Event type
Event status
20 July - 3 September
Included in Zoo entry

Discover the wonder of Asian animals this summer at the UK's biggest zoo

Over the summer holidays, thousands of animals await in the heart of Bedfordshire's scenic Dunstable Downs, just a stone's throw from local towns in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

A great day out for the whole family, over the school holidays you'll be able to step into the enchanting world of Asia! Each week, we’ll put the spotlight on different Asian species with interactive activities, themed animal talks, zookeeper Q&A sessions and traditional dance and theatre. Join us for a celebration that brings the wonder of Asia’s fascinating and iconic wildlife right to your doorstep, including Whipsnade's newest exhibit: Monkey Forest, home to some of East Asia's rarest animals.

Activities run throughout the school holidays, with special species focus on these dates: 

Tiger Weekend 27-29 July

Come and join in our celebrations for International Tiger Day for a whole weekend!

It’s International Tiger Day on the 29 July but we’re celebrating our paw-fect Amur tiger all weekend! Join us for special tiger talks, crafts, games and challenges! Can you help rangers identify individual tigers by their stripes? Or maybe you want to find out which tiger you are most like! Join us in celebrating our new Amur Tiger, Miron, as we make your day that little bit more stripy! 

On Saturday 27 July, WildCats Conservation Alliance will also be here to help us celebrate, sharing news of their fieldwork projects working with wild tigers in China, and some of the equipment they use to track tigers in the wild.

Where will tiger weekend take place? 
Head to our Asia section to get involved with all our activities and to find out what ZSL is doing to help these amazing animals in the wild. Activities will be running from 10:30 - 5pm.

Why should we celebrate International Tiger Day?
The tiger is vulnerable to extinction. Amur tigers are listed as endangered in the wild with there estimated to be between 265–486 in the far east of Russia. There are two critical threats to Amur tigers; hunting and deforestation. ZSL are working to protect Amur tigers in the wild, using camera traps to track poaching on tigers, and through building relationships with people to increase the awareness of protecting these fantastic animals.

Greater One-Horned Rhino Weekend 3-4 August

Come and join in our celebrations for our greater one-horned rhinos

Whipsnade Zoo is home to two species of rhino: our crash of southern white rhinos who live in our Africa zone, and our greater one-horned rhinos who live in our Rhinos of Nepal habitat in our Asia zone.

Where will rhino weekend take place?
Come and join us at our Rhinos of Nepal habitat for special talks, keeper Q&A’s, activities, crafts, and competitions – there is fun for all the family! Activities will be running from 10:30 - 5pm.

Between 3-4 August there will also be an opportunity to get up close to these incredible animals in one of our one-off rhino experiences.  Book now to ensure your space!

Meet the Rhinos - Take part in this unique opportunity to hand feed one of our Asian Rhinos and find out all about this fascinating species from one of our expert keepers.

Book Meet the Rhinos

Dinner with the Rhinos - Go behind the scenes and help our Asian Rhino Keeper get the house prepared for our rhinos’ dinner, before seeing them up close as they come in for the evening.

Book Dinner with the Rhinos

Rhino Keeper Experience - Follow in the footsteps of one of our Asian Rhino keepers and find out what it is like to look after these magnificent animals each day.

Book Rhino keeper experience 

Why should we celebrate rhinos?
The greater one-horned rhino was once widespread across the entire northern part of the Indian sub-continent, but rhino populations plummeted due to habitat loss and poaching. Now as few as 4000 rhinos remain in the north of India and in southern Nepal.

What is ZSL doing to help the greater one-horned rhino?
Together with local communities and our partners, we have established anti-poaching patrols which are key to recovering numbers in Nepal. We are successfully keeping poaching under control, and in 2021 recorded the largest numbers of rhinos since the 1960s. This has created a foundation for the slow and steady recovery of their population in Nepal, helping achieve a 17% increase over the last few years.

Elephant Weekend 10-11 August

Come and join in our celebrations for our Asian elephants

World Elephant Day is on Monday 12 August, but we're celebrating over a whole weekend with extra talks, keeper Q&A's, activities, crafts, and competitions for everyone to enjoy. 

Where will elephant weekend take place?
Activities will take place by our Centre for Elephant Care located in the Asia section of the zoo. Activities will be running from 10:30 - 5pm.

