Hey Explorersaurs! Today is a review of the Crocodiles of the World Galapagos Tortoise Experience. Me and Jack booked this in for a random Monday over our break here and honestly had such a wonderful time, so I wanted to share some details about the zoo, experience and logistics! Crocodiles of the World is based in Oxford – Brize Norton. This is just outside the city and super easy to get to by car. It’s open most of the year and has a giant array of crocodiles, alligators, a komodo dragon, meerkats, otters, and Galapagos tortoises. Loads of great stuff and on the most part pretty different from your normal zoo.
Tickets start at around £10 per adult and £8 for kiddos. You can get family deals also. These first tier tickets will get you day access to the zoo, so you can walk around and see all the enclosures. In non Covid times you can also watch the crocodiles feed, but during Covid they don’t promote this out to stop grouping. This alone is a super cheap and cheerful way to spend a day and a lot of fun. The park isn’t massive, but there are lots of lovely animals to sit and watch, and a ton of information points if you want to learn some more about the beauties.
Then comes the big fun – the experiences.
Experiences you can do here at Crocodiles of the World:
- Galapagos Tortoises – this is what we did so you can read all about that below, but as a whole it’s a bloody whale of a time! This experience lasts for 30 minutes and usually runs at 11AM or 3PM. Due to Covid I’m pretty sure they’re only allowing one group at a time here, so me and Jack had this all to ourselves which was extra special. You get to feed, stroke and handle the tortoises and learn about their personalities and background. This costs £45 each, but the price of a day ticket is included. This means the experience is really about £35 each which is so worth it I cannot begin to explain! As these animals are vegan, you get to have a really hands on lovely experience. We absolutely recommend the Crocodiles of the World Galapagos Tortoise Experience.
- Meerkats – this is another really high up my list as they just seem like such wonderful playful creatures! Again, you can get close up to these babies and learn all about them and feed them. This experience lasts for 20 minutes and is £40 each. Again, the price of your entry is included so only about £30 extra – totally worth it!!
- Komodo Dragon – this costs £50 per person and lasts for 20 minutes. You get to learn about, feed and arrange enrichment for this giant lizard. This one looks really cool but obviously given the nature of Komodo Dragons, you won’t be able to get too close or touch it. If this your jam though it could be well worth checking out!
- Nile Crocodile – £50 for 15 minutes. We absolutely loved the look of this and almost booked the experience, but it was sold out on our dates. In hindsight I’m so glad we did the tortoises because we got so close and it was just lovely. But with that being said this experience lets you stand on the platform over the crocodile section. You have little grabby devices (they look like litter pickers to be honest,) and hang them off the platform above the crocodile enclosure. The crocs then jump up (shoot up let’s be real) out of the water and grab the food from you. You’ll get an insane view of all this and it really would be a unique experience. Definitely unlike anything else you get to do in the UK!
- You can also do some more expensive, hands on crocodile experiences that last for a few hours, or meet a different lizard. Check the link below to see everything on offer!
Watch our vlog of the Galapagos Tortoise Experience here:
Galapagos Tortoise Experience
So this experience lasts for 30 minutes, although it actually does feel like longer as it’s sooo bloody fun and you get to meet each animal and learn about them. It starts with a short safety briefing from the keeper – essentially don’t let them stand on you as they’re VERY heavy, and when you feed them don’t put your hands too close to their mouths as they are strong. You’re then given some wellies and gloves to keep the enclosure sanitised and you get to go in.
When you’re in you’ll start in the indoor area. This is a little more secluded to the rest of the park so you can’t really have anyone watch you here. With this being said we went on a Monday in school season so there was rarely anyone around and we didn’t really ever feel like people were watching. The tortoises come straight up to see what delicious snacks you have for them.
As you feed them you’re told all about the species and the specific babies they have here at the zoo. They have one male and three females – and they’re all bloody amazing. After the food is all used up you learn about finching. (I think this is what the keeper called it but I can’t find anything about it online haha.) Basically you can scratch the skin of their neck and they stretch up tall in a trance like state. I don’t remember everything the keeper said about it but essentially they feel like the birds are eating the bugs off them.. and like it. (Or something hahahaha!) Either way, it’s so lovely to see and they look bloody adorable sat there as you stroke/rub/tickle away. It’s an epic photo opportunity!
Check out my video to see all this in action if you’re debating whether to book! You can view it here.
What else to do in the zoo
There are a good amount of other enclosures to explore here, including lots of crocodiles, reptiles, otters, alligators and meerkats. There’s also a cafe doing normal attraction food – chips, sandwiches and snacks. Cheap and cheerful but my kind of food on a day like this! We really recommend coming to the zoo for a day as a family, couple, or for a wander with friends. I wholeheartedly recommend going for an animal experience as they really do create forever memories. If you can time your visit on a weekday outside of the school holidays you’ll basically have this place to yourself – and it’s so worth it!
Thank you so much to our lovely keeper for the loveliest time on our Crocodiles of the World Galapagos Tortoise Experience! Check out our other things to do in Oxford here, and all our travel goodness here!