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Lookout lodge experience

We’ve just spent two days and one night at whipsnade. What a fantastic zoo with all the animals in... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
charismatickaz
via mobile
cub scout day out

we took 120 cubs and leaders. its a big zoo with plenty of walking .lovely big enclosures for the... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
cliff d
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Ipswich, United Kingdom
via mobile
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Reviewed 31 May 2017 via mobile

We went to whipsnade yesterday 30/5. We didn't know what to expect as we hadn't been here before. It cost £62 for three of us which is about average for a day out. We parked in the external car park as it's £25 to park within the zoo which seemed a bit expensive. It was very quick getting into the zoo not much queuing involved. The one thing we noticed is how much space the animals had in there enclosures, it was lovely to see that they wasn't crammed in. There is also in some enclosures a lot of certain animals instead of just 1 or 2 which you normally see. Nearly all the animals were out and not hidden away which was great. We went to watch the bird show which was good fun and not too long. There are other animal talks but we didn't go to any of the others as we were conscious of time. The last part of the zoo, Asia we saw on the train which was so lovely. It's a proper steam train which you don't see many of these days and you got a good view of the animals in this area. The elephants being walked through by a keeper was an unexpected sight but really nice. There are a couple of places to order food where you can sit out and eat and the views are phenomenal. We ate at lookout cafe where there wasn't much choice other than sandwiches or hotdog. They are quite expensive so it might be better to take your own picnic but I definitely recommend you make the most of the view. There are cars driving throughout the zoo so keep your eyes peeled when crossing. The one point I would like to make people aware of is that there is a lot of walking involved as it's such a big zoo. It's definitely worth it but get there as early as you can to make sure you see it all. There is a little farm for children who want to pet some animals. There is an indoor play area but pre-booking is recommended, but there is a fantastic outdoor park. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not the biggest zoo lover but I really did enjoy it a lot even if my feet didn't. There is a gift shop at the end of course but not everything is expensive. I would definitely recommend this zoo but if your not great at walking big distances then I suggest you pay the £25

Thank lynne25ukuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Supporter-Services, Supporter Services Co-Ordinator at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2017

Hi Lynne,

Thank you for coming to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo for the first time on 30th May. We are delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your visit. Here at ZSL there is a lot of walking as we are the biggest Zoo in the UK! However tired feet can take a break on the free bus that runs every 30 minutes around the Zoo.

We always advised guests spending a minimum of half a day with us as there are so many different things to see and do during your visit. Thank you for coming to visit ZSL and loving it as much as we do. We hope that your feet have recovered!

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Reviewed 31 May 2017 via mobile

As new members, we have visited Whipsnade Zoo several times in the last couple of months and never get bored of it.

It's a beautiful zoo where the animals have huge enclosures and the keepers clearly care about their animals. The views across Dunstable Downes are an added bonus.

On this occasion, we saw a tiger being fed close up and had close encounters with elephants and giraffes. We also had to see how the baby crocodiles are progressing (7 year old's favourite) and saw a whole host of other beautiful animals including macaws in flight and wallowing hippos.

We had three children with us aged 3, 7 and 13 and they were happy and entertained all day. It's well worth taking children's scooters as there is lots of walking involved and scooters make it fun all day without complaints. The bus is also good if you want to see round the whole zoo or need a rest.

The outdoor play equipment is great for kids of all ages and the indoor soft play is good for under 11s but you need to book it at some point when you arrive (I've never struggled to get a place).

We always take a picnic so can't comment on the food but there are several cafes if you wish and various picnic areas inside and out. It is great that you can buy souvenirs without spending a fortune, we buy a soft animal each time for £6 which I think is reasonable.

We will be back very soon by order of a 7 year old. This membership is without doubt, the best 160 something pounds I've spent all year!

Thank Jenny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Supporter-Services, Supporter Services Co-Ordinator at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2017

Hi Jenny,

We are thrilled to hear that you love ZSL as much as we do. So much so that you became members to enjoy unlimited visits with us throughout the year (apart from Christmas day!). It looks like on your last visit you had a full very full day visiting the animal residents. We like your tips of pre-booking Hullabazoo in order to get a space and picnicking on the Dunstable Downs.

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Reviewed 30 May 2017

If you don't want to read this review which I will give great detail about, then just know that this was amazing, and well worth the high price that we paid.

I bought this for my partner and myself at Christmas and waited until May in the hope the weather would be better....I should have known better. It was very wet, but at least it was not cold!

