The New Tropical House at Marwell Zoo

Posted on
March 29, 2018

Last week we were lucky enough to attend the opening night of the new Tropical House at Marwell Zoo.
Powered by “zoo poo”, the innovative and sustainable “Energy for Life” Tropical House is the first in the UK to generate energy using waste created by animals at the zoo.
The Tropical House looked stunning in the golden evening light and I can only imagine how gorgeous it will look when the plant life establishes itself outside the building.
Tropical House Marwell
You are greeted by large screens depicting moving images as you head inside the first door, which the kids were fascinated by.
Tropical House Entrance
You enter the Tropical House itself through a heavy black curtain and it offers a real “WOW” moment as you admire the scene in front of you.
Marwell Tropical House
The Tropical House spans two levels with vantage points all along the walkways that allow you to admire the residents and exotic plants as you walk along.
Our first encounter was with Rica, the resident sloth who dozed her way through our entire visit, completely unaware of the excitement around her.
Marwell Zoo Tropical House
There were interactive screens dotted along the trail which allowed the kids to find out all the information on the house and its residents which include yellow-throated frogs which we could hear but not see, as they were hidden in the waterfall and a group of cute pygmy marmosets who live on their very own island above the exhibit’s impressive 70,000-litre aquarium, home to 2,500 fish.
Pygmy Marmoset
The lush canopy of plants and bustling forest floor are also home to Javan chevrotain (Mouse Deer), tortoises and free flying birds.

Mouse Deer

Photo Credit: Marwell Zoo

Also in the Tropical House are a colony of leaf cutter ants and a crocodile monitor lizard, who was all tucked up in bed so we didn’t get to see him.
Crocodile Monitor Lizard

Photo Credit: Marwell Zoo

The exhibit is part of a ten-year, £17 million investment plan to create improved habitats for animals, more immersive experiences for guests and to help the zoo achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2020.
Tropical House Bird
In the lower half of the Tropical House you have great views of the aquarium which is the largest freshwater aquarium in the UK and its inhabitants.
Aquarium Marwell
Next door is a really interesting room which highlights how they are using animal waste (dung, soiled bedding and leftover hay) and converting it to be used for renewable energy for the zoo.
Marwell technology
It is a really unique visitor experience and with animals to see and then learning some of the science behind renewable energy and how we can work together to save the planet.
Eliza Marwell
The groundbreaking project features a woodchip boiler that will be supplemented by a specialist boiler capable of burning straw-based animal manure later this year. This will provide heating for buildings and enable the charity to reduce its carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels.
Marwell Eliza
The kids were fascinated by the technology, but their favourite part of the Tropical House had to be the arrival of rain………lots of rain!!
With 100s of animals – including giraffes, tigers & penguins, 140 acres of park to explore, a train and 5 adventure playgrounds, Marwell really is a great day out for all the family.
A Family Ticket (2 x adults and 2 x children) to Marwell costs £62.05 and Children under 3 go FREE and over Easter you can take part in the Giant Egg Trail. Find the GIANT egg and count the animals for a chance to win four tickets to their sunset safari this summer!

  1. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    March 29, 2018

    We love Marwell Zoo. This looks a great addition to it and I really hope we manage a trip there this year!

  2. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    March 29, 2018

    This looks like an amazing addition to Marwell zoo. Fantastic they have really thought about things and recycling zoo poo, I love that 🙂

  3. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    March 29, 2018

    What a great sounding addition to Marwell Zoo! I love the fact they have little computers around to help tell you about the animals kept there!

  4. Reply


    March 29, 2018

    Very cool animals, though you did actually have me with ‘zoo poo’.

  5. Reply

    Cath - BattleMum

    March 29, 2018

    Marvell Zoo sounds amazing and the new tropical house would fascinate our son. I like the interactive screens to help when the animals are hiding! Also brilliant that the zoo is heading towards being carbon neutral and using “zoo poo” as power!

  6. Reply

    laura dove

    March 29, 2018

    Wow this looks fab! We love a tropical house, my kids are obsessed with things like lizards but usually come home asking can we have one!

  7. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    March 30, 2018

    I love things like this in zoos as it really feels like you can get up close and personal with the animals. In one I had a monkey almost land on my head x

  8. Reply


    March 30, 2018

    I love the sound of this exhibit – especially the green energy component. How cute is the sloth? I love sloths.
    C x

  9. Reply


    March 30, 2018

    What a great zoo! I am a little obsessed wth Sloths since watching zootroplis 🙂

  10. Reply

    Samantha Donnelly

    March 30, 2018

    Sounds like an amazing visit, sounds like a great addition and love the zoo poo lol x

  11. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    March 30, 2018

    I love it when places provide interactive screens for kids to learn more and engage them. This sounds like a great zoo to visit as a family.

  12. Reply

    The London Mum

    March 30, 2018

    tropical raina nd everything! Sounds amazing. I love how there’s a great mix of animals that are free to make it home together.

  13. Reply


    March 30, 2018

    I love that they use sustainable energy to run the zoo. What a great idea. The tropical house sounds great although we’d avoid the rain part if that is possible.

  14. Reply

    bryanna skye

    March 31, 2018

    love seeing all the different animals and learning new things about them all – the interactive screens are a neat touch!

  15. Reply


    April 1, 2018

    We would love to visit the Marwell Zoo,especially the cool Tropical House. It reminds me of my tropical Brazil! 🙂

  16. Reply


    April 1, 2018

    How cute are the animals you captured pictures of! What a great idea to run the zoo off sustainable energy

  17. Reply


    April 2, 2018

    What a great place! My little boy would love this.

  18. Reply


    April 2, 2018

    Sounds like a great addition and feature to Marwell. Only living 20minutes down the road I might take a trip here with my kids

  19. Reply

    Nayna Kanabar

    April 2, 2018

    What a lovely place to visit and it’s so interactive for the kids too. Looks like you all really enjoyed the day out.

  20. Reply

    Melanie williams

    April 3, 2018

    Looks like you had a great day out and I am sure the kids had a zootastic experience 🙂 x

  21. Reply

    Charli Bruce

    April 5, 2018

    It looks like an amazing addition to the zoo. Seems like you guys had a really great day out, we love the zoo x

  22. Reply


    April 5, 2018

    This looks great, nice to see a zoo doing more to become sustainable.

  23. Reply

    Lucy Dorrington

    April 6, 2018

    I love the rain, nothing like a bit of authenticity!

Leave a Reply


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