France is known for its love of animals. The former French colonists were the first to bring all types of animals back home with them. But today, the biggest zoos in France also showcase local animals which are only seen in France. Here are the 10 biggest zoos the country has to offer.
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10. La Rochelle Aquarium
This famous aquarium is an excellent sea life location in Southern France. Entirely made indoors, it’s now closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But it is set to reopen after the pandemic and it can be one of the top French destinations for sea life.
It features multiple areas such as the jellyfish area or the Caribbean room for very specific species of fish. Over 600 species of fish make it one of the largest aquariums in the world.
9. Zoo Parc de Beauval
With over 10.000 animals, the Zoo Parc de Beauval offers the largest diversity in all of France. These animals represent regions from around the world. From cute Koalas to leopards and even seals, there are many animals to admire here. Before the pandemic, the zoo also regularly held public events, especially in the pool area with marine wildlife. But you can still make the most of it by taking the on-site cable car which allows you to see the animals from above. This facility is rare to find anywhere else in the world.
8. Cerza Safari Park
Have you ever dreamed of living with chimpanzees or deer? This is possible at Cerza Safari Park. This large outdoor zoo comes with multiple accommodation options. You can book a night for you and your family at one of the lodges at this incredible zoo. Most of the lodges come with an eco-friendly design and you’ll feel like you are part of a real safari experience while staying here. It’s worth visiting for a few days given it comes with an accommodation option.
7. La Fleche Zoo
From lamas to Indian rhinos, Le Fleche Zoo is one of the biggest in France. It gained a lot of international media coverage with its modern lodges on the premises. You can book a night in these luxurious lodges for an unforgettable experience. This is also one of the best ways for the zoo to start earning extra money which can then be reinvested in creating a better environment for its thousands of animals.
6. Zoo de Doué
This old zoo was opened to the public in 1961. It’s one of the few zoos in France that truly looks like a safari with its tall vegetation and matching wooden buildings. It has a total surface of just over 35 acres which means you’d have to walk for a few hours to see it fully. There are over 1.000 animals here and most visitors end up returning to see them all.
5. Vallée des Singes
This is one of the best zoos in France to see primates. You can find all types of lemurs here. But you can also see rare species such as the Barbary macaques and the silvery marmoset here. The place has also been properly designed with plenty of small waterfalls for the animals to play in.
4. Nausicaa National Sea Centre
Sharks, sea lions, and African penguins are among the animals you can see at this aquarium. It is one of the largest in Europe. There are more than 60.000 animals here representing more than 1.000 species. All of them seem to gather huge crowds as a typical day here sees thousands of visitors.
3. Reserve Africaine de Sigéan
From hyenas to the Defasa waterbuck, this zoo is one of the most interesting when it comes to size and activities. It’s one of the few in the entire country to allow picnics. You can arrange a cool family picnic here and you can even have the food for the picnic made for you at the zoo’s restaurant.
2. Mulhouse Zoological Park
Mulhouse Zoological Park is one of the top locations to see animals in France. It has the best website of all French zoos which offers you a glimpse into what you can see there once inside the zoo.
There are all types of happy animals living here. Most of them are brought from abroad. But many visitors are truly impressed to see how the zoo looks. It is one that incorporates multiple plants and trees so that it can be seen as a small botanical garden as well. Animals here benefit from fresh air from the Turkey oak or the Western redcedar. But if you love both animals and plants, you are going to love the Japanese pagoda tree which offers them shade.
For the effort put into this zoo, it should be the first in the country. However, their attention is often spread from the animals to the plants and trees. This is why the zoo isn’t there in terms of animal numbers yet. But it can be the biggest one in France and Europe in a couple of years. This zoo has the potential of changing how we think about public zoos as well as it does things properly for a modest $10 entrance fee.
1. La Palmyre Zoo
Rare animals such as the orangutan of Borneo, or the Golden lion tamarin can be seen in this Southern France zoo Built-in 1966, it remains one of the largest and one of the most successful zoos in the country and the entire world.
It covers a surface of 44 acres and it has been purposely built in a forest to make it even more interesting. But this large zoo is also one of the few entirely handicapped-friendly in the country. It offers unrestricted access to all of its zones. The zoo impresses with its design further. It successfully combines the aspect of a forest with an animal shelter for all types of rare species.