Whipsande Zoo Tickets, Prices, Hours, Animals, Things To Do

Whipsande zoo is the largest zoo in England and the only zoo and safari park in the country.

Located 35 minutes from London, Whipsande is one of the must-visit zoos. 

Spread over 6000 acres, this zoo houses more than 10,000 animals in 4 zones. 

You can explore the wildlife from around the world in Whipsande on a safari experience. 

This article offers all the information about Whipsnade Zoo tickets, prices, hours, how to reach, animals, things to do and more. 

Top Whipsnade Zoo Tickets: Whipsnade Zoo entry ticket

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Whipsnade Zoo entry ticket

Whipsnade Zoo tickets can be purchased both at the ticket counter and online. 

However, buy your Whipsnade Zoo entry ticket online in advance. 

By buying tickets online, visitors can secure their tickets and avoid long lines. 

While entry tickets may be available at the counter, popular time slots or last-minute tickets might be harder to obtain. 

Planning your visit and buying tickets online from the comfort of your home ensures a smoother and more enjoyable experience at the zoo. 

The online Whipsnade Zoo ticket offers access to all zones of the zoo. 

You can also attend the keeper’s show, feeding sessions and all animal presentations with this entry ticket. 

Whipsnade Zoo ticket prices

The entry ticket costs £28 for visitors between 16 to 64 years old.

Children between 3 to 15 years old get a discount of £9 and pay £19 for entry. 

Senior Citizens above 65 years and students can pay a reduced entry price of £25. 

Infants below 3 years old enjoy free entry. 

Visitors’ AgeTicket price
Adult (16 to 64 years)£28
Child ticket (3 to 15 years)£19
Senior ticket (65+) / Student / Disabled (with valid ID)£25
Infant ticket (below 3 years)Free

Whipsnade Zoo hours

Whipsnade Zoo hours
Image: Edition.cnn.com

The Whipsnade Zoo’s opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm. 

However, the opening hours are subject to change based on the season and special events. 

The animal houses close 15 minutes before the zoo closes. 

During special occasions like Easter, Whipsnade Zoo opening hours may be extended.

It’s to welcome more guests and provide them opportunities to experience the zoo. 

During summer Saturdays, Whipsnade Zoo hours extend till 9 pm. 

It’s a great opportunity for families and friends to spend quality time together.

Be mindful of the Whipsnade Zoo’s weather conditions when planning a visit. 

It remains open in most weather conditions. 

Still, extreme circumstances, such as heavy storms or icy conditions, may impact its hours for safety reasons.

Here is a brief list of Whipsnade Zoo opening hours:

DatesOpeningLast EntryClosing
31 October 2022 to 10 February 202310 am3 pm4 pm
11 February 2023 to 25 March 202310 am4 pm5 pm
26 March 2023 to 4 September 202310 am5 pm6 pm
5 September 2023 to 28 October 202310 am4 pm5 pm
29 October 2023 to 9 February 202410 am3 pm4 pm
10 February 2024 to 28 March 202410 am4 pm5 pm

Zoo terms of entry

  • Filming and photography for commercial purposes require prior permission at Whipsnade Zoo.
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult to be admitted.
  • Dogs are not allowed on the premises of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
  • Bicycles and motorbikes are prohibited within the zoo premises.
  • BBQs are not permitted on the zoo grounds.
  • Roller Skates, rollerblades, and skateboards are prohibited in the zoo area. 
  • Children’s scooters are allowed under adult supervision. 
  • Adult scooters are not permitted on-site.
  • Heelys roller shoes can be worn as regular shoes but should not be used as skates.
  • There is no facility available for luggage left at the zoo.

Best time to visit Whipsnade Zoo

Best time to visit Whipsnade Zoo
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

The best time to visit Whipsande Zoo is in the morning at 10 am, especially if the weather is good. 

The animals are most active in the morning, and it’s a quieter time with fewer crowds. 

The weather is also pleasant at this time compared to later in the afternoon. 

If your child has a favorite animal, check the keeper talk and feeding sessions scheduled beforehand to plan your visit accordingly. 

