Information & FAQs

Colchester Zoo will temporarily close from 4.30pm on the 24th December 2020, until further notice, due to Government guidelines and tier restrictions. 

Find out more including our lockdown FAQs here.

Entry T&Cs

Please read the full entry terms & conditions ahead of your visit to Colchester Zoo. Further important information can be found below.

Emergency out of hours contact:

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.
Please click here to view our admission prices.
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 will be required to sign a disclaimer if they wish to bring in a trike agreeing that they use it at their own risk and take full responsibility steering it.
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 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.
Only Registered Assistance Dogs are allowed into the Zoo grounds. These may only enter the zoo grounds if fully up to date with any inoculations, kept on a lead at all times and not be allowed to foul on the Zoo’s pathways.
Find out more here.
We do not have kennel facilities for dogs and we ask you not to bring your dogs along with you on a visit. Colchester Zoo does not allow dogs to be left in cars, even with ventilation and water, anyone found leaving dogs in their car will not be granted admission. We take this very seriously and take our lead from the RSPCA –

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.
Colchester Zoo now has free wifi access throughout the park, for the password please check with a member of staff as this changes regularly.
As a family friendly attraction Colchester Zoo promotes a no-smoking policy. We kindly ask visitors to refrain from both smoking and vaping.

Should a visitor need to smoke or vape we have various dedicated smoking zones within the park which we ask visitors to smoke within. These are detailed on the park map.

Any persons found to be smoking outside of these zones will be asked to stop smoking and directed to a smoking zone.
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.
Yes Colchester Zoo does charge the required 5p for a single carrier bag. All large shops in England must charge this fee as stated by the Department for Environmental Food & Rural Affairs. All the money raised from the sale of our plastic bags is donated to Colchester Zoo’s charity, Action for the Wild.
We are afraid that Colchester Zoo does not hold a licence for weddings so it is not possible to get married at Colchester Zoo.

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.
You are more than welcome to bring your own electric scooters to the Zoo however please be aware that Colchester Zoo is naturally hilly so the terrain can be hard going. If you do bring your own electric scooter we request that you complete a disclaimer form upon entering the Zoo.

Vouchers and Discounts

Our admission prices have already been reduced online and therefore no further discounts are available. This includes Tesco Vouchers and the Zoo Passholders Discount until further notice. Click here if you would like to purchase tickets.

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. 

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 Keeper for the Day 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.
Colchester Zoo is not currently offering any work placements.

Charity Fundraising Requests

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 which has resulted in us having to put in place a policy to consider all applications.

Unfortunately we are not currently taking requests for charity fundraising raffles as we are unable to donate tickets at this time.

We thank you for your understanding.

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