At Colchester Zoo, you can get access to an unprecedented range of animals. They have an unusual setup, in that you can choose to shadow a keeper for close access to the animals, or take part in the ‘perfect partners’ or wild encounters packages. They are also one of the only zoos to offer a choice of animals on their zookeeper for a day experiences.

What’s the difference between the experiences?

Two options with lots of animals:

  • The Wild Encounter is a half day experience for two with the opportunity to meet, stroke or feed a whole range of species, including aardvarks, tigers, giraffes, penguins, lemurs and meerkats. You also get a two course mean and a one-year adoption of the animal of your choice.
  • The Keeper For the Day experience runs for a whole day and lets you choose a group of animals to work with. You can see the options here. Did somebody say pygmy hippos?!


Two options with an animal of your choice:

  • The Keeper Shadowing experiences consist of a half-hour close up experience with your chosen animal. As well as this, you get a lunch voucher and free entry into Colchester Zoo on the day of the experience. You can choose from the list of animals below to enjoy your experience with.
  • The Perfect Partner’s package is a private 30 minute close up, VIP experience with your chosen animal for two people. The lucky recipient also gets a bouquet, photo, two course mean and free entry to the zoo on the day. Again, you can choose from the animals below:

You can buy an experience with the following animals direct from Colchester Zoo

  • Aardvarks
  • Amur Tigers
  • African Elephants (only with the partner package)
  • African Lions
  • Birds of Prey
  • Giraffes
  • Giant Tortoises
  • Komodo Dragons
  • Lemurs
  • Mandrill Monkeys
  • Meerkats
  • Orangutans
  • Penguins
  • Spotted Hyena
  • White Rhino


Whichever you choose is up to you – a nice bit of luxury or a cheaper encounter with less emphasis on pampering. Please note that elephants are only available for the Perfect Partners package. This means you’ll be paying more to see the elephants, but given that elephant experiences are so rare in the UK and often sell out really fast, it’s probably worth it for a nice blow out.


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