Information & FAQs
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 1 or 4 – 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 227, 228, 230 or 235 from 9.30am until the zoo’s closing time. Our hours are available to view here.
If you already have tickets for entry please go straight to our admissions building and scan your tickets at the gates. Our staff will be on hand to help and guide you, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff who are always happy to help. Read more here about our new admissions building.
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.
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.
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.
Due to security we are unable to hold bags or belongings for visitors. We ask visitors to leave bags and belongings they do not wish to carry around the park at home or in their car.
The Playa Patagonia Coffee Shop
Ice Cream Parlour
*Please be aware that closing times can vary from those listed above and some of our smaller outlets listed may be closed during times of poor weather and low levels of demand.
Find out more about eat outlet here.
If however, visitors require the need to smoke and vape in the park there are a number of designated zones that we ask you to use. These designated zones are different for smoking and vaping and are clearly indicated on the map within your welcome guide*. You can also ask any member of staff for assistance and they will be happy to direct you. Smoking and vaping is forbidden anywhere in the park which falls outside of the designated zones including;
– Covered spaces and buildings
– Catering outlets
– Play areas
– Picnic areas
– Train station
– Near animal enclosures
*Please note that vaping zones are not currently on our printed map but a member of staff will be happy to offer assistance. We are implementing the vaping zones onto future prints.
Please read Colchester Zoo’s terms of entry ahead of your visit.
Recent changes: 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 or on entering the zoo). Colchester Zoo will then admit an assistant FREE of charge upon request when verification of disability is shown.
Vouchers and Discounts
Tesco Vouchers can be used to visit Colchester Zoo on Magic of Christmas days and Halloween Fright Nights but a fee will be charged to access certain secondary attractions within the park on these special event days.
Please note that Tesco Vouchers are not valid in conjunction with any other offer and cannot be used towards a Zoo Pass.
Zoo Pass Enquiries
Please ensure you read our updated terms and conditions prior to purchasing your pass.
If you visit the Discovery Centre at any point throughout the day you can hold and stroke a variety of minibeasts. We also have our Sensation Station area where we house minibeasts and a variety of other scaly and fluffy animals. Please note that on quiet days these encounters may only happen at set times, please visit the Sensation Station on the day of your visit to check times for close encounters.
We also have various Keeper Shadowing and Keeper for the Day schemes available to participate in where you can go behind the scenes at different enclosures within the Zoo, helping with food preparation, some cleaning out and learning more about how the animals are cared for. Find out more here.
Zoo Keeper and Keeper for the Day Enquiries
Job and Work Experience Enquiries
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.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding for this policy.
– 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 twelve-month period.
Applications must be made at least three calendar months prior to the event date.
To apply for fundraising tickets, the online request form must be completed to be considered. Once complete, your request will be passed on to the charity co-ordinatior for review.
If your request is successful, we will notify you via email. You will then be required to send a copy of your application form with a stamped addressed envelope enclosed to enable us to post the complimentary tickets back to you.
We would very much like to reply to each request but unfortunately our limited administration resources prevent us from doing so, therefore we are unable to reply to unsuccessful requests.
If you meet the criteria and would like to apply for fundraising tickets please complete the online request form below and send this via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please download the form first before completing it and sending it to us otherwise your changes will not be saved.