Why should we celebrate elephants?
Asian elephants have been identified as an EDGE species meaning they are one of the world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. The EDGE of Existence programme highlights and protects some of the most unique and wonderful species on the planet. There are as few as 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild, with the species being classed as endangered.

What is ZSL doing to help the Asian elephant? 
The main threat to Asian elephants is habitat loss and human-elephant conflict. In Thailand, we're using cutting-edge wildlife technology to monitor elephant populations as well as working together with local communities to reduce the conflict between humans and elephants. 

Indonesia Weekend 17-18 August

Join us for our Indonesia Weekend celebrations at Monkey Forest

What do a pig, cow, tiny buffalo and a tiger all have in common? 
They are all found in Indonesia, all are important parts of the ecosystem and all are threatened with extinction.

So, to mark Action Indonesia Day which falls in August, join us at Monkey Forest habitat to celebrate and raise awareness for our Babirusa, Anoa and Banteng.

Where will Indonesia Weekend activities take place?
Activities will take place by the macaque house at Monkey Forest located in our Asia section of the zoo. Come and join us for special talks, crafts and games – there is something for all the family! Activities will be running from 10:30 - 5pm.

What is Action Indonesia?
Action Indonesia is a collaboration of over 50 organisations around the world, all working together to save some of Indonesia’s most unique and endangered species. This Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) particularly focuses on Anoa, Babirusa, Banteng and Sumatran tigers. ZSL works with Action Indonesia on the conservation breeding of these species in zoos, educating our visitors about how we can all help save them and supporting conservation and fundraising for these species and habitats in the wild. 

Otter Weekend 24-26 August

Join us to help celebrate our Asian short-clawed otters

With games, extra talks, keeper Q&A's, and lots of activities, help us celebrate one of our smallest animals at Whipsnade Zoo, the Asian shorted-clawed otter, in style.

Where will otter weekend take place?
You will find our celebrations by our otter habitat, right next to our Event Hub. This is located in the middle of the zoo between the Birds of the World arena and Giraffe Heights. Activities will be running from 10:30 - 5pm.

Why should we celebrate otters?
Asian short-clawed otters are under threat from deforestation, habitat destruction, water pollution, and hunting. They are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list.

So join us to celebrate these marvellous yet mysterious mustelids that are our family of Asian Short Clawed Otters. Learn about the struggles they face in the wild and what you can do to help them!


Primate Weekend 31 August-1 September

Join us for Primate Weekend celebrations at Monkey Forest

To mark International Primate Day on the 1 September, come and join us as we host a range of activities to celebrate! We will be raising awareness for our Sulawesi crested macaques and François’ langurs down at our new multi-species habitat – Monkey Forest.

Where will Primate Weekend activities take place?
Activities will take place by the macaque house at Monkey Forest located in our Asia section of the zoo. Come and join us for special talks, games, crafts and competitions – there is something for all the family! Activities will be running from 10:30 - 5pm.

Why should we raise awareness for primates?
Sulawesi crested macaques and François’ langurs are classed as critically endangered and endangered in the wild respectively. Both species suffer from similar threats including hunting, the illegal wildlife trade and habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Our twelve Sulawesi crested macaques and six François’ langurs are part of a European conservation breeding programme to safeguard the species and our langurs have already had three infants – Yen tu, Jinfo and Bao. 

What's on during the summer holidays?

  • Each special animal weekend event (tiger weekend, GOH rhino weekend, elephant weekend, Indonesia weekend, otter weekend, and primate weekend) will have activities running from 10:30 - 5pm
  • Shadow puppet theatre. Follow a story with magical pop-ups, puppetry and interactive scenes exploring the impact of humans on our beautiful planet.  27 & 28 July at 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 4.15pm
  • Free craft actvities and competition! Be inspired by the puppetry sessions to create your very own shadow puppet character. Asian animal exhibits around the zoo will have their own landscape ready for your creation to pose against, with each background telling the story of the animal’s habitat and challenges they face in the wild. Create a photo montage taking a picture in front of each one and submit your conservation story to be in with a chance to win a special animal experience!* T&Cs apply - see below.
  • Stunning Indonesian dance performances featuring traditional dress and music will bring a burst of colour and tradition to Whipsnade.  20 & 21 July, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 & 26 August at 11am, 1pm, 3pm
  • Get creative in a draw-along session with much-loved children's author Rob Biddulph.  31 August & 1 September at 10.45am, 1pm, 3pm
  • Explore Whipsnade's Asian animals, discovering magnificent tigers, giant elephants, and Monkey Forest - Whipsnade's newest exhibit.  
  • Conservation stations: on each of the animal focus weekends, join us at the enclosure for expert talks, crafts and find out what ZSL is doing to help these wonderful animals.
  • Giant games, including a monkey memory challenge, giant marbles and snakes & ladders with a conservation twist!