This way, you can make the most of your time and ensure your child can see their favorite animals up close.

How long does it take to visit Whipsnade Zoo?

A visit to Whipsnade Zoo with kids requires five to six hours. During this time, they can explore all the animal enclosures, attend a few keeper talks, and participate in wildlife activities.

If you are in a hurry and wish to cover everything quickly, a minimum of three hours will be needed to tour the zoo.

If you’re in a hurry, book your Whipsnade Zoo tickets online.

It will save you standing hours in ticket queues.

Upon arriving at the entrance, visitors can pay a nominal fee and bring their cars into Whipsnade Zoo. 

Having your car at your disposal allows for a convenient and time-saving experience. 

Most visitors walk around and use the free bus that stops at various locations every 30 minutes. 

They also have The Great Whipsnade Railway, a steam train that takes guests through parts of the park.

That scenic journey will be worth every minute. 

Directions to Whipsnade Zoo?

Directions to Whipsnade Zoo
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Whipsnade Zoo is in Dunstable, Bedfordshire (LU6 2LF).

Address: Whipsnade, Dunstable LU6 2LF, UK. Get Directions. 

It’s around 35 miles from London, which will take around 1 hour to reach by car.

Getting to the zoo is easy, with several transportation options. You can drive, take the train or bus.

How to get to Whipsnade Zoo by public transport

For those looking for a public transport option, getting to Whipsnade Zoo is also possible by taking a train from London to Luton. 

You can transfer from Luton to Centrebus local bus services 40 or 40A, conveniently taking you directly to Whipsnade Zoo. 

This bus journey provides a comfortable and cost-effective option for reaching the zoo from London and nearby areas. 

The well-connected bus service ensures easy accessibility for visitors, offering a relaxing and scenic route to the zoo.

How to get to Whipsnade Zoo by train

How to get to Whipsnade Zoo by train
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Traveling to Whipsnade Zoo by train is a convenient and accessible option. 

You have two main options to reach the zoo via train.

One option is Luton station, and the other is Hemel Hempstead station, located 10 miles from the zoo. 

Luton station is part of the Midland Main Line. 

It offers regular train services from various locations.

This includes London St Pancras International, Brighton, Gatwick Airport, and Bedford. 

Hemel Hempstead station is connected to the West Coast Main Line.

It provides routes to London Euston, South Croydon, Milton Keynes Central, and Northampton.

Once you arrive at Luton or Hemel Hempstead station, take the Centrebus X31 service, which links both stations to Whipsnade Zoo. 

The X31 service operates from Monday to Saturday, ensuring a smooth journey to the zoo.

By Car

Whipsnade Zoo is easily accessible by car, located approximately 35 miles north of Central London. 

To reach the zoo by car, you can take the M1 motorway and follow the signposts from either Junction 9 or 12. 

Alternatively, if you are coming from the M25, you can take Junction 21, which also conveniently leads to the zoo. 

The journey from London to Whipsnade Zoo typically takes 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions. 

Once you arrive, ample parking is available for visitors at the zoo premises, making it a convenient and stress-free option for those traveling by car. 

Whipsnade Zoo offers a free car park, just a 3-minute walk from the entrance.

Car Entry at Whipsnade Zoo

Car Entry is available for those seeking an extraordinary experience at a reasonable cost of £25 per car. 

This privilege allows visitors to have a safari-like adventure by driving through the zoo.

An added advantage of the Car Entry option is that parking has no height restrictions. 

The car parks open at 8 am, allowing early birds to start their adventure bright and early. 

The car parks remain open about 1 hour after the zoo’s official closing time.

It grants visitors ample time to soak in the zoo’s wonders without feeling rushed.

Whipsnade Zoo offers accessible and cost-effective parking options. 

Guests can use the Car Entry option for a thrilling safari experience within the zoo grounds. 

With flexible opening hours, visitors can make the most of their time at Whipsnade Zoo.

Recommended reading: Whipsnade Zoo vs London Zoo – which is better?

Whipsnade Zoo Map

Whipsnade Zoo, spanning 600 acres (2.4 km2), hosts a diverse range of animals.

