For her 6th birthday present, Lily wanted a zookeeper day, however as she is too young for most day experiences, I found an incredible alternative at Chessington World of Adventures – an overnight stay in their Explorer Glamping village before a morning giraffe feeding experience.
It was a fantastic experience for her – here’s our full review.
Booking the experience
I booked the Explorer Glamping through the website then was given a link for a discount on the VIP Animal Experiences.
This is offered to anyone staying at the resort as well as pass holders, allowing you 20% off the giraffe feeding.
There are various experiences with with giraffes, including a giraffe safari, feeding experience, and now a Giraffe-ternoon tea too!
We were staying at the glamping village, however had to go to the hotel area to start the giraffe experience.
I was worrying about where to go as I hadn’t received any further information following my booking, but the glamping reception told me to go to the hotel (around 5 mins drive away), so I parked there and asked at reception there where to go next.
I was directed to the bar area in the hotel, where there was a VIP Experiences waiting area outside. I made sure I was early to be able to get there in time, in case we got lost.
The waiting area was beautiful, overlooking the gardens, fountain and zebras who were getting their breakfast too!
At the start of our experience we were greeted by a friendly member of the VIP team who took us and the other family to the giraffes.
There are two experiences in the morning, before the giraffes are let out for the day, and then two in the evening once the park has closed.
We were on one of the morning sessions, with just myself and Lily, then a family of four too. We each had our own host for each of our family groups.
The hosts were very friendly and chatting to us about the giraffes on the way to the enclosure. The walk was around 5 minutes to the giraffes.
The paths were accessible on the way, however there were stairs in the giraffe enclosure to get upstairs so it may be worth checking with the VIP team before booking to see if it is accessible for you.
We were then given some health and safety information and a bucket of leaves, before being shown how to feed the giraffes.
It was just incredible being so close to the giraffes. Their tongues were so long and their eyelashes were beautiful, Lily and I were both in our elements throughout the whole feeding.
The giraffes were wrapping their tongues around the leaves – we were amazed. They are just such stunning animals.
Our host was on hand the whole time to give us some facts about the giraffes, to tell us more and to answer any questions too – she was so friendly and knowledgeable.
The whole experience lasted around 25minutes and although there was another family there, we had our own host and were separate throughout the experience, so it felt like it was just us and these incredible animals.
We really do recommend the experience – it was just incredible and so special for Lily and for me too!
It was so unique and done so well – it is something we would definitely do again.
We were lucky as we were staying in the resort that we then had early access to the park, so we could enjoy the rides before the park opened to the public for the day, so we went straight from the giraffe experience to walk straight onto the Gruffalo ride and the Vampire ride without the queues!
We would like to thank the VIP team at Chessington World of Adventures for making Lily’s birthday present so special. We will definitely be back when she is old enough to do the full zookeeper experience too.
The giraffe feeding experience is suitable for those age 5+. Children age 5-12 years must be accompanied by a full paying adult.
Entry to the theme park and zoo is not included in the experience, so must be booked separately.
Please check the website here to find out more about accessibility and entry requirements.
You can check our our full review of the Explorer Glamping experience here, but if you’d like to find out more about all the VIP Animal Experiences at Chessington World of Adventures, click here.
As part of the trip, we also visited Go Ape Chessington – you can check out our full review here.
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