Things to do

Halfway around the world in just one day?

You do not have to spend hours on a plane to meet, greet and touch exotic animals. From May to September, all you need to do is jump in your car and visit one of the several safari parks around the country.

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By Lene Spang Dyrberg     Pictures: PR – courtesy of the safari parks

Denmark is home to some amazing safari parks, each with an individual twist, which can make it worthwhile to visit more than one. You are bound to experience some memorable moments, certainly if you also have the luck of a close encounter with “wild” animals, such as goats and donkeys.

Beware that goats, lovable as they are, and usually harmless to children, can be quite cumbersome, very stubborn and hard to get rid of, especially when food is involved.

A visitor to one of the parks forgot that goats have great ears (and appetites), and when taking a big and loud bite of his apple, with windows open, found his car under heavy attack by goats’ horns, as they tried to get to the apple.

Others recount how the children’s sunscreens in the car caught the donkeys’ attention, and were subsequently eaten!

However, only in areas with tame animals do cars normally stop or drive through with open windows, so you should be quite safe inside your own safari transport with the “real” wild animals.

The parks are truly a unique opportunity to explore wild animals in natural settings without making a long trip to Africa.

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Knuthenborg Safaripark:

This safari park is situated in the original park of the Knuthenborg Estate in Maribo on Lolland. It comes with the beautiful original park bordering the sea, and of course, the old manor house, Knuthenborg Castle, located in the park itself.

Entering the park, you drive through the old estate gates, and here you pay for your day ticket of safari fun.

Knuthenborg is famous for its wildlife, with animals from several continents living on a large area of the estate’s park. The safari park has divided the animals into different sections according to the continent they come from.

New this year is also the addition of  the Dinosaur Park – no fears, they look alive but are not! Instead the idea is to show how these animals from our past actually link to those alive today!

The estate covers an area of about 500 hectares, with more than 23 km of roads to drive through while exploring the 1,000 animals living there.

A unique visit is the area with tigers. They are fenced in, but you still drive right through their living area– an awesome experience. The speed limit in the park is 30 km/h. (Only 10 km/h in the tiger and wolf enclosures.)

Their Facebook page and website offer a lot of information, although the English version is less detailed than the Danish one – unfortunately.

Opening Hours:
Until July, the park is open from 10:00 to 17:00. From July to mid-August the park will be open until 18:00. The drive from Copenhagen takes about 90 minutes.

Entrance Fee:
Children (3-11 years): DKK 135, Adults: DKK 225

Getting there:
By car: Address for GPS: Knuthenborg Allé 1, 4930 Maribo.
Via freeway E47 – south: Take exit 47, Maribo Øst. Follow the signs to the park.
Via freeway E47 – north: Take exit 48, Maribo Vest. Follow the signs to the park.

Be aware:
Driving around the park among the wild animals often leads to unexpected situations: donkeys trying to eat the sunshades in the car if you forget to close the windows, lions refusing to move in front of your car, have patience! Just remember to follow the safety instructions from the personnel. Upon arrival you receive the park’s safety guidelines.

Bonus info:
Excellent playgrounds. Take the time and let the kids enjoy themselves– or play with them. You can spend hours at the playground. If the weather is perfect, bring your picnic and some bathing clothes. You can also buy refreshments in the park.

More Information:
Check out www.knuthenborg.dk for the latest information about opening hours, how to get around, and much more.

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Ree Park Safari:

Ree Safari Park is situated in Jutland only a 45 minute drive from Aarhus by car.

The park covers an area of 70 hectares with more than 80 species from four continents.

The park’s main objective is to focus on endangered species. Several of the animals living in the park are threatened with extinction in their natural habitat, and therefore the park works intensively on breeding programmes to ensure their survival.

You can walk around the park or enjoy a ride in a Land Rover Safari Car; the ride will take you close to the animals from the African Savanna with no danger to your own car.

Check their website for daily activities, such as feeding the animals, camel riding and Land Rover Safari departure times.

Opening Hours:
Ree Park Safari is open from 10:00 to 16:00 (17:00 during the weekend). From mid-July the park is open every day until 17:00 with some late days until 20.00.