The Whipsnade Zoo map is a detailed map showcasing its layout and attractions. 

It represents the zoo’s extensive grounds, animal enclosures, facilities, etc.

The Whipsnade Zoo map shows the zoo’s exact location, making it easy to locate its entrance. 

If you are visiting with kids or wish to attend all the zoo shows easily, we suggest you carry a Whipsnade Zoo map. 

Whipsnade Zoo History

Whipsnade Zoo’s history dates back to 1926, when it was established as Europe’s open zoo. 

Over the years, it has become one of the largest zoos globally.

It offers visitors an opportunity to observe animals in a more naturalistic environment. 

This groundbreaking concept quickly gained popularity and was adopted by zoos worldwide.

This makes Whipsnade Zoo a symbol of ZSL’s dedication to global animal conservation.

In 1931, Whipsnade Park Zoo opened its gates and welcomed its first inhabitants.

It included pheasants, llamas, wombats, and skunks. 

The air buzzed with excitement as these creatures found their new home within the zoo. 

Notably, in 1933, the zoo’s most iconic feature emerged.

It was a monumental white lion etched into the hillside in chalk, adding to the zoo’s visual appeal.

During World War II, Whipsnade Zoo was pivotal in saving endangered species.

The zoo became a haven for animals from European zoos.

It includes a large herd of Rothschild’s giraffes, which faced near extinction. 

This conservation effort proved instrumental in safeguarding many species from extinction.

Whipsnade Zoo has evolved, becoming a prominent center for wildlife preservation and education. 

Its commitment to providing animals with a natural environment has set a standard for zoos worldwide. 

As visitors explore its vast grounds, they are treated to the Whipsnade Zoo facts and history about the animals.

Whipsnade Zoo’s history and facts make it an educational place. 

Visitors can appreciate its wildlife conservation and the efforts to protect and preserve endangered species.

Whipsnade Zoo Animals 

Whipsnade Zoo Animals 
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Whipsnade Zoo has various habitats like the Butterfly House, Elephant Centre, African Lions, The Aquarium and Giraffe Heights.

You can also visit Hullabazoo Farm, In with the Lemurs, Passage through Asia, Penguin House and  Rhinos of Nepal. 

At Whipsnade Zoo, you can encounter various fascinating animals from around the world and here is a list of some animals you should not miss. 

African Dwarf Crocodile 

These fantastic creatures are part of Whipsnade Zoo’s EDGE species. 

It means they are both evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered. 

The zoo is actively involved in conservation efforts to protect this underdog species.

African Lion 

Whipsnade Zoo proudly houses North African lions. 

Two-year-old lionesses Waka and Winta, joined in May 2023 and June. Malik, a male lion, joined them. 

Malik will form a new pride with Waka and Winta, and we hope to witness the joyous addition of lion cubs in the coming years.

African Penguin 

African Penguin 
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

African penguins are fascinating creatures that inhabit both land and sea. 

They come ashore to breed and molt before spending around four months in the ocean. 

They are a joy to observe with their distinctive pink glands above their eyes and unique black and white markings.

Amur Tiger 

As the largest of the world’s big cats, Amur tigers are truly a treat. 

They are solitary creatures that use scent markings to establish territory. 

The zoo contributes to its conservation, and its population was saved from extinction with full protection in Russia.

Asian Elephant 

Asian elephants have a unique connection to the extinct woolly mammoth. 

Their tusks are elongated teeth, and they go through six sets of grinding teeth in their lifetime. 

Whipsnade Zoo is actively working in Thailand, Nepal, and China to promote human-elephant coexistence.


Meet the three cheetah brothers, Fred, Billy Rae, and Robyn, who sprinted into Whipsnade Zoo in May 2022. 

They can be seen at Cheetah Rock, and you can observe them from a cozy African-style hut with floor-to-ceiling glass.

Eurasian Lynx 

Eurasian Lynx 
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Whipsnade Zoo is home to Ruby and Amber, two majestic Eurasian lynx. 

They are the largest lynx species with their pointed ears and large webbed paws. 

Look out for them in the Europe section of the Zoo, next to the wild boars.

