Giraffee feed

Animal Experiences

Are you looking for a truly unique animal encounter? Then choose one of the following Keeper Experiences...

Number for a group
Mucking out
Food Preparation
Close encounter
Behind the scenes
Coati face to face
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Mon and Fri

August and September

Penguin face to face

Mon and Fri

All year round excluding March July and August

Giraffe face to face

Wed, Sat and Sun

All year round

Keeper for a day

Tues and Thurs

Apr to Oct inclusive

Junior Keeper Experience
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Wed and Sat

During school holidays, and weekends

New! Coati Face to Face Experience


Meet and feed our ring-tailed coatis this summer. For a truly memorable one to one experience, go behind the scenes with our trained staff and share their passion for these curious animals.

This 30 minute experience only costs £75 including park entry and a lovely gift pack and if you’d like a friend or family member to share your experience with you it will only cost an additional £50. Accompanying guests can enjoy group rates on their park entry price and are welcome to watch whilst you enjoy your experience. The minimum age for this experience is 8 years old.


Current Availability: Sold out for 2014! We will start taking bookings on 13 October for dates in 2015. This experience is held at 11am in the new coati exhibit.

coati being fed

If you’d like to find out more, or make a booking then please call our Fundraising Team on 01962 777988.



Coatis have definitely got charisma! They’re inquisitive little creatures with a great love of grapes so they were keen to come close and take food from my tongs. This is a close up encounter with the cute factor and a great memory to share.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Coati experience... at one point I had three or four in front of me eagerly awaiting the next titbit. It will be fondly etched in my memories of Marwell.


Junior Keeper Experience

Father and daughter preparing food

An unforgettable opportunity to see how our keepers spend their time through this packed three-hour experience. Join a group of up to three participants (plus one accompanying adult per participant) as you work with our trained staff in preparing food and enrichment for our animals, mucking out their enclosures and then meeting and feeding some of them behind the scenes.

For 8-15 year olds, this new experience costs £150 and lasts from 9am-midday. All Junior Keepers must be accompanied by an adult who enjoys free entry and is welcome to participate in certain activities. Any other accompanying guests are admitted to Marwell from 10am at group rates entry price.

touching a Rhino

Junior Keeper Experience participants will receive a certificate, refreshments voucher and Marwell Wildlife souvenir drawstring bag, notebook and pencil.

Note for the accompanying adult – please bring along your camera as there will be some fantastic photo opportunities!


Current Availability: Sold out for 2014! We will start taking bookings on 13 October for dates in 2015.

For more information and to book an experience call our Fundraising Team on 01962 777988.


"We booked a special 'Junior Keeper' experience for my 9 year-old son's birthday. It was a fabulous experience for both of us - all of the keepers / education guides that we met were so welcoming and informative and were generous with their time. We would totally recommend the Junior Keeper Experience - although it is expensive it offers excellent value for money. We had a very special and memorable time with my son declaring it the best day of his life!!!!"

"I found it so enjoyable it is a rare experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it because you go behind the scenes and get to be so close to the animals”

“This was a birthday gift for my son. It was an amazing and very special experience for him and he hasn't stopped talking about it. The extra touches were really nice, such as the bag & contents and the cafe voucher. The first thing he asked when we left was when we could do it again?!”

Keeper for a Day

preparing food

This once in a lifetime experience will give you a unique insight into the day-to-day life of our keepers and their charges.  A typical day might include preparing food for the lemurs, mucking out the giraffes, feeding the rhinos and even going behind the scenes and getting close to our big cats.  All this will make a day to remember for any animal lover.

Keepers for a Day receive a certificate, guide book, gift card with animal photograph, a photographic record of the day saved onto a DVD, lunch and a Marwell Wildlife souvenir mug.

This experience costs £350 and lasts a full day from 8.15am to 5pm (April to October inclusive) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Accompanying guests are admitted from 10am at group rates entry price.

For adults 16 years and above.


Current availability: Sold out for 2014! We will start taking bookings on 13 October for dates in 2015.

For more information and to book please call our Fundraising team on 01962 777988.


cheetahs"I absolutely loved every second of my day, feeding the penguins, being licked by the giraffes, cuddles with the rhinos, up close and personal with all the reptiles, feeding the gibbons and tamarins, feeding all the most amazing big cats. Everyone keeps asking which animal/part of my day was my favourite. I honestly cannot say any one part. I actually don't think there are enough words to say how thankful I am to all the staff there for making my day so magical."

"Thank you so much for making my Keeper for the Day experience a very special one. Your explainers and Keepers were an absolute delight and took a great deal of care to ensure the day met my expectations and indeed they were far exceeded"

"I would like to send a huge THANK YOU to Hilary and ALL the team at Marwell for making my keeper for the day absolutely magical". "I was greeted promptly and treated like royalty for the whole day. To be able to get up close and personal to the animals was a real thrill, and the keepers showed that they were really knowledgeable about their areas, and were enthusiastic enough to share that knowledge with me."

penguin face to face

Dan Lobb and penguins

Meet and feed our penguins at Penguin Cove. Our skilled staff will take you behind the scenes to prepare their food, learn about all our individual penguins and feed them fish too!