Entrance Fee:
Children (3-11 years): DKK 90/100*, Adults: DKK 170/185*. *Price is valid in the following period: 30 June to 19 August 2018.

Geting there:
By car: Address for GPS: Stubbe Søvej 15, 8400 Ebeltoft

From Århus: Drive to Tirstrup, turn right towards Ebeltoft, then left towards Gravlev, then follow the signs to the park.
From Ebeltoft ferry port: Drive to Tirstrup; before Øksenmøll turn right towards Gravlev, then follow the signs to the park.

Be aware:
If you plan to stay more than one day in the area you should keep your ticket, as it will give you a 20 percent discount on the entrance fees to Fregatten Jylland and Glasmusset Ebeltoft. Check out www.fregatten-jylland.dk and www.glasmusset.dk for information on opening hours.

Bonus info:
Ree Safari Park was used as the location for the Danish children’s movie “Mine søsters børn i Afrika” from 2012. The movie conveys the image of an African Savanna quite well; at Ree Safari Park you are in for a real African safari experience. Ree Safari Park also offers safaris in their own Karen Blixen Camp located in Kenya, Africa.

More information:
Check out www.reepark.dk for the latest information about opening hours, how to get around, and much more.

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Givskud Zoo safari park:

Givskud Zoo safari park is located in Jutland in the town of Givskud, a 25-minute drive from Billund. It has existed for 40 years, and its vision has been to educate and provide information about wild animals as well as give visitors a wild animal experience. The number of species has grown, with more than 70 different kinds of animals living in the park today.

When you are in the park, you can get around in three ways – walking, driving your own car, or taking the Givskud Zoo Safari Bus. Whatever you choose, you get really close to the animals and it feels like you are travelling across the African Savanna.

Opening Hours:
Givskud is open from 10.00 to 16.00 (17.00 during the weekend). From Mid-July the park is open daily until 20:00.

Entrance Fee:
Children (3-11 years): DKK 110, Adults: DKK 210

Getting there:
By car: Address for GPS: Løveparkvej 3, 7323 Give

Be aware:

Buy your ticket online and save money.

Bonus info:
You can watch the animals being fed throughout most of the day. Scattered around the area, you will find playgrounds for both little and bigger kids, with the chance of baking bonfire bread, panning for gold and playing with some of the (tame) animals.

More information:
Check out www.givskudzoo.dk for the latest information about opening hours, how to get around, and much more.

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Visit rainforests from three continents at Randers Regnskov:

Randers Regnskov is situated in the middle of Jutland, a 45-minute drive from Aarhus Airport by car. It is known for its 3,600 m2 tropical exhibition, consisting of three domes housing animals and plants from the world’s three large rain forest continents: South America, Asia and Africa.

Among the rainforest’s more than 250 different species, about half of them are free roaming.

If you check out www.regnskoven.dk you can read about visiting the cave of the glowing skulls, the snake temple in which non-venomous snakes roam freely, the dark and mysterious African cave with several nocturnal animals, and finally the sunken frigate ‘Sirenen’ and you can also find information about daily activities.

Opening Hours:
Randers Regnskov is open all year. Most days it is open from 10:00 to 17:00

Entrance Fee:
Children (3-11 years): DKK 110, Adults: DKK 190.

Getting there:
By car: Address for GPS: Tørvebryggen 11, 8900 Randers
From North:
Driving on E45, turn at Randers C., and then turn left. Follow the road 2 km and then follow the signs to Randers Regnskov.
From South:
Driving on E45, turn at Randers C. Follow the road to the city center and turn left, and then follow the signs to Randers Regnskov.

Be aware:
The rainforest recommends that you walk around the exhibitions more than once, as you will see something different each time.

Bonus info:
Also visit the outdoor petting zoo with rabbits and miniature pigs, next to the Rainforest Café, where you can buy lunch or have a rest. You are allowed to cuddle and play with the animals in the petting zoo.

More information:
Check out www.regnskoven.dk for the latest information about opening hours, how to get around, and much more.