We review Crocodiles of the World in the Cotswolds and give our tips for visiting families
What is it?
This is the UK’s only crocodile zoo with 150 crocodiles and alligators plus other reptiles like Komodo dragons and giant tortoises. It was opened in 2011 by crocodile conservationist Shaun Foggett.
The centre wants visitors to learn about crocodiles and see them closely but safely, to boost awareness and conservation.
Where is it?
Crocodiles of the World is at the bottom of the Cotswolds, a mile off the main A40 to Oxford not far from Burford, in Oxfordshire.
What did we think?
There are lots of types of crocodiles, caimans and alligators – creatures you don’t often see in zoos, so it was great to get up close to some of the bigger ones! It is fairly small, the site is a little ramshackle in places and some parts are very humid to keep the crocodiles feeling at home.
*The zoo is split into four sections, the largest creatures are in the Crocodile House, smaller ones in the main zoo, there are also two outside areas including an education zone housing otters and meerkats.
*There are lots of talks through the day with something every half an hour between 10.30am and 4pm. The Croc Talk we attended was really interesting, relaxed and well delivered. We learnt plenty, including the difference between a crocodile and alligator (crocodiles have their bottom teeth visible when their mouth is closed, alligators don’t).
*The Komodo dragon is an interesting sight and has a reasonable-sized enclosure next to the picnic and play area. A good place to sit, eat and relax outside.
*There is a small playground with modern equipment outside, which is handy as the main zoo and crocodile house are both very hot and humid so the creatures can feel at home. You need a blast of fresh air so the playground is handy. There is a small slide for under 5s and some good monkey bars in a climbing area.
Watch our video below before continuing to our top tips to read before you visit.
Our top tips
*The biggest and most dramatic crocodiles and alligators are in the Crocodile House. It isn’t that well marked and we nearly left without seeing this area altogether!
*It is EXTREMELY hot and humid in the Crocodile House and can be close to unbearable for young children so head straight to the top section with the huge saltwater and Nile crocodiles then work back down. That way you see the best creatures before you get too hot and sweaty. Our son lasted less than a minute before he needed to go outside so missed this part.
*The talks are good and well-spaced out through the day, try and combine one Croc Talk and a feeding session too to get the most out of your visit. The site isn’t huge so without doing the talks it won’t take long to get around everything.
Crocodiles of the World information
Food: There’s a small cafe – Croc Cafe – which serves hot and cold food, drinks and ice creams. Picnics are allowed with tables outside near the playground.
Opening hours: Open every day, 10am to 5pm.
Cost: Adults £8.95, children aged three to 16 £6.50, under 3s free. Family tickets (2 adults, 2 children) £27.00.
Best for: Children aged four upwards.
Time needed: 90 minutes, a bit longer if you want to hear more talks.
Access and restrictions: The site is flat and wheelchair friendly, especially the main croc house. There are a couple of steps in other sections. There are disabled changing facilities.
Address: Burford Rd, Brize Norton, Carterton OX18 3NX.
(We were given complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review, all views are our own).