Whipsnade Zoo Hippo – Hodor 

Meet Hodor, the hippo born in July 2017 and lovingly named after the gentle giant from Game of Thrones. 

He’s quite a character and loves to playfully chase any brave ducks that venture into his paddock. 

Don’t worry; he’s not quick enough to catch them! 

As a newborn calf, Hodor weighed around 30kg, equivalent to an adult Labrador. 

His mother, Lola, tips the scales at a mighty 1.5 tonnes. 

The hippo habitat features reed bed filtration, an eco-friendly method to keep the water pristine.

Whipsnade Zoo Giraffe 

Giraffes are true marvels of the animal kingdom. 

Like humans, they have seven bones in their necks, and special valves prevent blood from rushing to their heads when they bend down to drink. 

In the wild, giraffes thrive in sub-Saharan Africa’s savannahs, grasslands, scrublands, and open woodlands. 

Their hearts beat up to 170 times a minute, twice as fast as humans. 

Their diverse diet consists of leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits, averaging up to 30kg daily.

Grevy’s Zebra 

Grevy's Zebra
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Among the most threatened zebra species, Grevy’s zebras have narrower stripes than other zebra species. 

They can survive on tough grasses that cattle cannot eat or digest. 

As the largest wild equid, belonging to the same family as horses, they are generally social animals and travel in herds, known as dazzle. 

Each zebra has a unique stripe pattern, much like human fingerprints.


Some reindeer populations undertake remarkable migratory journeys. 

They cover up to 5,000km yearly for food and shelter—the longest journey of any land mammal. 

Reindeer come in different subspecies, ranging in size from the tiny Svalbard reindeer at around 60kg to the forest-dwelling American caribou weighing over 300kg.

Red Panda 

Whipsnade Zoo houses two adorable red pandas, Nilo and Ruby. 

Nilo, named after his father, was born in June 2020 at the zoo, while Ruby joined Edinburgh Zoo in March 2022. 

The red panda pair can be found in the Base Camp area, close to our otters. 

As crepuscular animals, they are most active at dawn and dusk, making it the best time to catch glimpses of their playful antics.

Things to do in Whipsnade Zoo

Things to do in Whipsnade Zoo
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Whipsnade Zoo offers a variety of activities and things to do for all members of the family. 

Here is a list of things you can try at Whipsande Zoo with your friends and family. 

Lookout Lodge – Sleepover at the Zoo

At Whipsnade Zoo, you can enjoy three fun and educational tours – a sunset tour, a torch-lit night tour, and a morning tour. 

Experienced guides give a behind-the-scenes look at animal care and wildlife protection on this tour.

They are only available to guests at Lookout Lodge, so you’ll get special access to see animals when the zoo is closed. 

They like to keep the animals you’ll see on the tours a surprise until you arrive!

When you stay at Lookout Lodge, you’ll also get two full days to explore the zoo.

Visitors even have the option to visit London Zoo on their second day. 

They have different rates for Adult-only and Family nights. 

The itinerary is the same for both, but they adjust the talks and activities for younger guests on Family nights. 

For Adult-only nights, you must be 14 years or older.

Each lodge can accommodate up to two adults or one adult and one young adult.

Keeper for a Day at Whipsnade Zoo

At Whipsnade Zoo, the Keeper for a Day experience offers an unforgettable opportunity to get close to some of the zoo’s most popular animals. 

Participants will work alongside an expert Zookeeper and learn to care for incredible animals like rhinos, giraffes, and elephants.

What the Keeper for a Day experience at Whipsnade Zoo includes:

  • Fun-packed full-day experience
  • Amazing animal encounters and mucking-out activities
  • A friendly and experienced keeper host
  • Complimentary breakfast, lunch, and refreshments
  • Complimentary car parking
  • Keeper for a Day t-shirt
  • Tote Bag
  • 20% discount off Zoo admission tickets for spectators

The day starts with a quick briefing over breakfast, where participants find out which animals they will be assisting for the day. 

They’ll work with larger mammals like Asian rhinos, elephants, and smaller animals.

Feeding mid-morning snacks to the giraffes is a highlight. 

