On Sunday we dug out our waterproofs, dusted off our boots and headed up the motorway in the pouring rain. Having barely seen a cloud for two months, the change in the weather was a bit of a shock. Would the animals come out to play as we spent a day exploring Chimpanzee Eden and beyond at Twycross Zoo?
Twycross Zoo is easily signposted on the A444 in Warwickshire and is close to Tamworth and Loughborough. It’s hard to believe that our last visit was three years ago, and at that time the Gibbon Forest was under construction. Roll on three years, almost to the day and the weather couldn’t have been more different. Since our last visit, as well as the Gibbon Forest, we were also looking forward to seeing the newly opened Chimpanzee Eden.
There’s ample free parking on site as you arrive at Twycross Zoo, and the main entrance area includes toilets, a couple of different eateries and a soft play area (charges apply).
Whilst we had a drink, my son took charge of the map to work out our route for the day. We were also hoping to spot the snow leopards, but they clearly didn’t like the rain! Although read on as we did get to see one of them later in the day.
Exploring Chimpanzee Eden and beyond at Twycross Zoo is easy for families with children of all ages. The site is very walkable, flat and easy to navigate. There are a number of opportunity to listen to keepers talking about various animals throughout the day and as my son is absolutely in love with giraffes, his one request was that we be in the giraffe house in time for the giraffe talk.
As the giraffes as at the furthest point away from the main entrance we decided to head towards that part of the zoo first, making a beeline for the new Chimpanzee Eden.
The rain was lashing down, and to be frank, I really didn’t expect that we’d see any animals outside but I also knew that the new Chimpanzee Eden had indoor viewing areas too.
We could escape from the English weather and get to see the first animals of the day. We weren’t disappointed. There are viewing areas throughout the complex, you can watch the chimps move outdoors through see through passages and there are also viewing areas specifically for the younger visitors. My eight year old absolutely loved the idea that he could watch them from somewhere I couldn’t get into!
It was great to see the animals close up and watch them interacting.
The chimps have indoor and outdoor climbing equipment and it was lovely to watch them having fun and swinging around.
Gibbon Forest was being built when we last visited and even on a very wet day it looked really impressive.
As with Chimpanzee Eden there are plenty of observation points both inside and outside of Gibbon Forest. All the action was inside on our visit, but we got to enjoy watching the Gibbons having a sweetcorn snack or two.
We got to see the Orang Utans at different points during our time exploring Chimpanzee Eden and beyond at Twycross Zoo.
We got to see all of the animals featured in the Kingdom of the Apes, but the Gorillas were having a long snooze, high up and were distinctly camera shy on this visit.
We did however spot a very rare primate, the eight year old Monkey, Monkey.
Whilst Twycross Zoo is well known for its collection of primates, there are lots of other animals to see on a day out there.
We caught the elephants just as they decided to take a dip, much to my son’s delight. Perfect timing.
We got to visit the giraffes twice during our visit, once to listen to the talk from the keeper with the giraffes sheltering inside from the rain, and again in the afternoon when the rain stopped for a short time.
There are lots of different birds to see when exploring Chimpanzee Eden and beyond at Twycross Zoo and you can pay £1 to feed the Lorikeets if you wish too.
There did seem less butterflies to spot in the Butterfly house on this visit, but my son certainly made a friend in the farm area!
If you’re a regular blog reader you will know how much I love big cats and I thought we were going to miss out on seeing the Amur leopards and Snow leopards on this visit. They were nowhere to be seen on our first walk around the zoo in the morning in the pouring rain.
But luck and a bit of patience gave us a wonderful afternoon. We’d gone back to the The View for lunch and were happily munching on our burgers and pizza (the homemade burgers are really excellent by the way) when we noticed people looking out at the Snow leopard enclosure. We only saw one of them but it was a lovely treat.
As the rain eased off after lunch we made another tour of the zoo to see if any more of the animals had ventured out and our last stop of the day was at the Amur leopard enclosure. They’d just been fed and we saw a number of these beautiful animals enjoying their lunch. It was the perfect way to end our time exploring Chimpanzee Eden and beyond at Twycross Zoo.
I’d been really concerned as we drove up to Twycross Zoo in the pouring rain that our visit would be a total wash out. But it really wasn’t and we had a full day out exploring everywhere the zoo had to offer. We were all really impressed with Chimpanzee Eden and Gibbon Forest, we might not have seen the primates enjoying the outside spaces, but we probably got closer to the action seeing them from the indoors viewing areas. But we’ll be back on a drier day hopefully to see their outdoor escapades.
Have you been to Twycross Zoo before?
disclosure: we were given complimentary tickets in exchange for an honest review