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“Best Family Day Ever”
Review of Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo
Ranked #4 of 82 things to do in Colchester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Colchester Zoo is constantly developing and has won many awards for its work. With over 270 species to see, set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes, Colchester Zoo is well worth a visit. As you walk around the zoo there's plenty of play areas to try out including the indoor soft play area Jungle Tumble with a section for under 3s and all new play equipment where the kids can release their wild side! New enclosures include a walk through enclosure with butterflies and another with Rainbow Lorikeets offering visitors a chance to feed them a treat of nectar. Plus there's 'Bears of the Rising Sun', a state of the art enclosure which houses two beautiful sun bears , Jo Jo and Srey Ya. You can also come face to face with Komodo Dragons, see white rhino, giraffes, ostrich and kudu roaming together at Kingdom of the Wild and walk underwater through the 24m tunnel at the Playa Patagonia sealion pool. Learn more about the animals and see them up close by watching one of the 50 daily displays. You even get the fantastic opportunity to feed the elephants and giraffes yourself and take a ride on the 'Lost Madagascar Express' road train! Don't forget to pop into the discovery centre and have a go at handling some unusual bugs or get your face painted and transform yourself into your favourite animal!
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Colchester Zoo is without a shadow of a doubt the best family day out we have had. That goes for every visit we have ever made. Today was extra special as my wife had arranged for me to attend a Orangutan keeper shadowing experience.

The experience was amazing one of the beat memories of my life. The keeper was so knowledgable and made the experience really special. It was amazing to get that near to such an amazing animal. As a 39 year old it brought back my sense of childhood wonder. Feeding an orangutan strawberry tea and hiding its food is something I never thought I would do. It is amazing good value for money you got a lot and is something I would highly recommend a true stand out experience we will be booking another.

As for the day at the zoo itself. Every single staff member and volunteer is amazing. So much knowledge so friendly and helpful and nothing is to much trouble to enhance your day. The animals are amazing so well looked after and in good enclosures. They keepers and management clearly care. A great focus on conservation and education. Really well laid out and spotlessly clean.

Everything very reasonably priced entrance food and gift shop. Very good value you cant possibly see it all in a day we have been twice now and still have not seen it all. You can feed elephant and giraffi just an amazing day for kids and big kids.

So much do I rate it here that I would go as far to say if you could only have one family day out make it here. Cant rate it highly enough.

Thank Martin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"gold card"
in 179 reviews
"feeding times"
in 109 reviews
"animal enclosures"
in 94 reviews
"train ride"
in 92 reviews
"food outlets"
in 111 reviews
"sea lions"
in 67 reviews
"sun bears"
in 56 reviews
"animals seem"
in 50 reviews
"tesco vouchers"
in 51 reviews
"plenty of places to eat"
in 52 reviews
"annual pass"
in 61 reviews
"great family day"
in 88 reviews
"all ages"
in 244 reviews
"packed lunch"
in 72 reviews
"well worth the money"
in 59 reviews
"value for money"
in 131 reviews
"school holidays"
in 65 reviews
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83 - 87 of 4,586 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

I visited today and being Easter Sunday it turned out to be very busy. This was not my issue with the zoo though. Having read so many 5* reviews it made me really surprised at how sad my experience made me. Many of the animals I saw were in very small enclosures for their size and roamed the edges of their enclosures in never ending loops. They pacing around and around is something I haven't seen in a zoo for a long long time (I'm pleased to say). The zoo is also very confusingly laid out and difficult to navigate. Not a problem we have in general but hear just breaking out of the first section of the zoo to get to the larger animals was a mission. Having visited Africa Alive the last couple of years at Easter I'd definitely say it's a much better day out if your travelling from somewhere between the too and there's not much difference in your journey. It's much better laid out, much bigger spaces for the animals at the children's challenge of collecting stamps to get a medal is much more fun to keep them moving around and see the best of the zoo. It's been a long long time since I went to a zoo that made me feel really sad and sorry for the animals but Colchester zoo managed it. I hope they find a way to improve the enclosures for those who are just too cramped and clearly unhappy. Even in zoos that probably have similar space I've seen really clever use of layout and improved views outside of enclosures that seems to help make them less cramped. I'm sure something can be done. As it is there is no way I'll be returning.

2  Thank Travelhappydoda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColZoo, Manager at Colchester Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback following your recent visit. At no point does Colchester Zoo wish for a customer be dissatisfied with the service they receive.

We are very sorry to hear that you left with some concerns for the animals in our care. Please be assured animal health and welfare is priority here at Colchester Zoo. We endeavour to provide all the animals with the optimum living conditions and all of our enclosures are designed to meet their behavioural needs. All the animals are in naturalistic surroundings and may have several different areas to their enclosure, they also have off show areas which they have access to away from the public.

At Colchester Zoo we have a large team of dedicated keepers who ensure that all the animals are fed and stimulated with various enrichment to encourage their natural instincts and behaviour. We closely monitor the behaviour of all of the animals at the Zoo for signs of stress or agitation and the pacing behaviour can sometimes be misinterpreted because this behaviour is also natural for some species in that this is how they mark their territory with big cats scenting as they do so to ‘claim’ the area as their own. Some animals may also often pace back and forth in anticipation of something happening when they sense their keepers in the area for feeding for example. We hope that this response reassures you that the pacing behaviour you noticed is monitored by keepers and is not a cause for concern.

With regards to the layout of the zoo, we recognise that it can make it difficult in some areas to navigate. We do therefore provide an “Easier Route” which is marked out on the ground and on the map pointing visitors in a direction to ensure you do not miss any species or exhibits.

We do hope that this response has helped to relieve any concerns which you may have had and we hope that we have the chance to welcome you back again soon for a more enjoyable visit.

Many thanks,
Colchester Zoo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

Myself and my wife relived our younger days with a trip without the kids moaning!
The place is great the animals all look happy and healthy and have loads of space to run around.
We did get somewhat lost and would suggest an arrow system so you follow a dedicated path but it was great fun.
We managed to feed the giraffs and nearly fed the elephants but where a bit too late.
The food halls i will say are awful especially the burger place.
I returned my first dish and really should of returned the replacement as it was hard and horrid.
Basically take your food with you as tastier and a whole lot cheaper

Thank Curtis32621
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2018

One of the best zoos I’ve visited. Improving all the time, loads of talks, good cafe and food outlets.
Get a gold card though they are excellent value otherwise it is expensive,

Thank wutheringwithen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 March 2018 via mobile

It was full of screaming kids arrogant parents and no staff. It was boring the cafes are over priced rubbish. Seriously save your money people this place is crap.

1  Thank poppski121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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