Giants of the Galápagos will be closed from 17-21 April 2023
Step into balmy Giants of the Galápagos habitat...
Be transported to the famous archipelago, surrounded by the sights and sensations of the pristine, isolated island chain.
The swanky island pad comes with choice of two lagoon pools to cool off in, a muddy wallow for self-care spa treatments and a tropical forest for our giant Galápagos tortoises to explore.
About giant Galápagos tortoises
Galápagos tortoises are extraordinary. They're the largest tortoises in the world, they can live for over 150 years, and they carry around huge, bony shells that they can hide inside if they feel threatened. Despite their size they are gentle giants, and sadly, over the last few hundred years they haven't been too good at fending off predators.
Tortoises also played a very interesting part in the history of natural science. When Charles Darwin, who was an early 'fellow' of ZSL, visited the Galápagos in 1835, he learnt of variations in the tortoises from different islands. Later, these observations would help him form his revolutionary new theory of 'natural selection'.
Galápagos tortoises came under threat when humans arrived at the islands and hunted them for food, causing 3 of the 14 species to vanish completely. Very little hunting occurs these days, but the tortoises are still threatened by domestic animals brought to the islands by passing ships, tourism, and disease.
ZSL and other organisations are helping keep the tortoises safe, by running field conservation projects in the Galápagos Islands, and finding out about disease threats to Galápagos flora and fauna.