A sleepover with lions is the hottest ticket in the capital, as ZSL London Zoo’s ‘Land of the Lions’ opened its doors last year for its overnight ‘Gir Lion Lodge Experience’, running six nights a week all year.
Land of the Lions, the zoo’s largest project to date, first welcomed visitors at Easter 2016 after being unveiled by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh – 40 years after Her Majesty opened its predecessor, The New Lion Terraces.
Hanuman langur monkeys also wander the exhibit, cleverly separated from the lions, who are contained by 5m high fencing with an overhang. Senior project manager Robin Fitzgerald says: “You have to create the right conditions, but not make it look like a mesh enclosure. So you can see them, you can smell them and really feel like you are amongst them.”
Zaun Group company Binns Fencing is better known for its high security fencing, though it has recently finished the new lion enclosure at Longleat, which featured on the BBC’s Animal Park last August. Three special walkways cover the 2,500 square metres exhibit which is five times the size of the previous enclosure.
They are fitted with high security 358 steel mesh by fencing installer Binns, giving millions of people the best chance to get up-close to the big cats from a safe vantage point. As well as their pride in London, ZSL is also working with local organisations in the Gir to help protect the vital population surviving in the wild.
The experience includes exclusive after-hours tours of the zoo at sunset, after-dark and in the morning, dinner and breakfast as well as access to the Zoo on the days before and after the visit.