How would you like to sleep surrounded by lions and other animals? Would you feel better about it if the animals were a safe distance away?
Occasionally, an opportunity to sleep somewhere a little unusual comes up in London. There was A Room for London at Queen Elizabeth Hall, and you can stay in Antony Gormley’s ROOM sculpture for a night. This year, you have an opportunity to stay the night at ZSL London Zoo, in close proximity to the animals that reside there all year round.
Don’t worry, though, because you’ll be safely tucked up in a cosy lodge, with a guard at the gate of the lodge area (although that’s more to keep you in than to keep the lions out).
The new lodges at Gir Lion Lodge will be available until December 2016. If you choose to stay the night in one, you’ll get dinner and breakfast, as well as entry to the zoo for two days.
Gir Lion Lodge has nine cabins, which are located in the Land of the Lions exhibit. The colourful part of the zoo is inspired by the Gir Forest in India, where ZSL is involved in conservation work to protect Asiatic lions. Once the ordinary day visitors have gone home, you get to have it all to yourself – although you’re not allowed to wander through the grounds after dark. The overnight package includes two meals, a drink on arrival, and three tours.
There are family nights for this new accommodation option, which operates six days a week.
You don’t have to have kids to enjoy a couple of days at the zoo. They also offer adults-only nights, so you can treat yourself to a stay without any kidlets around at night. The tours are conducted at sunset, by torchlight when it gets dark, and in the morning.
Each lodge sleeps two and there’s a sofa bed for children too. There’s an ensuite, as well as electricity, to make your glamping experience a breeze. You even get towels and toiletries, plus tea and coffee making facilities. One of the lodges if fully accessible too.
If you want a bit of a different stay in London, a night at the zoo has to be worth checking out.
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Photo credits: ZSL London Zoo Gir Lion Lodge.