Date: 18 Jun 2018
We have recently launched a new accessible vehicle, which will be available for visitors to book throughout the summer.
The ‘zoo-mobile’ is an accessible buggy that can transport wheelchair users around the zoo’s 55-acre site. The vehicle is available to book on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in June, July and August. Visitors can choose from an inclusive tour or hilltop drop-off service.
The inclusive tour includes a guided tour of Belfast Zoo from the comfort of the vehicle. The tour, lasting approximately one and a half hours, allows visitors to learn about the history of Belfast Zoo and the role it plays in conserving endangered species and habitats. The inclusive tour costs £20.
The hilltop drop-off provides transport from the zoo’s visitor centre to the top of the zoo. This journey lasts approximately five minutes and costs £2 per adult or £1 per concession.
Zoo manager, Alyn Cairns, said “Belfast Zoo is proud to be a visitor-inspired attraction. We are committed to improving inclusivity at Belfast Zoo and are dedicated to delivering a supportive and enjoyable experience for everyone. While our Cave Hill location provides a unique and beautiful setting with unrivalled views across Belfast Lough, it can also present challenges for some of our visitors with mobility requirements. We are delighted to introduce accessible transport for the first time, enabling all visitors to enjoy full access to the zoo site. The zoo-mobile offers flexibility with a choice between a fully-guided tour of the zoo, or a drop-off service to the top of the zoo, allowing visitors to bypass steep uphill sections of the zoo.”
Alyn continues, “In recent years we have invested substantial time and resources in improving the zoo’s accessibility to ensure that all visitors have a ‘zooper day out’. The zoo-mobile was introduced as a direct response to customer feedback. Later this summer we will be holding our first ever sensory day, for visitors on the autism spectrum. We are committed to a programme of continual improvements and appreciate all visitor feedback, ideas and suggestions for further improvement.”
Eileen Lavery, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, welcomed the new service. She said “We know that the steeply sloping site has presented difficulties in the past for people with mobility difficulties and it’s not easy to come up with a solution - it takes a lot of time, thought and resources. It’s great to see that, at Belfast Zoo, every customer counts and disabled customers can enjoy the scenery and the animals along with everyone else.”
Find out more about accessibility at our zoo.
Find out more about our zoo-mobile.