Getting to meet the penguins was by far one of the most entertaining encounters I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. Have you seen how insanely charming they all are? What about those fluffy lil’ baby ones? Cute, right? And please let’s not forget the fact that penguins mate for life! I am sorry but that is just too adorable.
There is something special about these stunning animals that I’ve always found incredibly captivating. In fact, the Meet the Penguins experience at the London Zoo was part of my Ultimate London Bucket List for a really long time. So naturally, Sam and I couldn’t believe our luck when the amazing ZSL London Zoo team retweeted our Friday night escape to Zoo Nights and crowned us as the (ehem, ultimate) winners of that week’s Meet the Animals competition!
Humboldt penguins at London Zoo
A colony of Humboldt penguins call London Zoo’s Penguin Beach their home. In the wild, these splendid medium-sized aquatic birds live predominantly on the coasts of Peru and Chile and enjoy salt water and rocky landscapes. Penguin Beach tries to recreate exactly that – with plenty of nests and a 450,000 litre/1200 sqm penguin pool (the biggest one in England), this South American inspired oasis features a chick incubation area, a nursery and even a pool where the lil’ penguins can learn how to swim.
Penguins are all about that salt moana life. They absolutely love dipping into the large pool, especially when it is lunch time. Penguin Beach Live! shows visitors how these little cuties fly underwater to catch their yummy seafood every day. In fact, one for them takes place at 1.30pm, just moments before the daily Meet the Penguins experience starts.
Meeting the penguins
From October to July, you can book access to a restricted area of Penguin Beach, where an expert zookeeper will introduce you to the curious penguins and answer all of your questions. With a maximum of 6 people per visits, the 20min experience provides an informative way to get to know more about these extraordinary animals.
You will soon realise how different they are to one another. In fact, penguins show really different personalities from the very beginning. Some are shy or won’t trust you straight away; others, on the other hand, are inquisitive and extremely interested. They all enjoy being pet and will hunt all of your shiny possessions. And, if you are wearing a skirt or a dress like I did, they might cheekily try to get under it!
Meet the penguins recommendations
Try to make the most of your 20min visit. You don’t get to spend much with the lil’ ones so make sure you experience it to the fullest. Take as many pictures as you can, but always be respectable of the penguins. Like with any other animal, let them trust you first. Of course, don’t be afraid to ask the zoo keeper any questions that you may have, they will be your best guides! The penguins might decide to nibble your toes so it’s advised you wear closed toe shoes. Oh! And arrive 10-15min before the experience starts at 1.50pm (or be there beforehand to see the Penguin Beach Live!). Zoo entry tickets are not included in the experience, so make sure you have purchased separately.
Once the experience has finished, feel free to spend the rest of your day exploring London Zoo. It’s a lovely place and is full of wonders all over. Live talks take place daily and you get the opportunity to see and learn about other animals as well – like we did with this cheeky giraffe!
If you could meet any animal which one would it be? Have you been on a Meet the Animals experience before? Let us know in the comments below!
ZSL London Zoo | Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY, London
Want to know more about things to do in London? Then check:
- My Ultimate London Bucket List
- ZSL Zoo Nights – London Zoo After Dark
- Sky Garden, The Best Free Views of London
- Afternoon Tea at Sketch, London | REVIEW
Sounds like such a fun experience; I’m jealous. So glad you enjoyed it.xx
I couldn’t recommend it enough! Let me know if you try it 🙂 x
I absolutely loved this post and it has definitely inspired me to make my own wee bucket list. I absolutely adore Penguins, and it was so good to read all your tips and your photos were great. This has really made my day! Julie aka Mamabear x
Awe thanks Julie, that is so lovely of you! x
What an amazing thing to do. Great tips for others lucky enough to try the experience. Super photos too!
Thanks Jane 🙂
London Zoo is such a wonderful place. It’s so friendly and fun. I love going there.
Louisa | http://www.loubeeloublogs.co.uk
Same! I never get bored of going there 🙂 x
Awww they are so cute jealous 😱
It was so much fun, I honestly can’t recommend it enough! x
Aww looks amazing! Great post x
Thank you 🙂 x
Great post! I love your photos, the penguins are so cute! x
Awe thank you! x
I love penguins SO much. I’ve never been to London Zoo, despite having lived here for several years now, and I must go! If only to see those cheeky little guys. Lovely post and amazing photos.
Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com
Thank you 🙂 It really is a magical place, I love it there! Definitely a must x
I spent some time on placement with ZSL, they’re a super great but! So passionate and knowledgeable! So glad you had a great experience with them!
Awe thank you! I had so much fun with their little guys, I wanted to adopt one! x
My first thought was “my kids will love this!” Then I realised that I’d love it too. Forget the kids! 😆
Hahaha I love your comment! Trust me, it’s so much fun, you’ll love it! x
I love penguins so much ! I hope you had a fantastic day at zoo babe
It was amazing! I couldn’t recommend it enough 🙂 x
How cute! This looks like so much fun!
It is! You need to try it 🙂
Sounds like you had an amazing experience, meeting the animals. I would like to meet the Giraffes and Lions as well as the Penguins they also do the same experience at Whipsnade to, which is nearer to me
Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes
I would be scared to meet the lions, sounds like a dangerous experience if they are offering it!
This sounds like so much fun!!! Ugh, I wish I lived in London. I wouldn’t have been able to pick between the penguins, rain forest animals, or giraffes! But I’m glad you picked the penguins because they are adorable and you got the best pictures ever!! At an aquarium in my area, they have a penguin experience where you can meet them, but a friend of mine went and apparently the penguins they have there are pretty….ornery, I think is the nicest way to put it. Haha! But your penguins sounded sweet!!
This was such a fun post to read!!! Love your blog and your content!
Awe thanks so much for leaving a comment Emily! I’m a big fan of penguins so it was easy when it came to deciding which animals to meet haha! They’re incredibly sweet and really interested in people so it makes it really fun to interact with them! x
I’ve wanted to do one of those experiences at the Zoo for ages! I always thought I wanted to do the meerkat one but now, this looks too cute to not meet the penguins! X
Haha, it wasn’t hard for me to decide at all, I love penguins! x
Ahhh this is the cutest!! I would love to do something like this!!
You absolutely should, it’s awesome how much you can learn from animals!
What an amazing experience!
I always love meeting any animals, especially birds. Having a hard time choosing a specific one.
At home we have plenty of squirrels to meet, which are both cute and annoying 😉
Karen | https://OurCarpeDiem.com
Birds are cool too! I recently got to meet an owl and it was quite amusing!