Edinburgh Zoo is perhaps most famous as the only place in the UK where you can go and see Giant Pandas. The problem is that first, you need a ticket for an allotted time-slot, and then you only get to look at them from quite a distance away, with no chance of getting up close!

Don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have a real animal experience where you go with the keepers, get in with the animals (or very close to them if they’re dangerous) and find out more about them than a quick visit can ever teach you.

And luckily Edinburgh Zoo has some pretty cool experience days:

  • Keeper for the Day experience (or keeper for the half-day)
  • Junior Keeper for the Day experience (ages 8 to 15)
  • Mini Keepers experience for children ages 5 to 7
  • Rhinos Magic Moment
  • Meerkats Magic Moment
  • Close Encounters Magic Moment – for armadillos and pelicans
  • Penguin Magic Moments
  • Spiders Workshop to help you overcome your arachnophobia
  • Nature Photography Workshops

We like the Keeper for the day experiences here a lot. You really get behind the scenes and find out how the zoo ticks and the daily lives of the keepers is filled with variety and jobs of every imaginable kind – and some you couldn’t even imagine!

If you’re not desperate to get up close to rhinos, or meerkats, or penguins which are covered by the individual ones, then the Keeper experiences will give you close up access to a huge variety of different animals of all kinds.

Nature Photography Workshops

These fabulous workshops for photographers of all levels are one of the little gems hidden away in Edinburgh Zoo’s website. They’re run by famous wildlife photographer Laurie Campbell who actually used to be a keeper at this very zoo.

He’ll be with you all day, taking you round as you photograph animals of all kinds and giving you the benefit of his personal advice as well as many inside tips and tricks to bring your own nature photography up to a whole new level.

Experiencey Top Tip

This spiders workshop would make an absolutely top class and unexpected gift for any friends of family who aren’t totally at ease with spiders.

They’ll be gradually introduced to the little critters, taking the experience at their own pace, until they will actually come to like the little fellows and realise that, rather than objects of fear, they’re really quite fascinating!


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