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Accessibility in the zoo


We want all of our visitors to have a ‘zooper’ day out and work hard to make the zoo as accessible as possible.

Belfast Zoo is located on Cave Hill and some of the paths are located on steep gradients. The zoo map highlights areas of the zoo with higher gradients which can aid with planning your visit. The zoo currently operates a one-way system around the zoo.

For detailed information on accessibility at Belfast Zoo, visit our profile at www.accessable.co.uk

Zoomobile

You must book the Zoomobile buggy in advance. This vehicle can carry one wheelchair user with up to four non-wheelchair users, or four non-wheelchair users.

You can book an inclusive tour for £25. The tour lasts for approximately 1.5 hours and can accommodate a maximum of five visitors (one wheelchair-user with up to four non-wheelchair users, or four non-wheelchair users).

Zoomobile information

Priority entry

Visitors with accessibility requirements receive priority access into Belfast Zoo. If there is a queue at admissions on arrival, you can either follow signage for ‘fast track’ access or enter through the Zoovenir Shop where staff will give you access. 

Carer's entry

Visitors paying standard admission price who require special assistance are offered free admission for one accompanying carer. To gain free carer’s admission, the carer must provide proof (in the form of documentation) to show that you are in receipt of carer’s allowance, a doctor’s letter or other relevant paperwork. Alternatively, the visitor who needs a carer can provide evidence of their disability.

Car parking

We have 17 designated accessible parking bays which are located in the main car park close to the Visitor Centre entrance. Blue badges should be properly displayed on the vehicle dashboard with the side showing the wheelchair symbol facing forward. Car parking is free.

Accessible toilet facilities

We have accessible unisex toilets located at:

  • Upon exiting the Visitor Centre
  • In the Lion’s Den café
  • At the elephant and giraffe walk
  • Below the Treetop Tearooms

We also have a Changing Places facility, including an adult-sized changing bench and hoist system, located in the Visitor Centre.

Wheelchairs and electric scooters

Manual wheelchairs are available to hire for free. The wheelchairs are booked in a first come, first served basis. Please complete the online form or call 028 9077 6277 to book. Please ensure you have read the Terms and Conditions of hire before booking.

We do not provide electric scooters for hire. Visitors are allowed to use their own electric scooter at their own risk. You must make sure it is suitable for the terrain and you will need to sign a disclaimer before entering the zoo with the scooter.

Visitors with visual or hearing impairments

Registered assistance dogs are welcome in Belfast Zoo. As stated in the BIAZA regulations, visitors must ensure that:

  • All registered assistance dogs must be up to date with all inoculations (proof is needed).
  • Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and under strict control.
  • Dogs must not foul anywhere in the zoo grounds. Any incidents should be cleared away by their owners.

Visitors can avail of our free audio tour via your mobile device.

An induction loop hearing system is available in our Visitor Centre. Please advise a member of staff and switch your hearing aid to T.

A SignVideo facility is available in the Visitor Centre which allows the deaf community to communicate via a British Sign Language interpreter in real time via a video relay system.

Visitors on the autism spectrum

We recognise that visiting a busy outdoor attraction can be challenging so we have introduced measures to help ensure you have a stress-free and fun day at the zoo.

We have developed a visual guide which has been designed to walk you through the zoo before you visit so you are aware of what sights and sounds to expect and you can plan your visit accordingly. Email us now to request this.

We permit visitors with a JAM card, Autism Alert Card or National Autism Card to be fast tracked to the top of the admission queue during busy periods. Please enter the Visitor Centre through the Zoovenir Shop entrance and ask a staff member to assist you with fast track entry. You may also wish to call the zoo on 028 9077 6277 to identify typical less busy times for entering the zoo.

We recommend that visitors on the autism spectrum and with other sensory requirements do the following when visiting the zoo:

  • Wear a bracelet or name tag with contact details and any other essential information that staff can refer to should an individual become separated from their group.
  • Bring along ear plugs, headphones or ear defenders as some areas of the zoo can be noisy at times.
  • Bring a favourite device, toy or activity such as a tablet, game or book that may help the individual be distracted, entertained or calmed as needed.
  • Provide reinforcers for good behaviour as the average zoo visit is around three hours.

Accessible events

We hold several events throughout the year catered for visitors with accessibility requirements, such as Quiet Hours and Sensory Day. All zoo events are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you need information or have feedback on the zoo’s accessibility, please contact us by calling 028 9077 6277 or email info@belfastzoo.co.uk

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