Group Guidelines

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. Please bring your reservation number with you and report to the Ark Shop on arrival where your tickets will be waiting.

Groups must book and pay for their visit at least 48 hours in advance online to qualify for the group rate. The tickets should be distributed by the organiser before they group enters 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.

Meeting place
We suggest you arrange a meeting place with your group, in case you become separated. One good meeting place is outside the main Penguini's restaurant or alternatively the meeting point in front of the Ark gift shop.

First Aid
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.

Lunch facilities
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, 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.

Terms and conditions
Please make sure you have read the full terms and conditions prior to your booking.


5.00pm close or dusk if earlier
Last admission to zoo grounds at 4.00pm

Click here for further closing times


upcoming events
July 2020
Sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1