We arrived on the Friday morning and were met by Crystal, one of the zoo keepers who would be going round with us all day. The group which included others who had paid for the experience, were whisked away in a minivan and had a quick tour of the park. We then headed for breakfast where a nice full english waited for us. Lots of other options available such as cereal, toast, croissants etc..

It was a full day's worth of zoo keeping with plenty of opportunities to take photos and overall, was one of the best days out I have ever had.

It is worth noting that whilst the giraffe, elephant and rhinos are almost always on the itinerary every day, the rest of the animal experience we did was specific to the Friday that we went. It differs from day to day and can change more so if for example an animal is quarantine or too stressed etc...

Here is what we did throughtout the day:

Breakfast
Make enrichment toys/activities for the sloth bears. Then throw the toys in to their exhibit up close with them. Whilst here we also prepared food for the Rhinos.
Chop some bamboo up from the stuff grown at the park, then head to feed the Gaur, which are giant Bison/Buffalo type animals.
Muck out the Asian Rhinos and then we got to hand feed a giant Asian Rhino. I cannot tell you how amazing these creatures are. Gentle giants! Whilst we were here, we also picked up some rhino poo and put it into sacks to be used later!
Siberian Tigers next. They laid out some treats for them which meant they came very close to the fence to enable great photo opportunities.
We then fed the otters. Cute little things and they make some very odd noises when they are excited and hungry!
We then fed some red river boars.
Had some lunch, all paid for. Could either have a cooked hot meal or just get sandwiches etc.. drinks paid for as well.
Fed the pair of hippos, extremely imposing creatures, even though you are the safe side of the exhibit.
Now we went to see the african hunting dogs. We chucked the sacks of rhino poo into their exhibit and watched them go crazy over it. Fighting over it and rolling in it. It apparently stimulates their senses with the different smells.
Then the 2nd and 3rd main event of the day. First, hand feeding the elephants. Standing side by side with a giant elephant is something I will never forget. It was so good that a lady who was in our group, was crying with happiness about the opportunity that she was being given to feed this amazing animals.
We then chopped down some very prickly plants and leaves to hand feed the giraffes. There was a youngster there as well who was amazingly cute.

After all this, you are tired but the tiredness doesn't hit you until your driving home. Far too excited whilst you are there to get tired.

If you have taken the time to read this review, then hopefully you will have a good idea of how amazing this day was. Crystal our zookeeper for the day was brilliant. She was fun, knowledgeable and made the whole experience even more special.

I cannot recommend this enough. Yes it is pricey but when you are standing there, hand feeding rhinos and elephants, trust me, money is irrelevant.

3  Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 31 May 2017

Thank you so much for taking the time to review our Keeper for a Day experience so extensively. I'm thrilled to hear that you found Crystal fun and knowledgeable on the experience and enjoyed feeding the elephants, giraffes and making enrichment for the hunting dogs among all the other activities that you took part in.

I would like to thank you for taking part in the experience as your support enables us to continue our field activities and conservation work that you heard about whilst on the experience. Through your stay you also help us provide training and technical assistance to other conservation groups and individuals in many countries around the world!

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Reviewed 30 May 2017

This seems to be a very well organised and great zoo to attend with the family.

I booked the tickets online and got the confirmation email sent straight to my phone.

Once you are at the zoo the parking is plentiful (and free) and is only a few minutes walk to the main entrance of the zoo.

As soon as you gain entry to the zoo they provide you with a map and "what is on" time table.

We managed to see all of the animals that we wanted to see and we took our own picnic and had a wonderful picnic overlooking the park / fields.

There are plenty of little cafe's throughout the whole zoo food and drinks so you will always be very well catered for.

I would happily return for another visit

Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Supporter-Services, Supporter Services Co-Ordinator at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2017

Hi Mark,

We are glad to hear how smoothly your time with ZSL has been and thank you for leaving your 5* review. Our whats on board has been specially created for customers as per guest feedback and we are glad that you noticed it on your visit.

We hope that you come back soon to see our exciting summer events.

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Reviewed 29 May 2017

An amazing experience for young and old. Plenty to see and do. Great staff, doing fantastic work. Picnic wins every time.

Thank edbroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Supporter-Services, Supporter Services Co-Ordinator at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2017

Hello,

Thank you for your review. We agree about the picnic's definitely a great way to enjoy the day especially with the unique views around the park.

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