Information & FAQs

Please find answers to your frequently asked questions and queries below.

Please read the full entry terms & conditions ahead of your visit to Colchester Zoo. Further important information can be found below.
If you urgently require assistance outside of the Zoo’s opening hours please call us on 01206 331292 and select option 2 – This number is to be used in an emergency ONLY.

Any enquiries regarding a booking, payment or other general information about an order or question about your visit should be made by calling 01206 331292 ext 461 from 9.30am until the zoo’s closing time. Our hours are available to view here.

Admission Enquiries

We open at 9.30am every day of the year except for Christmas Day. Our closing times vary throughout the year. A full list of our closing times throughout the year can be found here.
Please click here to view our admission prices.
All visitors are no longer required to pre-book their entry tickets online in advance of their visit. We do however recommend booking online in advance to receive the best price on your tickets.

Tesco Reward Partner Codes.
Simply turn up on the day you would like to use your Tesco Reward Partner Codes and head towards our signed Ticket Office. A member of our team will then be able to process your codes into entry tickets. Please ensure that you bring with you your Tesco Reward Partner Codes and not the order confirmation email. Those who turn up without their Tesco Reward Partner Codes will either have to pay in full for admission or will be turned away. Find out more here.
Our postcode is CO3 0SL; you can find details on directions to the Zoo by clicking here.
You are welcome to park in the Zoo’s large car park free of charge. Cars are parked in the Colchester Zoo car park at their owners own risk and Colchester Zoo cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to vehicles, their contents or persons.
To find out how to get to Colchester Zoo from Colchester Train Station please click here.
All bicycles, scooters, children’s cars, skate boards and rollerblades are not permitted within Colchester Zoo as this can put yourself and other visitors in danger. A bike rack is available within the car park for your to lock your bicycle should you choose to use this method of transport to and from the zoo.

Three wheeled trikes are allowed into Colchester Zoo only on the condition that parents or guardians use the trike as if it were a buggy and do not allow the child to propel themselves.  Visitors who wish to bring in a trike agree that they use it at their own risk and take full responsibility steering it. Colchester Zoo is not liable for any damage or injury.
No, tickets purchased from individuals/social media/online market place websites are not valid for resale and will be invalid upon entry.

We are unable to offer any compensation to those who attempt to enter on these tickets so please do not purchase them. Only tickets purchased from official third party companies and Colchester Zoo are valid for admission. Anyone found to be selling Colchester Zoo tickets online will have their tickets immediately cancelled, further action may also be taken against passholders found to be selling complimentary tickets.
We are now accepting Tesco Vouchers as payment for admission to Colchester Zoo. Find out more HERE.
We do not offer a family ticket, as all tickets are priced individually.
Unfortunately we are unable to allow admittance to children under the age of 16yrs without a full paying adult or adult passholder. Children under the age of 16yrs must be supervised by a responsible adult over the age of 16yrs at all times whilst inside the park. Unsupervised children will not be granted admission.

During late night openings children under the age of 16yrs must be accompanied by a responsible adult/guardian at all times whilst on the premises. Unaccompanied children under 16yrs will not be admitted.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
Please visit out hire information page here for more information on our hire fees and deposits and which hires are currently available.
We understand how important your assistance dog is in supporting you during your visit. We have a specific ASSISTANCE DOG CODE OF CONDUCT Our policy helps us to ensure that all our visitors and our permanent animals have a safe and stress-free time. Find out more here.

No dogs are allowed on any part of the Zoo site including our car park – with the exception of guide and assistance dogs under specific conditions. Colchester Zoo does not allow dogs to be left in cars, even with ventilation and water, anyone found leaving dogs in their car will be refused entry to the Zoo.


General Enquiries

There are many picnic areas available around the Zoo which visitors are welcome to use on a first-come first-served basis. You are also welcome to return to your car for your picnic, you just need to remember to get a wristband at the point of exit to be able to gain re-entry into the Zoo.
We have a number of lockers available to rent. Please click here to find out more.
Find out more about our Lost Madagascar Express Road Train here. Please stop by the station today for opening times of the road train.

ADVANCE NOTICE: Please be aware that the Lost Madagascar Train will NOT be running from 13th November to 24th November 2023 due to track resurfacing . During this period, there will be no access to Lemur Walkthrough via foot however, our Lemurs will still be visible from other viewing areas.
If your visit day is rainy or cold, we still have lots of exciting enclosures and activity areas to explore. See out Wet Weather Visits page HERE for more information.
Colchester Zoo now has free wifi access throughout the park, for the password please check with a member of staff as this changes regularly.
Colchester Zoo is a smoke free family attraction. Smoking and vaping is strictly prohibited within the zoo grounds.

Please only use our designated smoking area located outside of the zoo’s main entrance.