After lunch, guests will continue to help care for other animals.

Nature Night Camping

Have an amazing adventure at Whipsnade Zoo with Nature Night Camping! 

Pitch your tent on the main lawn and spend the evening discovering what animals do at night. 

You’ll take a fun torchlight expedition to see who’s still awake. 

Nature Night Camping is available on selected Fridays and Saturdays. 

It starts at 6.30 pm and ends at 10 am the next day. 

After a good night’s sleep, you can enjoy a full day at the Zoo. 

Pack up your tent and get ready for an unforgettable experience with the animals!

Here are the inclusions for your Nature Night at Whipsnade Zoo:

  • Torchlight expedition around the Zoo to see who is still awake
  • Unique morning tour before the Zoo opens
  • Free entry into Whipsnade Zoo (on the day of departure)
  • Free car entry (for the night of the sleepover and the day of departure)
  • Flat grass pitch for your tent
  • Breakfast roll and a drink (tea, coffee, apple or orange juice, sausage, bacon, or veggie sausage roll)

Footplate Experience at Whipsnade Zoo

Get ready for a thrilling experience at Whipsnade Zoo with the Footplate Experience! 

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a steam engine driver? 

Now’s your chance to find out as you ride on the footplate of the steam engines, Excelsior or Superior. 

As you steam past the Asian elephants, camels, and rhinos, you can chat with experts.

They will answer all your questions about the Great Whipsnade Railway.

Please note participants must be 18 years or older.

The Footplate Experience costs £30 per person, but ZSL Gold Members, Patrons, and Fellows receive a 10% discount. 

Just enter your CRM ID in the Offer Code box when booking.

What the Footplate Experience includes:

  • Briefing with the driver or fireman
  • One participant per experience, ensuring you have plenty of opportunities to ask questions
  • One round trip on the footplate of either Excelsior or Superior
  • Up to four family and friends can ride free on the train in the front carriage to get the best view of you on the footplate during your experience.
  • Receive a certificate to cherish the memory of your amazing trip.

Meet the Giraffes at Whipsnade Zoo

Meet the Giraffes
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Get ready for an incredible encounter with the giraffes at Whipsnade Zoo with the Meet the Giraffes experience! 

In this 20-minute VIP adventure, you can feed the giraffes their lunch while an expert Zookeeper shares facts about them.

On that day, an expert keeper will begin with a health and safety briefing to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time. 

Then, you’ll be taken to our special giraffe feeding area, where you can get up close to our giraffe herd.

During the experience, you’ll assist our keeper in hand-feeding the giraffes while learning more about their species. 

With a maximum of four people participating in the encounter, you’ll have plenty of time to interact with our giraffes and ask questions to the keeper.

The Meet the Giraffes experience is priced at £54 per person.

Meet the Elephants

Step into an exclusive 20-minute VIP adventure, Meet the Elephants, at Whipsnade Zoo! 

Led by an elephant keeper, the experience begins with a safety briefing. 

Then, you’ll go behind the scenes to the high-tech Centre for Elephant Care.

Here, you’ll see how they care for these amazing animals.

During the encounter, you’ll help the zookeeper feed one of the elephants and learn about them. 

Only six people can join, so you’ll have plenty of time with the elephant and the zookeeper.

Remember that spectators can’t join the behind-the-scenes part but can watch from the indoor viewing area in the Centre for Elephant Care.

Meet the Elephants takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

But, it is available from Monday to Friday during Easter, May Half Term, and Summer Holidays.

Check your ticket for the experience’s start time.

Meet the Tigers

In the 20-minute VIP experience called Meet the Tigers, visitors are taken on a thrilling encounter at Whipsnade Zoo. 

The adventure starts with an expert zookeeper’s health and safety briefing. 

During the encounter, participants can assist the zookeeper in feeding an Amur tiger while knowing them. 

With a maximum of four participants, everyone enjoys ample time with the tiger and the zookeeper.

Meet the Tigers takes place behind the scenes, and due to the small group size, spectators are not permitted access to this area.

