Amur tiger at Colchester Zoo (2021)
  • Amur tiger at Colchester Zoo (2021)
  • Animal care team hosting a encounter with the sea lion
  • Lady and child looking at sea lion
  • Fiji banded iguana at Colchester Zoo (2021)
  • Southern tamandua at Colchester Zoo (2021)

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Colchester Zoo’s Animal Experiences offer the unique opportunity to get closer to our animals and learn more about them from our Animal Care Team!


Keeper for the Day:

Step into the boots of a member of the Animal Care Team in one of our three exciting options that take you closer to the animals than ever before!

Escorted by our dedicated animal care team, you will venture behind the scenes and find out just what it takes to care for some of the most incredible creatures on the planet! Our three Keeper for the Day options are listed below with more information to help you choose which package you would like to take part in.

Keeper Shadowing:

Get closer to the animals with a Keeper Shadowing Experience!

This is the perfect experience for anyone who is passionate about a particular species of animal! Offering you the chance to enjoy a personal experience with your favourite species from our selected shadowing species, this makes a great gift for a loved one or simply a treat for yourself.

Kids Zoo Academy:

The perfect experience for all young animal enthusiasts!

These amazing experience are a perfect introduction to life working with animals for any child dreaming of becoming a vet, zoo keeper or wildlife ranger.

With expert tuition from the keepers, your child will step behind the scenes to meet some incredible animals and enjoy a ‘hands on’ lesson that they will treasure forever! 

Perfect Moments:

Looking for the ‘perfect moment’ to celebrate a special landmark event?

Whatever the occasion, enjoy a shared, close-up animal experience for two at Colchester Zoo and make memories to treasure forever!

EXTRA-Ordinary Experience:

Book an Extra-ordinary Experience for a day like no other…

Be VIPs as you are guided by an experienced host and taken on the adventure of a lifetime. Exploring the very heart of Colchester Zoo, you will stop off to see a whole variety of amazing animals!

As well as the ULTIMATE full day Extra-ordinary Animal Experience, we also offer a half day option both for the morning and afternoon.

Team Building:

Colchester Zoo provides a unique location for your next team building event that is sure to challenge, stimulate, reward and boost your team’s morale.

With specially-tailored activities, teams can focus on communication, planning, time budgeting, design, debating skills and reasoning, combined with some amazing, close-up animal interactions – this package is a must for any organisation wishing to strengthen and motivate their team!

Hen Parties:

Looking for a unique way to celebrate your final fling before the ring? 

Explore LOVE in the animal kingdom with inspiration from our sassy sea lions, passionate penguins, and the chance the meet either our loving lemurs or gentle giraffes!
This Hen Party package includes fun activities and hands-on animal encounters for a group to remember forever!

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

To ensure smooth and safe experiences we ask you to contact us BEFORE booking so we can plan with you. This is important because if you do not let us know your needs prior to booking and then arrive for the experience we may have to decline your visit if we assess that it is unsafe for you, our staff or animals. We want to avoid that disappointment for everyone concerned, not least because experiences, once booked, cannot be refunded.



  • Disabled access - We have a suggested Easier Route marked with green arrows on the ground to ensure you don’t miss anything! This is aimed at those with pushchairs, mobility scooters and wheelchairs as it avoids steeper hills but not all within the zoo.
  • Wheelchairs available - We have a facility to hire a limited number of manual wheelchairs and electric scooters inside the zoo grounds next to the zoo main entrance. If you would like to hire a wheelchair or electric mobility scooter, please email our team at least 24hrs in advance.


  • On-site catering - Our main food and drink outlet, Penguini’s Restaurant, and Meerkat Hangout are both open every day from 9:30am. Gourmet Sausage and The Waterhole are also open daily from 10:30am. Our other food outlets may be closed on weekdays and in certain seasons, so please check with our Guest Services team as you enter the zoo for all available outlets on the day of your visit. All available outlets are subject to change and supply chains, and may close due to extreme weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances without prior notice.
  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site - Colchester Zoo has a number picnic benches and tables throughout the zoo for you to use.

Target Markets

  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Set your Sat Nav for CO3 0SL

How to get here by Car: Colchester Zoo is located just south of Colchester. Take the A1124 exit (Junction 26) off the main A12 following the brown elephant signs and using the new Stanway Western Bypass.

From the M25: About 40 minutes from Junction 28 of the M25 to reach the A12

From Southend: About 1 hour’s journey, 40 miles using A127 and A130 to reach the A12

From Hertfordshire: About 1 hour’s journey – 50 miles using A414 or A120 to reach the A12

From Stansted Airport: About 50 mins journey, 30 miles using A120 to reach the A12. For car hire from Stansted Airport

Colchester Zoo is situated on Maldon Road in Stanway.

Car parking is free and disabled car parking spaces are available close to the zoo entrance. NB Blue badges must be displayed to use the disabled parking area

If you need a lift or could provide one and would like to help the environment – why not share your car journey to the Zoo? Try these car share sites. and  

Public Transport Directions

How to get here by Train:

Colchester Main Train Station can be reached from Liverpool Street services from London within in an hour or is easily reached along the Lowestoft or Norwich networks to Ipswich and then on to Colchester. Colchester Zoo is just 10 minutes by taxi or can be reached by bus.

How to get here by Bus:

All bus services to Colchester Bus Station regularly connect with the number 75 for Maldon or Tiptree and Colchester Zoo.

Experiences at Colchester Zoo


Maldon Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex, CO3 0SL

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Tel+44 (0)1206 331292

Opening Times

Open New Year

* Colchester Zoo is a full day out the whole family can enjoy! You may need to visit twice to see everything!

We are open every day from 9.30am except Christmas Day. Closing times vary according to season.
Please note that the Zoo may close up to 30 minutes prior to closing time stated depending on level of trade.

Last admission to the zoo grounds is 1 hour prior to close.

Visit our website for more information.

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