like to pay the extra 10% donation which goes to our conservation work. We are disappointed this was not the case for you on this occasion and your comments have been passed on to the relevant people to ensure that this does not reoccur in the future.

This year we have introduced many map boards around the park, along with a couple of digital interactive maps, to help guests find their way around our site. Guests can purchase one of our guide books for £2.99. It is packed full of fun animal facts, park information and includes a guest questionnaire and a park map on the back page. Alternatively, guests are able to download the map to their mobile phones.

We are disappointed to hear that you feel our entry fee is over-priced. We constantly review our prices to ensure that we are kept comparable to similar attractions of this type within the region. For £17.26 per adult, you can enjoy a full day out here at Marwell, from 10am – 6pm, looking at our wonderful animals, learning with our daily talks and having fun with our special event Rise of the Dinosaurs.

Cafe Graze, our main catering outlet, offers a wide variety of food options, from filling hot meals to many smaller snacks. It’s a shame that you did not enjoy your choice of hot food, however, we do hope that you spoke to a member of our catering team on the day, who would have been more than happy to assist you and ensure that you had a pleasant experience.

At Marwell, we feel that all of our animals have very spacious enclosures and environments, and we regularly receive comments from guests on how much freedom our animals have.

Marwell Wildlife undertakes a broad portfolio of conservation activities which includes managing individuals and populations of threatened species, and the restoration of endangered wildlife and ecosystems. We develop partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organisations to implement our conservation and scientific work both in the UK and internationally. Recognising the central role of people in successful conservation, we work with local communities to find sustainable ways of living alongside wildlife.

We are unhappy that you were not pleased with the prices in our Gift Shop. We ensure that all the products we sell in our gift shop are responsibly sourced, are of great quality and all of our suppliers provide ethical statements so we are confident of how they are produced. Our prices are in line with most other large visitor attractions and being a conservation charity, all of our profits go into our conservation work in the UK and abroad.

We do hope that you will reconsider visiting us and we hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed July 20, 2014

I visited marwell on Friday with my 4 year old son as a much ended mum and son time.

I am very disappointed with our visit, we spent the whole day there and whilst the facilities were good my son continually commented where the animals were and I had to agree with him. I fully understand that you cannot make the animals perform for the visitors that's the last thing that I was expecting, we were lucky enough to see the leopard and tiger snoozing under a tree in the sun which Was great... But that was it, there were no meerkats in the enclosures, huge monkey/ape parts with no animals - we checked the inside and out, there was one wallaby in the walk.... We spend ages there as it's a particular favourite of my son but could only spot one hiding. I understand it was warm but it left us and a lot of people around us bemused. I think that If the enclosure is empty it would be useful to put a sign up or something. The bird walk through had 3 birds.. It was a bit of a joke and I had to make up a story to my son that they were all on holiday as it's school holiday soon... It was a totally rare treat to not only have a day with just my son and not other siblings but also to spend the money to go and I have to say I felt thoroughly disappointed, we basically looked at a lot of completely empty enclosures..
The dinosaur set up is good but really we went to see the animals and they literally was none...

Jo bunch

3  Thank Joanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2014

Hi there, thank you for taking the time to leave us your comments after your visit. We are pleased that you think our facilities good and that both you and your son enjoyed viewing our amur leopard and amur tiger taking a nap in the sun. However, we are saddened that your expectations of the visit were not met.

We have meerkats at two locations in the park and they can be found at either. The meerkat enclosure outside Cafe Graze is the main exhibit in which you can also see them from inside. There is also a second meerkat home behind Marwell Hall. The meerkats have been out enjoying the sunny weather lately - it may have been that they were hiding when you visited them. We have several different species of monkeys here too, from our smaller cotton top tamarins to our larger primates like the gibbons and macaques. All of them can be seen either inside or outside of their areas. We do advise that our guests are extra careful when seeking the animal, as they could be hiding behind their vegetation or climbing structures. We recommend that if guests still cannot spot them, to return later in the day as there is a good chance the animal will then be visible.

Our wallabies have been out in the walk-through, although they have managed to find a very good hiding place behind the grassy mound near the exit of the walk-through. This spot is shady and cool for them, so be sure to look to your left once leaving as this is where they often are.

At Marwell, we do display signs when the animal is under veterinary care or when maintenance work is being carried out. This informs the guest that the enclosure is temporarily empty.

There are two walk-in aviaries at Marwell Zoo, both located in the fur, feather and scales exhibit. The larger one includes 11 different species of birds and the smaller one is home to 2 different species of birds. Again, they both enable guests to view them whether they are indoors or outdoors, so we are disappointed that you could only see 3.

It’s great that you thought Rise of the Dinosaurs was good and we hope you will consider visiting us again.

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Reviewed July 20, 2014

Had a nice family day out withe two young families.

Nice spacious enclosures, for viewing animals, Giraffe enclosure especially good. Indeed the whole zoo aspect of our visit was excellent.

Interactive children's exhibits invariably did not work which was disappointing.

Food at the venue was simply appalling, unappetising sanwiches invariably containing curry !! or a burger available from two witless teens running a burger stand offering overdone rock solid beef patties in dried out bread with cold cheese slices and a cm or two of an onion for 5 Pounds each.

To sum up a great zoo with nice exhibits in great grounds, but get a new F&B Manager.

Thank LouiseWilk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2014

Hi there, thank you for leaving us feedback after your visit. We are pleased to hear that both young families enjoyed Marwell Zoo, our giraffes are popular as a favourite with our guests so we’re glad that you loved seeing them too. We like to give our animals a lot of space and freedom in their enclosures to ensure their happiness and wellbeing so it’s great you noticed this.

We understand that the whirlpool by the pygmy hippos has not been working recently and we have been waiting for spare parts which have arrived this week, so this should be repaired shortly. If you would like to be more specific on which interactive equipment was not working please contact us via email on feedback@marwell.org.uk so that we can investigate.

We are disappointed to hear that your expectations of our catering service were not fulfilled. We provide a wide selection of sandwiches with different fillings, coronation chicken is indeed one of our many choices. We hope that you spoke with a member of the catering team on the day, who would have been more than happy to assist you, and ensured you had a fantastic experience. The catering team go to every effort to ensure the highest in food quality and safety to guarantee that guest expectations are met.

Thanks again for leaving your comments and we hope to see you again soon.

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