Posted/updated July 2015

A trip to Banham Zoo

Our youngest daughter, Rachel received a very special Christmas present last year – the chance to be a zoo keeper for the day, something she’d been wanting to do for a long time. Her zoo keeper experience, purchased from Banham Zoo was certainly no disappointment. She had a top day and so did all the family.

Banham Zoo features a very impressive collection of animals such as tigers, leopards (including a Snow Leopard), giraffes, wolves and a fantastic range of monkeys and lemurs. The Red Panda was a firm favourite. Feeding times for different animals throughout the day are well publicised.

Ring-tailed lemurs, Banham Zoo, Norfolk

Ring-tailed lemurs basking in the sun at Banham Zoo

One of the best features of this zoo is the ability to get very close to the animals; in fact you can actually enter the lemur enclosure and they will play all around you. Seeing the lemurs basking in the sun is particularly entertaining! You can also enter the prairie dog enclosure, animals very similar to chipmunks. The children were amazed to be able to share the same space as the animals.

An action packed day out for all the family to enjoy!

This was our first visit to Banham Zoo so we had no idea what to expect. It’s not cheap; a visit for a family of 4 during Summer will typically cost almost £70. But we’d have no hesitation in saying that it’s money well spent, especially if the weather’s good too.

It was a great day out for our family, with lots of viewing shelters to sit and observe the animals. If you wish to take a more leisurely look around, then hop on the free road train. There’s a commentary from the driver and the train travels around most of the zoo – a great way to get familiar with the layout. If that isn’t enough, children will love the fun adventure play area, a perfect spot to relax with a coffee, as the café and seating is close by.

So much to see and do…

Tigers at Banham Zoo, NorfolkThere is so much to discover and enjoy – a trip to Banham Zoo is a fun-filled, action packed day for all the family!

As with many attractions, try to check the weather forecast before heading out for the day, otherwise you could be disappointed as many of the animals take shelter in their snugs and there won’t be much to see! Pick a fine and dry day to visit and you’ll be impressed by the vast number and variety of animals to learn about and enjoy.

All the staff (including the hard working group of volunteers) we met during our visit were exemplary, both with the children and us, the adults too! They were friendly and approachable (even when busy) and highly knowledgeable about the animals.

Banham Zoo, on the border of south Norfolk, 20 minutes off the A11 near Attleborough and the A140 near Diss, was founded in 1968 and has expanded over the years. It boasts a huge collection of animals to see, a choice of cafes and restaurants to eat at and a well-stocked (reasonably priced) gift shop.

There’s also a ‘SkyTrek’ plus a ‘Junior SkyTrek’ – Aerial Trekking course and ‘Zorb Zone’ to have a go on, if you dare! Note that these activities cost extra and are not included in the zoo admission price.

Rachel with the Meercats at Banham Zoo, Norfolk

Rachel with the Meercats

Throughout the year the zoo hosts themed days and other events, many for fund-raising activities. Check their information centre and website for more details.

Banham Zoo, a ‘ZSEA Zoo’

Banham Zoo, along with Africa Alive in Suffolk are ‘ZSEA’ zoos. This stands for the Zoological Society of East Anglia, a registered charity, number 1150158.

Being a registered charity means a great deal to an organisation such as this one. It means that every donation received will support the vital work of conservation for the animals and their habitats.

Support from visitors, sponsors, plus the many generous donations made to ZSEA enables the dedicated staff to do their very important work. This includes maintaining the welfare of the animals and improving their environments. On a larger scale by visiting Banham Zoo you’ll also be helping them to support conservation projects all over the world.

Needless to say, Rachel wants to be a zoo keeper when she grows up.

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