ZSL London Zoo | 6th August 2018
Last week, on the 6th August, my boyfriend and I set out bright and early for a trip to ZSL London Zoo. Little did we know it would be one of the hottest days of the year, which added to the exhaustion we felt at the end of the very long day in London. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my camera so please enjoy my average iPhone camera quality photos from the day and a LONG ol’ post all about the zoo!
To start the day, we left early to catch the 09:08 train into London. From here it was a train into Waterloo, a tube to Camden and then a 20 minute walk to the zoo. After our hour-and-a-half journey, we finally arrived. Unexpectedly, there was no queue to buy tickets – we were expecting to be waiting a while since it was the summer holidays and relatively nice weather. The lack of queue was definitely a bonus and we waltzed into the zoo quickly and easily. Now, I’m not a MASSIVE zoo fan, but I thought I’d give it a go and I was very impressed with ZSL London Zoo and genuinely had a good, if exhausting, day out.
The first thing we did when we got in was head straight to the otters and meerkats, as they were about to be fed. Otters are one of my favourite animals, whilst meerkats are one of my boyfriend’s favourite animals, so it all worked out pretty well. We got lots of pictures and videos of them having fun and being all adorable eating their breakfast.
After learning about the meerkats and otters, we headed to the rainforest area. This was HOT. It was already heating up outside by this point so going inside to an area simulating a rainforest was tough. Inside, we saw various species of monkeys and reptiles. I was hoping to see the sloth in the enclosure but we couldn’t find it amongst all of the leaves and trees. Also inside the building was the ‘nightlife’ section – where we could see animals, such as bats, that thrive in darker conditions. Obviously it was too dark to take any good pictures, however, there was a pretty cool light feature that we saw as we went downstairs into the section.
After spending some time looking at animals, we headed to the Terrace Restaurant for some lunch. There was a lot of food to choose from and it was nice to be in some air conditioning for a while. The food was enough to keep us going for the rest of the day out – at least until we stopped for a cake break in the afternoon!
We then went to see the gorilla enclosure before heading over to the penguin show. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any gorillas in the enclosure – probably because it was a bit too hot for them to be out and about. We headed to the park near Penguin Beach as we had some extra time to spare before the show. Here, we saw flamingos and the Winnie the Pooh statue. I love flamingos and we could see them pretty clearly from where we were in the park. The statue was adorable and great to hear the history of the story.
In the park, we also saw the ‘superhero’ exhibit that they had on. This exhibit was in aid of using less plastic and other environmental evils in everyday life. I am very supportive of reducing single-use plastics and saving the ocean so this really impressed me. The fact that they were educating young children in a fun and interactive way was incredible to see – the zoo were also advertising their #OneLess campaign in their shows and in their shops and kiosks, as they were only selling cans of water rather than plastic bottles.
After admiring the plastic exhibit, we headed to Penguin Beach. This is the biggest penguin pool in the UK and held over 90 penguins. Although we didn’t see all of the penguins, it was good to see them swimming around and having fun in the pool. It looked so fun we almost jumped in with them to escape the heat!
We decided to have a break from the heat and get some rainbow cake from the restaurant (I forgot to take a photo and I’m so gutted about it!) before heading to the Land of the Lions. There were three lions in the enclosure, however, as they were in the shade due to the heat, you could only see them from one angle and it was hard to get a photo through the bars. The theming in the Land of the Lions was also incredible and fun and so bright and colourful.
We then went to go into the monkey enclosure. This was a chance to get up close and personal with the monkeys roaming around on ropes above. This was cool, however, there were a lot of people in the enclosure, which didn’t seem comfortable for the monkeys. We didn’t stay in here for very long before heading to the llamas, camels, tigers and the outback section. We didn’t actively go to see the llamas or camels but they were still fun to watch for a bit.
The tigers were a bit disappointing as, again, it was a bit hot so we didn’t see any of them in the enclosure. Similarly, in the outback section, we were unable to see the kangaroos or wallabies as they were in the shade or inside. Finally, we headed to the giraffes. I love giraffes a lot so this was a good way to end our day at the zoo. We saw two of the giraffes ‘cuddling’ each other in the heat and it was so adorable and I just love giraffes.
Okay, the actual end to our day was the gift shop, naturally. As much as I desperately wanted to buy all of the adorable cuddly toys that were there, I had to restrain myself. Instead, I ended up buying my parents a fridge magnet with a flamingo and “ZSL London Zoo” written on, as well as a keyring with a giraffe, which similarly said “ZSL London Zoo” on, for myself. After surviving the gift shop with minimal purchases, we hopped in an Uber back to Waterloo and started our journey home after a fab, long day in the sun.
I was very impressed with the zoo overall, especially the plastic campaign they were running and all of the teaching aspects and awareness raised about animals. The zoo wasn’t as busy as we thought it was going to be, which was ideal for us seeing everything we wanted to and having a relatively relaxed day in the sun. Although we didn’t see all of the animals we wanted to, it was still a wonderful day out and I would definitely recommend ZSL London Zoo as somewhere for not only families with young children but for everyone to enjoy.