Arriving at the Zoo
Coaches are welcome to park in the designated free coach park.
Fast Track Entry
Simply pay for your visit 48 hours in advance and you will receive fast track entry into the zoo. You will also receive one FREE adult entry to every 8 paying children in your group. Please bring your reservation number with you and report to the Ark Shop on arrival where your tickets will be waiting.
Groups may pay on the day as long as they have booked at least 48 hours in advance to qualify for the group rate. The group leader should report to the main pay box with their reservation number to make payment by cash or card before the rest of the group enter the zoo. This prevents the main entrance building getting congested. The tickets should then be taken back to the group to be distributed by the organiser before they group enters the zoo. Please note fast track entry is only available if you pay in advance. Payment on the day will slow your entry into the zoo.
Please ensure that all children are supervised by an adult at all times. Unsupervised children (of all ages) will be approached by staff if they are unaccompanied.
Have you booked an educational talk for your group?
If you have pre-booked an Educational Session your group, please report to Guest Services 10 minute before your scheduled start time
Please brief your group on the following points:
- Litter can get into the enclosures and harm animals. Please put all litter in the bins provided.
- In order to see the animals and watch them behaving naturally, visitors must be very quiet. Banging on enclosures, shouting or imitating animal sounds will frighten them and scare them away.
- Our animals are provided with balanced diets which keep them healthy. Please do not feed them as this will cause them harm.
- Be aware that there are other visitors in the zoo at the same time as you. Respect their needs too, so that everyone can have an enjoyable day.
- Visitors must not stray into areas that are not open to the public, i.e. 'Staff Only' or 'No Access'. These areas are off limits to the public for a reason and it may not be safe for visitors to enter these areas.
- Children of all ages must stay with a supervisory adult at all times.
- Children are not allowed on any of the road trains unless they have a supervisory adult with them.
- Children are not allowed into Jungle Tumble soft play complex or other play areas without a supervisory adult.
- Unruly or anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
What to wear
Colchester Zoo covers 60 acres of land, some of which is quite hilly. Sensible footwear and rucksacks for carrying packed lunches are advised.
We suggest you arrange a meeting place with your group, in case you become separated. One good meeting place is outside the main Cafe UmPhafa restaurant or alternatively the meeting point in front of the Ark gift shop.
We have qualified First Aiders on site. If you require first aid please contact the nearest member of staff or go to the Guest Services office.
Visitors with Nut allergies
We recommend that visitors with nut allergies do not use the animal feed at Familiar Friends as we cannot guarantee that the food has not come into contact with nuts or nut products during the manufacturing process.
Visitors requiring medication
The administration of any medication is the responsibility of the group organiser. If anyone in your group does have severe allergies please inform the zoo before your arrival so that the First Aiders can be notified.
There are many undercover picnic areas around the zoo, however these cannot be reserved. Picnic areas can be found in the following areas: Kingdom of the Wild upper floor and the Wrap Bar and Sausage Hut at Otter Creek, opposite Crazy Sand, Tugela BBQ Terrace.
Facilities for Disabled Guests
As Colchester Zoo is naturally very hilly we do offer facilities and very reduced rates for disabled visitors. As it can be hard going for wheelchairs an 'easier route' is available to follow which offers the flattest route of the zoo. Additionally wheelchairs are available for hire. A 'T' Loop induction system is fitted in the Kalahari Centre and in Guest Services for the hard of hearing.