Covid-19 Update: Our Animal Encounter Tours are running as usual.
Our experienced Animal Encounters Keeper Team will provide information on the different species, and allow visitors to meet some of the animals. We aim to educate visitors on subjects such as conservation, breeding projects and bio-diversity. There may also be an opportunity for visitors to handle or feed some of the animals (COVID-19 restrictions may apply to some animals).
Animal Encounter Tours last two hours and include:
We’ve limited the number of tickets that can be purchased in line with updated advice from the UK Government. We encourage all guests to adhere to the latest guidance and not visit or meet in groups of more than six people to help protect themselves and each other when visiting our attractions.
Meet the Meerkats Experience can be added onto an Animal Encounter Tour for an extra £30 per person click here for more information
Gift vouchers are available click here for more information
How can I purchase a ticket for a tour?
You can purchase a ticket for a tour by following the booking link on the website and selecting a tour date through Eventbrite. Alternatively you can contact us directly at [email protected] to arrange a group tour date.
Do I need to book?
Yes – you will need to pre-book tickets. We can’t allow anyone on the tour who hasn’t purchased tickets.
Do you only offer tours at weekends?
Public tours are run at weekends and during school holidays.
What is the structure of the tour?
The tours start with a safety briefing and then the group is taken to the various animal biomes. These areas include the desert biome (armadillo, free flying hornbills, tortoises, Cuban iguana), tropical biome (Coati, reptiles, free flying birds, turtles, parrots), husbandry room (snakes, spiders, tortoises, lizards) and other areas may be visited such as the meerkat enclosure. During the tour various animals will be taken out of the enclosures so visitors can see them up close, and handling may be carried out if safe to do so.
Where do I go on the day on the tour?
We will send you instructions and directions when you book. You will need to go direct to the Animal Management Centre (follow the signs to Animal Encounters) and meet in the foyer area (the Hub), where the staff will come and meet you. If you get lost please phone 07854 274866.
Who takes the tours?
The tours are taken by one of our Animal Keeping staff who will guide guests around the Animal Centre. The Animal Keepers will provide information about the animals and will get some of the animals out in a controlled way. All our Animal Keepers are qualified in Animal Management and are experienced in delivering public tours.
How long does the tour last?
The duration of the Encounters Tour is approximately 2 hours.
Are there any age requirements for the tour?
The minimum age for the tour is 5 years old and there is no maximum age.
Can I take pictures?
Yes, you will be allowed to take pictures during the tour. No pictures with flash are allowed as the animals may get spooked by it. The Animal Keepers on the day will go through the rules regarding photography and will get animals out in a controlled way.
What do I wear for the tour?
For footwear – strictly NO open-toed sandals or flip flops please. It can get quite warm in the centre so please wear layers.
Can I bring a drink?
Yes, we recommend bringing a drink to the Animal Encounters Tour as it can get quite warm – there is drinking water available in the foyer.
I am unable to make the dates advertised when will you be releasing more?
Future dates will be displayed on the Merrist Wood Events website and on our Facebook page ‘Merrist Wood Events’.
Can I arrange a tour for a group of people?
Yes, we can arrange group tours and education tours – please email us at [email protected] to organise.