NEW FOR 2024 │ Monkey Forest

Sulawesi crested macaque with mouth open
The latest addition to Whipsnade Zoo

Home to some of East Asia's rarest animals

Monkey Forest is home for our swinging langurs, chattering macaques and snuffling babirusa. Sunken fences and raised viewing areas offer uninterrupted views, and kids will love the nature play trail, inspired by monkey behaviour!

What visitors say...


With 600 acres to explore, over 10,000 animals to discover, indoor and outdoor play areas and a huge brand new exhibit for 2024, there's never been a better time to visit.


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Competition Terms & Conditions

Whipsnade Zoo 'Win an animal experience' competition terms and conditions

Prizes and benefits
  • There will be one winner in total. The winner will receive 2 adult tickets and 2 children tickets to Whipsnade Zoo, as well as a an animal experience (decided by ZSL) alongside a zookeeper before its opening on a date of our mutual agreement. 
  • By entering the prize draw each entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions as well as Whipsnade Zoo’s General Admission and Experiences Terms, which can be found here. 
  • Prizes are non-transferable and a cash alternative is not available. ZSL reserves the right to terminate, amend or extend this promotion without incurring liability, in the event circumstances affect its ability to operate the competition. We will not be responsible unless required by law, for any loss, changes, costs or expenses, which may arise in connection with this competition and we can cancel or alter the competition at any stage.
About the Competition
  • The competition is owned by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity dedicated to the protection of animals and their habitats.
  • The competition is open to UK residents only.
  • Employees of ZSL, volunteers, agents and anyone else connected with this promotion, and their families, are not eligible to enter.
  • ZSL accepts no responsibility for any entries that are incomplete or illegible for any reason.
  • It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure they have read and adhered to the competition rules set out below and that their entry complies with ZSL’s requirements.
  • Any entry found not to comply with the competition rules will be disqualified.
  • The decision of ZSL on all matters relating to the competition is final and binding. No negotiation will be considered and prizes are non-transferrable.
How to enter
  • The competition is open to entrants of all ages but submissions must be made by adults aged 18 years or over.
  • Enter by submitting a picture collage to the email stated by midnight on 3rd September 2024.
  • The competition is not open to ZSL employees, volunteers and their relatives.
  • Entries received after 3rd September 2024 will not be entered into the competition.
  • Participants will visit the Event Hub to create their own shadow puppet or use one of the shadow puppets provided at the animal enclosures. 
  • Participants will take a picture at each of the 5 landscapes which are located at the following enclosures: Tigers, Monkey Forest, Asian Rhinos, Otters and Elephants. 
  • The images must contain their shadow puppet (or the puppet provided) positioned in front of the landscape signage. 
  • Participants will create a picture collage of the 5 images and submit the one image via email to [email protected]
  • By emailing their entry, participants will agree to the T&Cs of the competition and us contacting them in regard to this competition. 
  • Participants will provide contact details in the email submission so that we can contact the winner once the competition closes. 
Selecting the winner
  • The winning name will be selected by the Whipsnade Zoo engagement team from the list of names entered in the competition. The engagement teams decision will be final.  
  • The winner will be contacted via their email address given when entering and will be provided with the information on how to claim. Once the winner has been contacted, the winning name will be announced on ZSL’s social media accounts including Instagram and Facebook.
  • ZSL will attempt to contact the winner two times only. ZSL does not accept any responsibility if the winner is not able to take up the prize. 
  • Proof of submission is not proof of receipt by ZSL.
  • ZSL shall not be responsible for entries that are lost, mislaid, damaged or delayed in transit, regardless of cause.
Data protection
  • By entering the competition, each entrant agrees that any personal information provided by you when you enter this competition, may only be held by ZSL for the duration of the competition, and used only for the purpose of administering the competition, including the use of the winner’s email address to directly contact them and to provide them with details of their prize. 
  • If you have previously signed up to receive email communication from ZSL, or you have ticked the box to sign up whilst entering the competition, ZSL will retain and use your data in line with our privacy policy.
Governing Law

These terms and conditions shall be governed by English law, and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.