Please be aware that if you do choose to leave the zoo to use the designated area outside of the zoo you will need to collect a re-entry wristband upon exiting through our main shop.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
You are welcome to take photographs of the animals for your personal use. Images may not be used for any commercial purpose without specific, prior permission from Colchester Zoo. Colchester Zoo does not buy images taken of the animals.
We are unable to sell cat dung for health and safety reasons due to the raw meat contained in their diets. We do, however, sell “Zoo Poo” which is a herbivore based manure from our Elephants and Rhinos, which is good for the garden.
We do keep all lost property items found for approximately 3-4 weeks. Once this time is up, any unclaimed items are given to charity organisations. If you have an enquiry on something you have lost during your visit to Colchester Zoo, please call our Administration Office on 01206 331292 ext 221 and a member of staff will be happy to have a look for you.
Colchester Zoo does not hold a licence for weddings so it is not possible to get married at Colchester Zoo.
Allergen information is available at each each outlet. Please speak to a member of the team regarding any allergen concerns.
Please be aware that sanitary products are only available for purchase at the Entrance toilets.


Access Enquiries

Find out more about the disabled access Colchester Zoo offers, including adult changing facilities, free admission for assistants, as well as our suggested easier route for wheelchair users here. You can also download and view our accessibility map here.

Please read Colchester Zoo’s terms of entry ahead of your visit.

Tickets: Please be aware that any guest visiting with a disability will be required to purchase the relevant adult, senior or child admission ticket (online in advance). Colchester Zoo will then admit an assistant FREE of charge upon request when verification of disability is shown.
Yes there is ample disabled parking available within Colchester Zoo’s car park.
Manual wheelchair and mobility scooter hire is available – please click here for more information.
Due to the steep hills you are allowed to use your own an electric scooter, however visitors who wish to do so, agree that they use this at their own risk and take full responsibility for its correct use. Colchester Zoo is not liable for any damage or injury. You can download our Easier Route map here.

Charity Fundraising Request

Colchester Zoo and its charitable organisation, Action for the Wild, donates hundreds of complimentary tickets to local organisations, including schools and charities, to assist with their fundraising efforts. These requests have grown to such an extent over the past few years that it has resulted in us having to put a policy in place. Therefore we are only able to accept applications between March and September.

We are willing to support the local community and region for fundraising purposes by making complimentary tickets available, but to enable us to manage the process of donating tickets to organisations, the following conditions and criteria must be met:

• Colchester Zoo will issue tickets to either organisations or other registered charities whose work clearly supports or relates to our own mission, preventing extinction, or to school and registered community groups in the local area.
• We are only able to donate tickets to local organisations and charities. We are not able to donate to third parties who are holding events on behalf of other nominated charities or causes.
• Two child complimentary tickets valid for 3 months from the event date will be donated to successful requests. These tickets are not valid for resale and cannot be extended or exchanged.
• Only one set of tickets will be allocated to successful organisations in any 12-month period.
•Applications must be made at least 4 weeks prior to the event date.

If you meet the criteria and would like to apply for fundraising tickets, please return to our website in March when we reopen our online request form. All requests are considered between March and September.


Zoo Pass Enquiries

Upgrade your admission ticket to a Zoo Pass during your visit! If you think you’ll be visiting us more than twice this year then a Zoo Pass may be better value for you and your family. Stop by our Guest Services department today or click here for more information.

Please ensure you read our updated terms and conditions prior to purchasing your pass.
No. Please be aware that it is a condition of your free entry that a valid Zoo Pass is shown at the zoo entrance. If you do not bring your card with you admission will be charged and cannot be refunded.
Please click here for terms and conditions of lost and forgotten Zoo Passes. 
You can download a copy of your annual Zoo Pass straight to your Apple Wallet or an Android Wallet App here.


Animal Enquiries

Unfortunately we are unable to take any animals or unwanted pets. To seek advice on what to do with an unwanted animal or pet please contact the RSPCA or similar charity. If you simply require reptile advice, please try the Essex Reptile and Amphibian Society on 01621 816721.
We have a minimum contact policy with most species held at Colchester Zoo as it is not in the welfare interest of the animals. Neither is it safe for members of the public to have immediate contact with dangerous wild animals. Only the Keepers have contact when absolutely necessary i.e. when veterinary care is required.


Zoo Keeper and Experience Enquiries

Career advice on how to become a Zoo Keeper can be found on the careers page.
Unfortunately the keepers’ time is very limited so it is not possible to deviate from the set programmes i.e spending more time on one animal section than the other.


Job and Work Experience Enquiries

Visit our current vacancies page here.
Visit our current vacancies page here.


COVID-19

You are no longer required to pre-book tickets online before your chosen visit date. Tickets can be purchased on the day.
Passholders are no longer required to pre-book an entry timeslot.

There are no closed areas due to COVID-19 restrictions.
You are no longer required to wear face mask during your visit.
All of our toilets and hand washing facilities are operational and are regularly cleaned by a member of our Grounds Team throughout the day.
We recommend paying with contactless card where you can, however we do accept cash payments.
Please be aware, some of our outlets may only accept cash or card due to technical restrictions.
Our lockers, wheelchairs, mobility scooters and buggies are available for hire. Find out more here.
Following the successful implementation of the soft play being capacity managed during COVID-19 we decided to continue to manage the soft play in this manner. Therefore it is necessary to pre-book a free timeslot to attend the Soft Play.
You can do this before your visit or on the day but we advise pre-booking online before your visit to avoid disappointment. You can pre-book your free time slot here.

Need more help?

If you still have a question please feel free to get in touch with our team at enquiries@colchesterzoo.org and we will do our best to answer your query as soon as possible but we do ask for your patience and understanding for any delays experienced.

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