This 30 minute, one on one experience costs £75 and includes park entry plus a delightful gift pack. The minimum age for this experience is 12 years.

Accompanying guests receive group rates entry price and are able to watch whilst you enjoy your experience.


Current availability: Due to popular demand we are taking bookings between mid October and the end of December 2014. Vouchers are also available for this time period. Only 7 more spaces left for the year!

Please note this experience takes place on Mondays and Fridays only.


For more information and to book an experience call our Fundraising Team on 01962 777988.



"I would recommend it to any penguin lover. It was my birthday present from my hubby and daughter . such a great present."

"I loved the whole thing wish I could of stayed in there all day”


Giraffe Face to Face

giraffe being fed

Meet our giraffes face to face for a truly individual and one to one experience. Our trained staff will look after you and share their passion for these amazing animals as you go behind the scenes and hand feed them.

This 30 minute experience for one person including park entry and a lovely gift pack costs £100.  Any additional people who want to join you on your experience will each be charged £50 and that includes park entry.

Accompanying guests receive group rates entry price and are able to watch whilst you enjoy your experience. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.


Current Availability: All Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday slots are sold out! Only 2 spaces left on Tuesdays and Thursday from 18 November to 4 December 2014.

giraffes being fed

For more information and to book an experience call our Fundraising Team on 01962 777988.



"A close encounter with such beautiful and extraordinary creatures; having time to ask whatever we wanted; the knowledge of our host; the relaxed nature of the whole experience."

"I had an incredible day - not only on the experience, but all keepers I met were extremely helpful and friendly!"

"The giraffe face to face experience was one of the best Christmas present from my daughter I have ever had and have told all my friends about it."


What you need to know

  • As Marwell is a registered charity, the monies raised from the Marwell Experiences are used by us to help with improving animal housing and providing training to aid care and conservation work of the animals at the zoo.
  • All Marwell Experiences must be pre-booked by calling 01962 777988
  • To get the most from your experience and to ensure safety, please wear suitable clothing, including trousers (not shorts) and footwear, eg: walking boots.  Clothing should be in neutral colours, no brights please as this may upset the animals.
  • It may be necessary, due to animal husbandry reasons, for participants to use a disinfectant footbath. Please ensure suitable, robust footwear is worn.
  • As only a limited number of experiences are available, we advise you book as early as possible to avoid disappointment, please allow 10 working days. Times may vary depending on season and section.
  • Payment is required upon confirmation of booking.
  • Once the booking has been made we are not able to change the date and it is non refundable (apart from exceptional circumstances).
  • Gift vouchers are available for all experiences except the junior keeper experience and the coati face to face experience. All vouchers have an expiry date, this date is non extendable and gift vouchers are non-refundable. Please call to make your booking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
  • Once purchased, an experience cannot be swapped for an alternative experience.

Terms and Conditions

  • Due to unforeseeable animal health or staffing issues, Marwell cannot guarantee that all animals and exhibits specified will be available.
  • Due to animal behavioural issues, experiences may vary.
  • Experiences include general admission for the participant, any additional guests may purchase tickets at a discounted rate at the time of booking, however, they will not be able to take part in the experience.
  • Waiver of Liability – Marwell Wildlife accepts no liability for any person or body for any loss, injury or property damage from any action or cause whatsoever undertaken at the park. Participants must abide by staff instructions at all times. It is a condition of participation that guests observe all warning signs, do not venture over safety barriers and do not enter the park’s off limit areas, unless instructed and supervised by staff.
  • Due to the hands on nature of this experience, participants of ‘Keeper for a Day’ must be physically fit and suffering no severe health problems. For insurance purposes, the scheme is only available to those aged 16 years and over and unfortunately cannot accommodate wheelchair users in this instance due to access restrictions behind the scenes.
  • Please be advised that it is your responsibility to inform us if you have any medical condition (e.g. pregnancy) that you or your doctor feel we should be aware of in order to ensure your safety.
  • Please note that for health and safety reasons, pregnant women will not be able to participate in any of our animal experiences.
  • Please do not apply if you have any convictions relating to animals.
  • Please state any disabilities to enable us to try and adapt our encounters to suit.
  • Please note for the penguin face to face experience it will be held during the spot light on the penguins talk.

Specific terms for under 16’s

  • Face to Face encounters for children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Accompanying adults must pay an admission fee to enter the zoo and will receive our group rate entry price.
  • During the penguin experience the under 16’s supervising adult must be present at all times to view their experience, however will not join the participant in the penguin enclosure.
  • During the giraffe and coati experience the under 16’s supervising adult must be present at all times to view their experience and will join the participant behind the scenes.


Page updated 04/09/2014

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Learn more about your favourite Marwell animals with our online Animal Directory.

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