Destination Family Friendly UK

New Land of the Lions at London Zoo

Posted on
April 12, 2016

During the school holidays we were lucky enough to be invited to see the brand new Asiatic lion exhibit at ZSL London Zoo which was officially opened by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Lionesses Indi, Rubi and Heidi  are the stars of the Land of the Lions which is a £5.2m development that has been created to transport visitors from the heart of London to the vibrant setting of Sasan Gir in Gujarat, India – the last remaining stronghold of Asiatic lions – and bring visitors closer than ever to the big cats.
Covering an expanse of 2,500sqm (27,000sqft), you enter Land of the Lions through a grand stone archway, pick up a ‘park pass’ at the Gir Tourist Information centre and explore Sasan Gir Train Station where, if you are lucky, the odd lion might be spotted snoozing on the tracks. The grand finale is the exhibit’s incredible centrepiece, a 360° Temple Clearing where the big cats will roam just metres away, separated only by fine wires.
The setting is quite simply stunning with colourful murals, bunting flapping in the wind and authentic signage. The kids loved being given their diaries and seeing what they could spot and enjoyed sitting in the rickshaws. There were even some static bikes to ride to see if you could outrun a Lion – sadly I think we would have been dinner in the wild.
What I love about London Zoo is that it is bigger than it looks, with so much to see and do that will delight all ages. The first time we went to London Zoo the kids were terrified of the Butterfly Paradise but this time they were desperate to see the beautiful creatures.
I have to admit that I avoided the new Spider walk through that brings people face-to-face with amazing arachnids from around the world, although the kids were brave and said it was amazing. Another new addition is the In with the Lemurs walk-through exhibit where you can get closer than ever before to their ring-tail lemurs.
It is not just the Lemurs you can get up close and personal to, but also in Rainforest Life you get to explore a living rainforest and come face to face with a variety of amazing rainforest species including monkeys, sloth, armadillo and tamandua.
London Zoo
My favourite thing to see is Penguin Beach were there is a large viewing area. I highly recommend seeing one of the shows although get their early as it fills up fast.
In Gorilla Kingdom you not only get up close to a colony of western lowland gorillas, one of which has a tiny baby, but also some of the creatures that live in the forests where they come from.
Into Africa offers the opportunity to come eye to eye with some of Africa’s most unusual animals including Giraffes, zebras, okapis, warthogs and African hunting dogs all feature in this exciting exhibit.
We saw Giraffe being hand fed by people who had booked onto the Zookeeper for a day experience which is something we would love to do ourselves.
There is also the opportunity to visit the Reptile House and see where Harry Potter released the snake in the Chamber of Secrets, or visit the tigers in Tiger Territory. Sebastian’s favourite though is the aquarium which is home to hundreds of species of underwater creatures.
You really can have a whole day of fun at London Zoo with interactive experiences, play and picnic areas, rides and of course all the animals and birds to see.
London Zoo
Disclaimer: We were guests of London Zoo, all thoughts are our own.

  1. Reply

    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    April 12, 2016

    Oh what a lovely post about London Zoo! I love to see the animals and those lions are beautiful. Glad you had fun!

  2. Reply

    Mrs M

    April 12, 2016

    I haven’t been to London Zoo since a school trip in 1987! I bet it’s changed a bit since then, my son would love the lions.

  3. Reply


    April 12, 2016

    What a lovely day out I’ve not been to London zoo since I was little would love to take Blake.

  4. Reply

    Sarah Cantwell

    April 12, 2016

    This looks brilliant. We plan to go to London Zoo in June so you have made me all excited! Xx

  5. Reply

    Fozia S

    April 12, 2016

    We went London Zoo last year and had a good time. Will have to go again now just for this!

  6. Reply

    Blogging Mummy

    April 12, 2016

    Ah this looks fab. We were invited to this but I turned it down as when we last went I wasn’t really that impressed with the Zoo itself. You have a beautiful picture of the Lion, the first on on your post.

  7. Reply


    April 12, 2016

    We love London Zoo and the fact that it is all pretty compact making it great for the kids. Lions will make it fab to visit

  8. Reply

    Kerry Norris

    April 13, 2016

    Lovely post. I haven’t been for ages. That pic you’ve taken of the butterfly is amazing x

  9. Reply


    April 13, 2016

    My favourite part of London Zoo was the penguins too, we sat watching them for ages when we went a few years ago, I’d love to go again and have more time there as we were at an event and feel like we miss out on so much x

  10. Reply

    Sonya Cisco

    April 13, 2016

    I have never been to London Zoo!! Am planning a family break to London in the summer – will make sure we go then!

  11. Reply


    April 13, 2016

    I haven’t been to London Zoo in years and would love to take the kids! That spider walk sounds terrifying!!

  12. Reply

    Izzie Anderton

    April 13, 2016

    Thanks for sharing your experience of visiting London Zoo. I’ve never been, but might get there one day x

  13. Reply


    April 13, 2016

    We love London Zoo – it’s a great place for the kids to visit and we’ll definitely be there again this SUmmer x

  14. Reply

    Harriet @LifeWithMrsLee

    April 13, 2016

    Wow this sounds fab! I have never been to London zoo but would love to take Bella one day. Some great photos you got too! xoxo

  15. Reply


    April 13, 2016

    It looks beautiful, such stunning creatures, makes me want to visit Belfast zoo, the closest we have to come!xx

  16. Reply

    Victoria Marden

    April 13, 2016

    I have never been to London zoo but its certainly on my agenda. It looks like you had a wonderful time and your pictures are beautiful x

  17. Reply

    Janine Dolan

    April 13, 2016

    Amazing photography. Looks like you had a ball

  18. Reply


    April 14, 2016

    Love your photos! The butterfly one is my favourite! x

  19. Reply


    April 18, 2016

    Eeee, we are going here in a few weeks for a birthday treat. I have only ever been once when i was around 5 and i got lost! I ended up being looked after by the nurse there until my aunty came to find me ha! So excited to go back with my children 🙂

  20. Reply


    April 18, 2016

    London Zoo is brilliant isn’t it? I don’t think I could do the spider walk either, but I do love butterflies. x

  21. Reply


    April 21, 2016

    I try to get to London Zoo at least once a year (I usually pick the hottest day of the year). I’ve been waiting for the new enclosure to open so will look to go and take a peek soon. It has to be so much better than the old enclosure, it looked tiny and a bit miserable. Stephen

  22. Reply

    Charly Dove

    April 22, 2016

    Oh this is just fabulous Kara, what a brilliant day out and how lovely to see the lions up close. We’ve been to Whipsnade a few times but not London Zoo. We must pay it a visit, it’s years since I’ve been. Poppy loves animals!

  23. Reply


    April 24, 2016

    Stunning photos – the colours you’ve captured in the animals are so beautiful xx

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog