Instructions for walking around our zoo
- Visitor Centre
You will enter the zoo through the visitor centre. This building is accessed through double automatic doors with level access into the venue and from the car park’s accessible parking bays.
Admission desks are to the right as you enter the Visitor Centre and Changing Places toilets are to the left. The automatic double doors providing exit into the zoo are at the far end of the Visitor Centre, directly opposite the entrance doors.
Vending machines with confectionery and soft drinks are available inside, to the left of the doors exiting into the zoo. When you exit the Visitor Centre, you will find lockers to your right.
After exiting the Visitor Centre, you travel up a short slope. Toilet facilities, including disabled toilet and baby changing, are located to the left at the top of this slope.
- Buzz Stop and Lion’s Den café
30 metres opposite the toilets is the Buzz Stop which is home to black Irish honeybees. There is one entrance/exit for this house via double doors. Our photography service is located inside the Buzz Stop.
As you leave the Buzz Stop, turn right, walk around 40 metres then veer left, walk around 40 metres to the Lion’s Den café. This is our largest catering facility offering a range of hot and cold food and drinks. Toilet facilities are located inside. There is a short slope into the café and level access inside. There is a main door entrance/exit operated by an automatic button and additional double doors at the main café area.
- Floral Hall, Farm and Reptile House
As you leave the Lion’s Den café, turn left and up a small, steep hill. After around 150 metres, the historic Floral Hall is on your right.
Opposite the Floral Hall, and to the left of the path, is the entrance to Red Squirrel Nook and the zoo farm. At this entrance, turn left for Red squirrels and lemurs. At the bottom of this path there is step access to the farm area and reptile house, to access these areas wheelchair users should turn back and re-join the main path.
There is an outside viewing area of the farm directly in front of you. Turn left and then after around 15 metres, turn right to enter the farm building.
The farm building is designed in a loop and has level access. It has bright and natural light inside. Please follow the one-way route around the house and exit via the same door that you entered.
The reptile and amphibian house is directly opposite the farm entrance by 24 metres. It has level access throughout. There is low-level lighting within the house. You enter via a door at the front of the building and exit at the back of the building.
Upon exit, turn left and follow the path by around 60 metres to the zoo’s large outdoor play park. Alternatively, turn right at the Reptile House exit to bypass the play park. Pass the yellow mongoose on the right, then pass the Friends of the Zoo building on the left, and you will re-join the main zoo path at the lake area. Turn left and follow this main path around the zoo lake. You will pass by the play park and can enter this from the lake side if you wish.
- Lake area
Follow the path as it curves around the lake and passes several species including capybara, bongo and blesbok. The path becomes inclined towards the end of the lake loop. You are now beside the spider monkey house. The distance from the play park to the spider monkey viewing window is around 150 metres.
After the spider monkey house, turn left and travel up a moderate incline to the Andean bears which will be on your right. This large enclosure has two viewing areas which can be accessed via steps or the main path.
- Elephant and Giraffe loop
After the Andean bears, re-join the main path and turn left onto the elephant and giraffe loop. This is a curved path taking you around the outdoor paddocks. There is a wheelchair-accessible viewing platform at the giraffes on the right side of the path. It is around 300 metres from the spider monkey house to the giraffe viewing platform. Grant’s zebra and ostrich are found with the giraffes in their outdoor paddock.
After the giraffe platform, re-join and continue along the path and pass Asian elephants, Visayan warty pigs and Darwin’s rhea. There is a gradual incline past the elephant paddock. Towards the end of the loop, turn right to see the meerkats, and keep right to enter the giraffe and elephant house. The house is accessed via automatic double doors, has a one-way system inside.
Exit the house, keep left past the meerkats, travel up a short hill to the right, and you will find toilets on your left. The distance from the giraffe viewing platform to the toilets is around 330 metres.
- Monkey house and chimps
As you exit the toilets near the meerkats, follow the path to the left and then veer right to find the tamarin and marmoset habitat. The enclosures are set along a short, gently curved path, which you can enter at one end and exit through the other end.
