France’s 12 best wildlife parks

Would you like to know the 10 best animal parks in France? Then this article is for you!

A trip to a wildlife park is one of France’s favorite activities. And not for nothing! First and foremost, because we want to please our children. And what a joy it is to see their eyes filled with wonder at wild animals! But it’s also fun for us grown-ups.

Combining culture and entertainment, isn’t that a great way to spend a pleasant day? Not to mention the important role these parks play in the protection and preservation of certain animal species. Here’s a list of the best wildlife parks in France. And there are plenty of them!

12. Planète Sauvage

The Planète Sauvage wildlife park is located in Port Saint Père, Loire-Atlantique, a few kilometers south of Nantes. This park is packed with animal species and activities! Among the animals present, you’ll find dolphins in the marine city, giraffes in the safari corner, and a multitude of monkey species in the temple of the Incas.

The park also offers a caretaker package. You or your child can spend a day in the shoes of an animal keeper, looking after some of the animals! What’s more, the park now offers overnight stays in bivouacs or lodges, just like in Africa! A guaranteed change of scenery! This park fully deserves its place among the best animal parks in France.

11. Sainte-Croix wildlife park

Located in Rhodes, Lorraine, the Sainte-Croix wildlife park specializes in European fauna. It is one of France’s largest vision parks, in other words, a park where indigenous wild animals are presented to the public and bred in as close to their natural environment as possible.

The Parc de Sainte-Croix was created in 1980 by Gérard Singer, and is now run by his two sons. It covers some 120 hectares and boasts over 1,500 animals of 130 different species. You can also stay here: the park has a hotel with unusual accommodation.

10. Haute-Touche Reserve

The Haute-Touche zoological reserve is located in the Indre department of the Centre-Val de Loire region. It is part of the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle. Of the park’s 500 hectares, 100 hectares are open to the public, to preserve the species and their natural habitat. Nevertheless, it remains one of France’s largest wildlife parks.

The Réserve de la Haute-Touche not only offers the public the chance to admire species in their natural environment, it is also a source of scientific research. In fact, it has its own laboratory specializing in reproductive biotechnologies, contributing to the development and preservation of animal species.

9. Peaugres Safari

Safari de Peaugres

Photo credit: Flickr – Manu Redcheex

If you’re passing through theArdèche, then you’ll have the chance to go on safari! You don’t believe me? Well, yes! The Peaugres safari, located near Annonay, offers you the chance to go on a real safari over more than 80 hectares. You’ll be able to wander among over 1,000 animals of some 127 different species.

The park is one of France’s top animal parks, and a member of WAZA: World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is divided into several areas: the walking park, which takes up around half the park; the South American area, with its giraffes, tapirs and giant anteaters; the manor’s underground passages, home to species such as bats and rats; the aquatic area, with its penguins and turtles; the monkey area; the greenhouse of a thousand hiding places and its vivarium; the claws and fangs area, home to lions and tigers, among others; and the car park, which presents over 140 animals in their natural environment.

8. Monkey Mountain

La montagne is a unique concept in animal parks in France. It’s located in Alsace, France, and gives you the chance to observe over 240 Barbary macaques in complete freedom. You can wander around with the monkeys, feeding them popcorn provided at the park entrance. A great way to study them up close.

The park also boasts a magot study center, whose mission is to conserve the species and reintroduce them into the wild.

7. Thoiry Safari Zoo

Located in the Yvelines region of France, Thoiry Safari Zoo is a huge zoological park covering 380 hectares, 150 of which are open to the public. A permanent member of EAZA, the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and WAZA, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, it is one of France’s largest animal parks.

This animal park’s little extras are, without doubt, its educational and pedagogical aspects. Guided and commented tours are very comprehensive. Not only the park, but also the château. There are also real encounters with the animal caretakers when the animals are being fed.

6. Alligator Bay

To diversify the world of zoos a little, Alligator Bay is a wildlife park entirely devoted to alligators, located on the road to Mont Saint Michel. It comprises three zones: the dragon labyrinth, where you’ll meet lizards and snakes, the turtle farm, where terrestrial and aquatic turtles are grouped together, and the alligator greenhouse, home to the largest group of alligators in Europe! This park is definitely one of France’s most original animal parks!

5. Sigean African Reserve

You’ll find this wildlife reserve in the south-west of France, between Narbonne and Perpignan. This park is one of the largest animal parks in France! Its 300-hectare surface area is home to some 3,800 animals. From birds to mammals and reptiles, at least 160 species can be found here. The animals live in semi-liberty, enabling them to enjoy a more sociable lifestyle in much larger spaces. The environment is also very pleasant, with ponds, pine forests and rolling hills to explore.

4. La Flèche Zoo

The Zoo de la Flèche is an emblematic animal park. It even has its own TV show! Located in the Sarthe region of France, it was founded by naturalist Jacques Bouillault in 1946. Covering an area of around 18 hectares, it is home to 1,600 animals of over 160 different species. The zoo is also renowned for its involvement in animal protection, conservation and rehabilitation programs in their natural habitat.

Since 2013, it has been possible to sleep in fully equipped lodges. La Flèche Zoo is clearly one of France’s finest animal parks.

3. Doué-la-Fontaine Biopark

Located in the Pays de la Loire region, not far from Saumur, this animal park is set in a former shellstone quarry. This particular environment gives it an original character.

Over its 15 hectares, it features around 1,200 animals of 130 species, and is one of the few zoos in France to house black rhinoceroses and okapis. The Bioparc de Doué-la-Fontaine is France’s leading private zoo, and is also a member of the European and worldwide associations of zoos and aquariums.

2 . Beauval

Zoo de Beauval

Photo credit: Flickr – Adrien Sifre

Head for the Loir-et-Cher for one of France’s most famous (if not the most famous) zoological parks. The Beauval zooparc covers 35 hectares. Visitors can discover around 3,000 mammals and birds and some 7,000 insects, fish and reptiles. The zoo’s reputation is well-established: the animals have plenty of space in which to flourish. Since 2008, Beauval Zoo management has been offering 364 hotel rooms. Beauval Zoo is also renowned for its giant pandas, leased from China. Two baby pandas were born there in 2017, through artificial insemination. Only one survived.

1. Vincennes

Let’s close this top list with the Parc Zoologique de Vincennes. One of France’s best-loved zoos, the Parc Zoologique de Vincennes in Paris has become an iconic landmark. With its rich ecosystems, it is an invitation to travel while respecting the animals. Its secret? Biozones, those famous large enclosures that are as close as possible to the animals’ natural environment. This concern for the well-being of the species is reflected in the choice of animals housed in the park. From giraffes and wolves to Humboldt penguins and white rhinoceroses, Vincennes Zoo makes a point of integrating national conservation and breeding programs.