A safari in Europe that ticks a lot of our boxes on a family holiday is the one in Givskud Zoo. It is more of a Safari than a zoo but if you visit the place without a car it is still possible to do. We visited this place in September 2018 when we visited the area of Vejle, Denmark. We only had a weekend and wanted to pack it up with things we all love doing. So one day we had to visit Legoland – as it is the Flagship of Lego and another day we spent at Givskud Zoo. The zoo was my favourite part of the holiday!
Being that we only had a weekend we didn’t want to bother with car hire as we were sure that the public transport would suffice. We found out that to get from our accommodation to the zoo it was going to cost us more than a taxi. When on a short holiday, even time is considered an important factor to consider. Check out my other tips to do on a short holiday. This was the only time the public transport was not used. We were also worried about the fact that the zoo was more of a safari than a normal zoo. Fortunately, this latter problem, was solved as the zoo offers a safari bus for a small fee of €5 per person. This actually includes a tour guide explaining about all the animals and their habitats.
The tour takes over an hour and stops for breaks in areas that you can roam around freely to see more. What you notice from the Safari bus is the vastness of the place. Whoever does hire a car there is no difference in ticket price than a normal paying visitor.
The day was spent like this:
- Bus Tour to the area of the Gorillas
- 1hr seeing the Gorilla area
- Bus Tour to other areas including Lions
- Walk through the Dinosaur Park
- Walk through the monkey habitat
- Playtime at the Gorilla Park area playground
- Walk back to main area for Giant Otter talk
- Playtime in the animal friendly playground
- Walk to the main entrance area where there are the Elephants and the wolves
- Walk to the Indian camp
- Walk back to the play area where there are go carts and trampolines visiting the domestic animals on the way.
As you can see there was a lot of walking, this could have been less if we had a car. Still, we enjoyed the walks as it was not hot or cold. The kids were sorted as they were carried most of the time in the carts provided. If we did have a car we would have missed out on certain areas too.
There is a lot to do in the park, so if you see that the entrance is slightly over priced for a zoo, please remember that it is a full day and all we paid while we were there was for the toys we bought our kids. We didn’t buy any food as we took our own picnic, one could even bring their own meat and use the bar-be-ques provided around the park. The food does look interesting and considering the normal food prices of Denmark it is not expensive. In fact, we should have eaten supper before we left the zoo but we had asked the taxi to come before we decided.
The park has multiple children’s areas and even though the animals take centre stage, the play areas were an attraction in themselves. Every area had a different theme and so had different features for all ages. It reminded me slightly about our visit to Cotswolds Wildlife Park.
Some areas are on sand while others, like the animal friendly playground, are on grass so that the goats can eat while the kids (of both species) play.
I think my favourite one was the trampoline park as I could play along with them too! It’s always fun to become a kid again!
Being that the zoo is more of a safari, the experience of walking with the animals is incredible. Cute spider monkeys playing just at arms’ reach and wolves just on the other side of a glass wall, simply amazing.
The habitats are so beautiful that even when we can’t see the actual animal (like in the Gorilla area) you still enjoy walking through it.
Lush green spaces, waterfalls, streams, trees and a protected marshland are what you will see when you are there. Just take it all in and relax while your kids are enjoying themselves. Give your brain a rest and your body will follow.
Sit (or lay down like my husband did) and listen, to the noises around you. Just be mindful of the space you are in because this place is perfect to appreciate what our world can really look like.
Ok, let’s get back to reality and talk about what else you can do in the zoo. Check out their website to see when they are offering the Wake Up Zoo event. We wished we could have done this but they didn’t offer it on the weekend we were there. This event basically takes you behind the scenes and the kids get a close encounter with the Rhinos and the Lions. Talking about the lions, this zoo was the first in Europe to create a natural habitat for the king. They are thinking of expanding the Lions’ habitat but even as it is today, it is considered one of the largest around.
Safety is top notch when entering and exiting the Lion area and the rules need to be followed for your own safety. Animals are treated as if they were in the wild so you can understand why the security.
All in all it was a great experience and although the kids preferred visiting Legoland, it was here that I relaxed (even though we walked a lot). It was here that I became a kid again! I need to remember to do that more often even in my everyday life. Have you been to a place and felt the same way like me? Tell us where you felt relaxed!