When you exit the tamarin and marmoset habitat, walk slightly to the right and up a short hill to the monkey house on your right. There is one automatic sliding door to enter and exit the monkey house and a one-way system inside. As you exit the monkey house, turn right and follow the path which curves up a hill to the right. Species can be found on both your left and right along the way.
At the top of this hill, you can access the chimpanzee house on the left. This house has sliding automatic doors to enter, a one-way system and a separate exit with a sliding door. The distance from the monkey house to the chimp house is around 50 metres. As you exit the chimp house, turn left and continue downhill to pass their outdoor habitat.
- Penguins and gorilla hill
At the bottom of the hill, veer to the right and then down a short but steep hill to the penguins underwater viewing area. Wheelchair users should turn back up the hill and then take a right to the penguin’s pebble beach viewing area. There is also steps access linking these two viewing areas.
Directly opposite the penguin’s main viewing area are the prairie dogs. Continue up the hill to the left of the penguin main viewing area. This is a long hill that is steep in some paces. It passes several species on your left and right including chimpanzee, red panda, Scottish wildcat and gorillas.
About half way up the hill on the left is the gorilla house, accessed through an automatic sliding door. It’s around 125 metres from the penguins to the gorilla house. Follow the one-way system and exit through an automatic sliding door.
Turn left as you exit the gorilla house to continue up the hill and keep left.
- Treetops walk
After the gorilla hilltop viewing, keep left to find the black and white colobus monkey and pudu. Follow the path which curves round to the right. This path gets quite steep as is passes maned wolf and vicuna. The distance from the gorilla house to the maned wolf is around 100 metres.
At the top of the hill, keep left to find our Malayan sun bears. Directly opposite their hilltop viewing area is our Giant anteater house and paddock.
Walk back past the sun bears and anteater to find the Ability Café at Treetop Tearooms. The café sells hot and cold drinks, snacks and light bites. From the maned wolf to café is around 180 metres.
Toilets are located below the café and can be accessed from two sides. From the café to the toilets, it’s around 52 metres.
- Downhill walk
After leaving the Ability Café at Treetops, turn right and continue down the steep hill. You can access the toilets by taking a path on the right.
You will find ring-tailed lemurs on your right as you go down the hill or exit from the toilets. From the café to the lemurs its around 100 metres. There is a portion of this hill without any animals. Further down the hill on your left you’ll find our Cape porcupines.
As the hill starts to level out, you can find our Barbary lion house on your right. From the ring-tailed lemurs to lions, it’s around 200 metres. Continue the path as it curves right where you might see the lions in their outside paddock on your right. After the lions, the path curves to the left and has a moderate downhill gradient as you get another chance to see the prairie dogs and penguins again.
- Sea lions and birds
As you move away from the prairie dog area, keep to the left.
You can view the California sea lions from the underwater viewer by walking down a short hill opposite the prairie dogs. To exit, simply turn back up the hill. Then turn right to see the sea lions over water from the viewing path. The distance from the lions to the sea lions is around 215 metres.
Opposite the sea lions you will find our white-tailed sea eagle and spot-necked otter. After the otter viewing area, travel up a short slope to the left to see our crowned lemur family, followed by a range of species in the bird park. The distance from the sea lions to the bird park is around 90 metres.
Our Rainforest House is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the bird park, you will have to turn back on yourself, travel back down the short slope and re-join the main pathway. Opposite the bird park entrance is a giant anteater.
Continue down the hill, which is steep in some areas, as you pass the back of the Floral Hall. At the bottom of the hill, enter a black gate directly in front of you to see the Moloch gibbon and Chilean flamingos. From the bird park to gibbon house is around 125 metres.
Exit the gate at the flamingos and you will be located at the back of the Floral Hall.
- Exiting the zoo
Follow the same path that you came in by past the Floral Hall as you make your way towards the zoo exit. From the gibbon house to the zoo exit is around 300 metres and includes a downhill gradient after the Floral Hall, and a short slope into the Zoovenir Shop. You exit the zoo via the Zoovenir Shop, however there is an alternative exit via turnstile gate. This is located to the left of the Visitor Centre. Wheelchair-users and buggy-users may have to notify staff to open the locked gate for them as the turnstile may be too small for exit.