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Zoo Parc de Beauval in the Loire Valley

 

Beauval Zoo just outside St.Aignan is set in parkland that helps to create as near to natural a habitat as can be provided for animals in captivity. It is the most visited attraction in the Loire Valley even more popular than the famous chateaux of Chambord and Chenoncheau. With over  4500 animals on display you can spend more than one day here - it is actually better value for a two day ticket at 37.50 - than the rather expensive 25.00 for one day. There is little in the way of discount for children as 3 to 10 year olds have to pay 19.00 /day. You can get all the practical information you need for a visit here.

The current big attraction at  the zoo is of course the Pandas but the zoo has an interesting mix of animals including  - manatees, white tigers, albino boas, porcupines, kangaroos, raccoons and the cuddly koalas to name but a few.

 

It also has its fair share of zebras, giraffes, rhinoceros which are in large open areas to try and recreate their natural habitat - well as near as France can give them.

The elephants too, have their own space - all can be viewed through glass rather than wire cages.

 

The zoo also has a tropical greenhouses with exotic birds flying freely around you. You also get the opportunity to view  chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans a close up.

 

There is a 1500 seater arena where you watch displays by sea-lions in the water and birds of prey in the air. Best to get here 30 minutes before it starts as it can be very popular.

Overall the park is naturally very child friendly with easy access for pushchairs plus there are plenty of toilets on site, many with baby changing facilities. Perhaps the one area that lets it down is the catering facilities - you might be better taking a picnic but this has to be taken outside the park. You are allowed to leave and return to the park.

TIPS:

Wear comfortable shoes - you will be doing a lot of walking

You can buy your tickets online to save waiting in line at the park - it is very popular in high season.

 

Photograph1courtesy of  www.zoobeauval.com

website: http://www.zoobeauval.com

Other zooparks in Loire-Valley.

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