Visit La Flèche Zoo: tickets, prices, opening hours

Visit the La Flèche zoo: this emblematic park between Le Mans and Angers offers a unique experience among its 1,500 animals. Ideal for young and old alike!

There are a great many zoos in France, but the one in La Flèche is not to be missed. Located in the Sarthe département between Le Mans and Angers, it’s an ideal stopover on the way to your vacation destination, or simply a place to spend the day if you live nearby. This 18-hectare zoological park boasts 1,500 animals, 100 employees and numerous shows. For an even more intense experience, why not stay at the Safari Lodge, right in the heart of the park?

Don’t wait any longer to visit La Flèche zoo, the ideal place to see the world in a day. For the more curious, it’s also an opportunity to discover the filming location of France 4’s television documentary, Une saison au zoo. Take the time to observe these animals, and you’ll have so many memories to tell when you get home.

History of the zoo

Zoo La Flèche sur Sarthe

Photo credit: Shutterstock / BMCL

The story of the La Flèche zoo began in 1946, a year after the end of the Second World War. It was a certain Jacques Bouillault who embarked on the adventure, gathering together a few animals on the Tertre Rouge hill. The park was the first of its kind in France, and was named the Tertre Rouge Zoo. As the years went by, the park grew in size and many citizens came to visit the zoo. The creation of a natural science museum and a large vivarium boosted visitor numbers to 245,000 a year by 1973.

In the 1980s, the La Flèche zoo took a new turn for the worse, and was no longer a great success. The owner was forced to close the park in 1988, despite associations fighting to save it. It was bought by Raymond Da Cunha, who renamed it La Flèche Zoo.

Little by little, the park grew and new attractions were created. First the Marine World complex, bird shows, then the arrival of bears and tigers, and so on. The La Flèche zoo as we know it today began to take shape. At the same time, a large number of people are hired to work within the structure, looking after the animals.

La Flèche Zoo today

But the major change in the park, the one that makes the difference if you come to visit La Flèche Zoo, is its lodges. In 2014, four lodges were built right in the heart of the park to give tourists a unique experience. In concrete terms, you sleep among wolves, tigers and polar bears.

Today, the La Flèche zoo is managed by the Looping Group, with Stéphane Da Cunha, Raymond’s son, as general manager. Every year, it attracts 400,000 visitors and ranks among the top 5 most famous zoos in France. With animal welfare in mind, the zoo does everything in its power to make the animals feel at home.

What to see and do at La Flèche zoo?

It’s impossible to get bored at La Flèche Zoo! The 18-hectare park is home to 1,500 animals, with regular entertainment and shows. There are also lodges, a store and a restaurant.

The animals

Among the 1,500 animals, including 160 different species, several areas have been created, such as :

  • The Asian plain: rhinoceroses, antelopes, red pandas, otters, aviary ;
  • Marine World: sea lions, penguins, otters, polar bears, arctic wolves, white tigers ;
  • Nosy Komba: lemurs, turtles, birds, pink flamingos ;
  • The vivarium: snakes, rodents, turtles, armadillos.

Other animals to be seen include giraffes, elephants, lions, monkeys, hippos, panthers, llamas and many other little-known species. The park’s flora is also a focal point. When you visit La Flèche Zoo, you’ll discover over 800 plant species that not only add to the zoo’s beauty, but also contribute to the animals’ well-being.

  • New for 2019: the two Sumatran tigers are moving to their new, much more beautiful and spacious enclosure. What’s original about all this? You’ll be able to watch them swim through a bay window, in underwater vision. Yet another reason to visit La Flèche Zoo!

Entertainment

Every day of the week, you can observe the animals as they eat, make presentations or admire them at specific times. All you need to do is refer to the schedule on the program given to you at the park entrance.

These events are not to be missed:

  • the hippopotamus snack ;
  • presentation with reptiles ;
  • sea lion training;
  • polar bear diving;
  • the giraffe snack ;
  • meeting the elephant caretaker.

The shows

From April to October, the La Flèche zoo organizes shows for you to enjoy in a different way. Highly anticipated by young and old alike, don’t miss the times listed on the program handed out at the park entrance.

  • Marine World: the California sea lion show. Saltos, surfing and other aquatic feats, sea lions are true gymnasts of the sea. They prove it to you with music;
  • Lords of the Sky: the spectacle of free-flying birds. Hold your breath as the birds of prey skim over your head;
  • Parrot Jungle: the multicolored macaw show. Parrots will make you laugh with their games of skill and fitness trail.

Safari Lodge

Since 2013, it has been possible to spend one or more nights in the heart of La Flèche zoo, among the animals. Beautiful wooden lodges have been built in specific areas of the park. You have the immense opportunity to observe the most fascinating animals on the planet, with only a large bay window as a barrier. Just imagine: a tiger staring at you after dark, or a polar bear taking a dip right in front of you. What’s more, you’ll enjoy luxury comfort, with the cocooning spirit of a wooden chalet. However, this magical experience comes at a price, which doesn’t stop this unusual accommodation from being fully booked.

How do I get to La Flèche zoo?

The exact address is: Le Tertre Rouge, 72200 La Flèche. It is located in the Sarthe region, between Angers and Le Mans.

You can visit La Flèche zoo by car or train.

By car

  • Angers and Le Mans: 45 minutes via the A11 or the D23
  • Laval and Alençon: 1h15 via the A11 motorway
  • Nantes: 1h30 via the A11 motorway
  • Chartres: 2h via the A11 motorway
  • Rennes, Caen and Orléans: 2h15 via the A81, A28 and A10 motorways
  • Paris: 2h30 via the A11

Please note: parking is free.

By train

To visit the La Flèche zoo, stop at the Le Mans or Angers Saint-Laud train stations. From Le Mans, take bus no. 26 to the La Flèche bus station. From Angers, take bus no. 2. Unfortunately, the free shuttle bus is not available all year round, only in summer.

Zoo opening hours & fees

Opening hours

La Flèche Zoo is open every day of the year, except December 25 and January 1. Opening times vary according to the season. Please consult the official website before visiting.

  • opening between 9.30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
  • closes between 5.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.

A day’s visit to La Flèche zoo is well worthwhile. We recommend you go as soon as it opens.

Rates

  • 1-day ticket: €24 adults and €19 children
  • 2-day ticket: €36 adult and €28 child

Free for children under 3.

Discounts are available for people with reduced mobility, groups and an annual pass.

Good to know

  • pets are not allowed in the park. A babysitting service is available;
  • You can picnic in the park in the picnic areas provided. Several catering options are available;
  • For a closer look at the job of a zookeeper at La Flèche zoo, a one-day activity can be organized, albeit at a rather high price.