The Meet the Tigers experience includes:

  • Meeting and feeding an Amur tiger
  • Getting to know an expert zookeeper and discovering more about the tigers

Tip: Remember that admission to Whipsnade Zoo is not included and must be purchased separately.

Zoo Explorers at Whipsnade Zoo (5-7 year-olds)

Zoo Explorers
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Whipsnade Zoo offers an exciting one-day course called Zoo Explorers. 

It’s designed for children aged 5 to 7 eager to explore and learn more about the animal kingdom.

The Zoo Explorers course includes the following:

  • Entry for one child, with the opportunity to stay in the Zoo after the course ends
  • Entry into the Zoo for one accompanying adult
  • A fun Zoo Explorers sticker sheet to record their adventurous day
  • A special Zoo Explorers certificate of attendance
  • A unique Zoo Explorers t-shirt to remember their incredible experience
  • A copy of all the photos taken during the course, capturing precious memories

Led by the Zoo’s knowledgeable team, children will embark on a journey of exploration.

They’ll get up close with select animals and engage in thrilling animal-themed activities. 

They’ll learn about different animal habitats and basic animal classification. 

They’ll gain insight into the daily routines of Zookeepers through behind-the-scenes experiences.

Activities include hands-on experiences, like mucking out an enclosure to experience working at the Zoo.

They will meet adorable small animals like pygmy goats.

Prices for Zoo Explorers (5-7 year-olds) at Whipsnade Zoo:

  • The cost per child is £90, which includes entry into the Zoo and a Zoo Explorers t-shirt.
  • The ticket price includes entry for one adult, but the Zoo’s learning staff will supervise the students.

Gold Members, Patrons, and Fellows receive a 10% discount on this fantastic experience.

Whipsnade Zoo Junior Zoo Academy (8-10 year-olds)

The Whipsnade Zoo Junior Zoo Academy offers a two-day course with games, challenges, trails, and hands-on zookeeper activities. 

Under the guidance of education staff, young students can learn about the animals they encounter.

The Junior Zoo Academy course includes:

  • Two thrilling days spent at Whipsnade Zoo, immersed in animal adventures
  • A special Junior Zoo Academy scrapbook for recording their unforgettable experiences
  • A well-deserved Junior Zoo Academy certificate of attendance
  • An exclusive Junior Zoo Academy t-shirt as a memento of their exciting journey
  • A copy of all the photos taken during the course, capturing cherished memories

Throughout the course, children will engage in a mix of animal-related challenges, games, and talks and can partake in some hands-on zookeeper tasks. 

The price per child for this amazing experience is £175. 

For ZSL Gold Members, Patrons, and Fellows, there’s an extra perk as they receive a 10% discount on this adventure.

Whipsnade Zoo Academy (15-17 year-olds)

Whipsnade Zoo Academy
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

The Zoo Academy offers an exceptional five-day course at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

It provides aspiring students aged 15 to 17 with valuable experience and knowledge in working with exotic animals. 

The course covers various aspects of caring for animals in captivity.

This includes nutrition, training, and breeding programs, offering more than 12 hours of practical hands-on learning.

They are designed for those interested in animal-based careers.

This includes zookeeping or other animal science-related paths like veterinary studies.

The course provides an opportunity to work within the Zoo’s premises, interact with ZSL staff, get behind-the-scenes insights, and learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts.

Your Zoo Academy course includes the following:

  • Five engaging days at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
  • Theory sessions and practical activities right within the zoo
  • Access to digital ‘Zoo Academy’ worksheets and resources
  • A ‘Zoo Academy’ certificate of attendance as a recognition of achievement
  • A digital reference on ZSL headed paper for future endeavors
  • A collection of all the wonderful photos taken during the course
  • A special ‘Zoo Academy’ hoody to cherish the experience
  • Two complimentary tickets for family or friends to join in on graduation day

Zoo Academy Course Details:

  • Course Length: Five days of exciting learning
  • Time: The course duration is from 10.30 am to 4 pm (with entry to the Zoo available from 10 am)
  • Location: The inspiring ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
  • Cost: The course fee is £475, and ZSL Gold Members, Patrons, and Fellows can enjoy a fantastic 10% discount by entering their CRM ID in the Offer Code box.
  • Capacity: Each course accommodates up to 12 enthusiastic participants.
  • Age Range: Open for 15 to 17-year-olds

Meet the Hippos

Step into a thrilling 20-minute VIP adventure with a quick safety briefing from the expert zookeeper. 

