Chessington World of Adventure has one of the most well-established zoos in the country, and a stone’s throw from London.
They offer a great range of VIP Animal Experiences for those who want to get closer to the animals and hear the inside story from the keepers themselves. And isn’t that everybody?? Check them out and especially our favourite one.
- Junior Zookeeper experience (7 to 16 years)
- Carnivore Keeper – look after lions and tigers for the day (16 +)
- Giraffe Safari – get as close to as a safari as you can without going to Africa
- Giraffe Feeding – right up close, but less wild and woolly!
- Sea Lion Trainer for a day (our favourite)
- Behind the Scenes animal tour
We must admit that, while giraffes and big cats are all very well, and we’d love a behind the scenes animal tour to see what goes on out of the public gaze, our favourite animal experience of all is the Sea Lion Trainer experience. This is a pretty unusual experience in itself, and one that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else as it’s not on the menu at most other zoos.
We just love sea lions. These fishy guys are just awesome and certainly one of the most charming animals you’ll ever come across. They’re ultra-intelligent – more so than a lot of the visitors!! – and working alongside them with their trainers is a real treat, giving you a fascinating insight into just how clever these fellows are and how the professionals go about training them.
Imagine, you throw the fish, they catch it, you throw the fish, they catch it – it could go on all day! But wait until you see the other things that these cute creatures can be trained to do. And you’ll actually be taking part, not just watching. By the end of your experience, we’ll guarantee you’ll be checking your bathtub for size to see if you can take one of them home!
Behind the scenes animal tour
This is an interesting one too – during a two hour tour you can meet tigers, sealions, capybaras and giraffes, and maybe feed them too. The title sounds like it’s just a tour with a guide, but it’s so much more!
Experiencey top tip
More about sea lions: a word of warning – living exclusively on fish, they’re fishy. Very fishy!! So make sure you’re dressed for the occasion and not kitted out in Primark’s finest! And last but not least, for those of you wondering what the difference is between a seal and a sea lion, you can tell the sea lions because they have real ears that stick up – seals have ears too, but hidden away so you can’t see them!