Safari ZOO in Dvur Kralove is just a fantastic place to spend a day trip. It’s located in the north part of the Czech Republic, in a region called: Kralovohradecky. It’s about 170-200 kilometres from Brno. It’s also quite close to Polish borders, so if you feel like shopping for famous candies krówki or michałki, go ahead.
We visited Safari ZOO in the middle of the summer, but ZOO is open during the autumn and winter season as well. Go to official website to check working hours. It’s always better to be prepared. The field is so vast that you won’t even notice the whole day has just passed. It’s much better to be an early riser and stand in front of the gate at 9.00 am. I promise you’ll not regret this decision.
There’re actually two parts. The first one is Safari, where you can go in your own car or move to a safari bus (the schedule is available at the website). Once you pay, you’ll get a map with instructions and information on what kinds of animals you can see. Drive carefully and observe the animals.
Look for goats, chamois, antelopes and gnus. Animals from the Antilocapridae family or musk deer as well as odd-toed ungulate-wild horses, different types of zebras etc. You can also admire leopards and lions, you better stay in the car with closed windows …. Just kidding, they are in the cage and you actually have to step off to see them. There’re also some birds like herons, peacocks, and other weird kinds. The very last stop is designated for giraffes and rhinos. This part might take you about an hour or longer, it’s up to you. You can hide in bushes, wait for the best photo to happen or wait in the car for animals to approach you. Most animals seem to be tranquil and undisturbed. They already got used to cars and people.
Zoos also organize evening sightseeing with a guide in jeeps or safari buses, but it’s only available in summer. Other attractions such as off-road safari, weddings in ZOO or behind-the-scene tours must be booked in advance. They’re much more expensive than a regular ticket, but you have a private tour with lots of information about feeding, the natural environment and other useful tips.
The safari ticket will enable you to go to the second part, which is ZOO. There’re plenty of restaurants in case you get hungry. Regain your strength, because what’s before you is a bit challenging. The structure of the ZOO is like a labyrinth, wandering from one place to another without having the certainty that you’ve already been there. Or maybe only I had this problem, I didn’t even know if I saw everything I planned to see.
Animals are interesting, eerie, and remarkable. I especially liked the monkeys’ playground. Huge gorilla together with chimpanzees. I could stay there and stare all day, observing monkeys’ behavior, admiring how helpful and caring they might be. In another quite interesting “room” were placed birds. Freely flying warblers, colorful parrots or canaries were surrounded by wild jungle. Also, the big and heavy tiger made an impression on me, he got really mad with people knocking on the glass. He started roaring and behaving nervously, I got scared and ran to a more peaceful place – the ocean’s world. I knew Nemo will be there, but I was completely taken aback when I saw a crocodile. I’ve never ever seen this dangerous animal before, only on tv. In the flesh, it didn’t seem so scary, he was steady and lazy. My favorite turtles were difficult to photograph, but at least I had a photo with piranhas.
Is this the end?
Finally, it took us 4 hours of walking to get tired and finish the trip. But it was really worth it. If you’re ZOO freak and would love to visit other sites in the Czech Republic I do recommend the one in Zlin – with a beautiful Lesna chateau.