You’ll get up close to common hippos and even have the chance to feed them! 

Learn about these creatures, including how they protect themselves from the sun.

Remember, Meet the Hippos takes place behind the scenes, making it an exclusive experience. 

Unfortunately, spectators can’t join in this particular area.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity! 

Join them on Thursdays and Sundays at 2.15 pm, from May to October, to meet hippos up close.

Explore the Butterfly House

Step inside Whipsnade Zoo’s Butterfly House, and you’ll be transported to a tropical paradise with more than 30 butterfly species. 

You can walk around and watch these beautiful creatures up close while learning about their fascinating life cycles. 

It’s like entering a magical world of butterflies, and it’s an amazing experience for everyone to enjoy!

Whipsnade Zoo’s safari bus

Whipsnade Zoo offers three convenient ways to explore its vast grounds: walking, driving in your car, or taking the Safari Bus.

If you choose the Safari Bus option, watch for a bright-green colored bus and hop on for an exciting adventure.

The Safari Bus takes you through various enclosures, providing a free and engaging way to discover the Zoo’s wonders.

Safari bus timetable: The first Safari bus departs from the Main Gate at 10.15 am.

After a short six-minute journey, the bus reaches the first enclosure, home to the magnificent White Rhino.

  • White Rhinos: Arrives at 10.21 am (after a 6-minute journey)
  • Hippos: Arrives at 10.26 am (after 5 minutes)
  • Tigers: Arrives at 10.29 am (after 3 minutes)
  • Elephants: Arrives at 10.36 am (after 7 minutes)
  • Hullabazoo: Arrives at 10.39 am (after 3 minutes)

The Safari Bus trip, starting from the Main Gate and concluding at the last enclosure (Hullabazoo), takes 24 minutes.

Whipsnade Zoo operates the Safari bus every half hour from the Main Gate, adhering to the same daily schedule.

For example, the second bus of the day departs from the Main Gate at 10.45 am, and the pattern continues.

The last Safari bus of the day from the Main Gate depends on the Zoo’s closing time:

  • If the Zoo closes at 4 pm, the last bus departs at 3.15 pm.
  • If the Zoo closes at 4.30 pm, the last bus departs at 3.45 pm.
  • If the Zoo closes at 5 pm, the last bus departs at 4.15 pm.
  • If the Zoo closes at 5.30 pm, the last bus departs at 4.45 pm.
  • If the Zoo closes at 6 pm, the last bus departs at 5.15 pm.

The Great Whipsnade Railway

Whipsnade Zoo boasts two historic and magnificent steam engines, Excelsior and Superior.

They offer a delightful journey through the animal enclosures.

Visitors adore these trains from the Great Whipsnade Railway, as they provide a cherished safari experience.

While on the train safari adventure, you’ll enjoy thrilling commentary and spot various animals, including elephants, rhinos, camels, deer, etc.

The participants must be 18 or older to partake in this memorable adventure.

Keeper talks and events 

Keeper talks and events
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Experience the best of Whipsnade Zoo by joining in the exciting talks and activities carefully planned by the Zoo.

Whipsnade Zoo events are all about getting you up close to nature and its amazing animals.

Lemur Chat 

Swing into Madagascar with the charming troop of ring-tailed lemurs at noon.

Chimp Chat 

At 10.30 am, head to Chimp Island and discover the fascinating lives of these apes.

Bird Show 

The Zoo showcases a variety of captivating birds, and kids love the thrilling free-flying bird demonstrations.

Penguin Talk 

At 11.30 am and 4 pm, greet the Penguins, who have journeyed from Africa.

Bear versus Wolverine 

Join the game of trumps and witness the ultimate predator face-off between Bear and Wolverine at noon.

