Don't be alarmed - but last week, my mum and I had a sleepover at London Zoo. We pre-planned the whole thing; we waited until the zoo closed for the day, and then we snuck in at the dead of night with our sleeping bags, and slept over with the animals all night.
Jokes aside, we did sleep over at the zoo... but we didn't have to sneak in. I'm not that much of a rebel! We spent the night at ZSL London Zoo's Gir Lion Lodges. (Open Wednesdays - Mondays from Feb - Dec)
The Gir Lion Lodges are based right next to the Zoos resident lion enclosures, and I'm talking pretty much wall-to-wall. This is great for all the animal lovers who want to feel like they're on a safari (in the middle of Regent's Park!).
There are 9 lodges that can accommodate either pairs or groups/families of up to four, and all come equipped with tea & coffee, magazines, and a wet room with disabled access.
With your nights stay, two day access to ZSL London Zoo, after hours tours and night time tours, and breakfast and dinner is also included in the experience (drinks at dinner can be purchased for an additional fee).
The first part of the evening was a champagne reception, where we were informed about the resident asiatic lions, and explored around the zoo's very own remake of Gujarati.
We then went on to tour around the rest of the zoo, as well as getting involved with feeding the Hippos (Thug was my personal favourite) and the Warthogs.
After this, we then went for dinner at about 8:30pm, where we had an all-you-can eat style two course buffet meal. The food was absolutely INCREDIBLE, you know it's good if I go up for seconds.... or thirds.... don't judge!
After dinner, at about 9:30pm, we went back out for our last tour of the night, the torchlight tour! This was my favourite one. We walked around the zoo by torch light, and went to interact with the Zoos Aardvarks (who are very friendly by the way!), and we got to feed them.
We then headed back to our lodge about 10/10:30pm, where we settled in for the night, but left our window open so that we could hear the animals all night.
The next morning, breakfast was at 8am, which was also buffet-style all you can eat and drink. You're also able to take food with you in little bags for the day ahead.
Unfortunately, I had to leave after breakfast was over as I had to be somewhere, however there is another tour after breakfast. This tour takes you down into the enclosures kitchens, where you can see the animals food being prepared for the day ahead, as well as participating in enrichment activities with the animals. This tour lasts approx. 45 minutes, and then you are free to spend the rest of the day at the zoo.
This experience was an absolutely incredible experience, and it is something that is enjoyable for people of all ages.
Please visit the ZSL website for more info and how to book your visit! Prices start at £219pp (£197.10 if you are a ZSL member).