Sea Lion Talk 

At noon and 2.30 pm, learn about the clever Sea Lions and even feed them.

Elephant Talk 

Step into the shoes of an elephant caretaker at 1.30 pm and marvel at the sheer size and grace of these magnificent animals.

Talk on African Hunting Dogs 

Discover the secrets of these fascinating animals and their teamwork at 3.45 pm.

Please note that the schedule may change, so check the ‘What’s On’ boards for accurate timings and other surprise talks throughout the day. 

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure at Whipsnade Zoo!

Best Restaurants in Whipsnade Zoo

Best Restaurants in Whipsnade Zoo
Image: Whipsnadezoo.org

Families planning to save money usually bring a picnic when visiting Whipsnade Zoo. 

If you’ve packed your food, you can enjoy it in the indoor picnic area near the Butterfly House. 

Alternatively, the zoo offers six different restaurants to choose from. 

The food at Whipsnade is filling and appetizing. 

The best restaurants in Whipsnade Zoo are:

1. Base Camp Restaurant, Whipsnade Zoo

A family-friendly eatery offering delicious food made with fresh and local ingredients. 

Opening time: 10 am to 3.30 pm 

2. Visitor Center Café

The first food joint you’ll encounter upon entering the zoo, offering deli sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. 

Opening time: 10 am to 6 pm

3. Hullabazoo Kids Café

Ideal for families with children, don’t miss their Kids’ Bites offer with five items for £5. 

It is located near the indoor play area.

Opening time: 9 am to 7 pm

Closed on Sunday

4. Station Store Picnic Shop

It is located near the Great Whipsnade Railway. 

You can grab sandwiches, bakery items, and hot and cold drinks here.

Opening time: 10 am to 3.30 pm

5. African Outpost

A sweet lover’s paradise with delicious waffles, ice creams, and treats for sale. 

Opening time: 10 am to 3.30 pm

6. Afternoon Tea at Viewpoint Kitchen and Deli

Indulge in a delightful afternoon tea experience at Viewpoint Kitchen and Deli. 


  • Classic Afternoon Tea for 2 people (vegetarian option available) – £49.00
  • Classic Children’s Afternoon Tea for 2 children – £15.00
  • Add on a bottle of prosecco for £25.00

What’s Included: Your afternoon tea experience comes with a delicious array of treats, including:

  • A selection of mouthwatering sandwiches
  • A variety of specialty teas (or soft drinks for children)
  • A delectable assortment of cakes and bakery goods

Opening time: It’s served at 2 pm on weekends and daily during the school summer holidays.

FAQs on Whipsande Zoo

1. How much are tickets for Whipsnade Zoo?

The Whipsnade Zoo entry ticket for adults aged 16 to 64, the ticket price is £28. 

Children between the ages of 3 and 15 can enter for £19.

Seniors, students, and disabled visitors with valid IDs can purchase tickets for £25.

Infants aged 0-2 can enter for free when accompanied by an adult. 

2. How big is Whipsnade Zoo?

Covering a vast area of 600 acres (2.4 km2), Whipsnade Zoo is one of the UK’s largest and most expensive zoos.

It is in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and offers ample space for various animal enclosures and captivating exhibits.

3. Are there lockers at Whipsnade Zoo?

No lockers are available at Whipsnade Zoo for visitors to store their belongings. 

Try to travel light and carry only essential items during your visit to the zoo.

4. Can you drive around Whipsnade Zoo?

Yes, visitors have the option to drive around Whipsnade Zoo. 

Visitors can also drive their cars through the zoo’s designated safari route.

5. What time does Whipsnade open and close?

Whipsnade Zoo opens at 10 am and closes at 5 pm.

However, opening and closing times may vary depending on the season and festive days.

6. How long does it take to walk around Whipsnade Zoo?

On average, it takes about 4 to 5 hours to walk around Whipsnade Zoo and explore most of the animal enclosures, exhibits, and attractions. 

However, the actual time may vary depending on individual walking pace, the number of exhibits visited, and the time spent at each location. 

Remember that Whipsnade Zoo is quite large.

It covers 600 acres, so wear comfortable shoes and take breaks as needed.

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