During my years of travelling I have visited many zoos around the world. But the zoo (Dyreparken) in my hometown Kristiansand, where I spent many days as a child, is still my favorite. Without a doubt!
I think that it is around ten years since I visited this zoo last time. But now that I am back home in Norway, and my husband joined me, I had to show him this incredible park which is one of the greatest tourist attractions we have to offer in the south part (or the whole!?) of Norway. So yesterday, my husband and I were very lucky and could use our whole day in the zoo.
This visit really got me to realize how special and good this park is compared to the many other zoos I have visited around the world. As already said, this is without any doubt my favorite zoo, and here are the three main reasons for that:
The first and maybe the most important reason for me is that the animals are treated very well and are taken good care of. You can easily see that the 148 different sorts of animals the park have are happy and healthy, and they have a lot of space in a natural environment to walk and run around on. Some animals are therefore a bit hard to spot in the distance. But that is much better than that they sit in a small cage, like in many zoos I have seen around the world. Some animals in “Dyreparken” even walk around freely with the visitors.
In some parks I have been to in Africa, South America and Asia I have seen the animals hit, starved and mistreated by the people that are suppose to take care of them. They live in their own shit and dirt as noone come to clean, and I have often asked myself, “Why the h*** I paid money to support that animals are treated like that?”. But sometimes you cannot know this before you have visited.
Anyway, In “Dyreparken” I can see that the animals are happy, and I know the people working with the animals are skilled and that it means everything for them that the animals are well. The park is also collaborating with international organizations like EAZA og WAZA, for the conservation of animals and their wellbeing.
The second reason, is that this is a park that is alive with living animals, actors and plants. The zoo have different sections, like Africa, Asia, the Jungle, and Nordic wilderness. If you go to the jungle, you really feel like you are in the jungle. You go into humid climate with tropical plants hanging over and besids you, and birds flying and walking freely over and around you – just for mentioning one example.
The park also have several actors going around. Many children comes to see the pirate “Kaptein Sabeltann”, which have been popular since my childhood. Many children visiting the park go dressed like him, and is exited while meeting actors from the play. They can also take a trip on the boat of this pirate. The same with “Kardemomme by”, which is a small town build in the park, full of actors. Or Hakkebakkeskogen, which is a play of actors that are different animals in a forest. The children really enjoy this, and I remember very well that I did so as well, and I have so many nice childhood memories from visiting this park, and that is the third reason why this is my favorite zoo in the world. And I am sure every child visiting this park leave with many great memories as well.
The park can also offer a few carousels and other activities like play stalls, slides, bobsled, and rowboats – fun both for children and adults. They also have a waterpark (which was new for me). It looked super fun with big waterslides and many pools and Jacuzzis. But due to the weather not being the best with rain and a lot of wind we did not entry to the water. We could have as the water was warm – from 27 degrees and up. But we will for sure come back to this water park when it is better weather.
We had a wonderful day in the park, but was really tired when we came back home. Remember to bring good shoes when you visit, as the park is very big and you will be walking a lot. If you are a big family, I will also reccomend to bring your own food to save some money.
I will be making a small video of the visit as well. As said, this is a park that is “alive”, and this is demonstrated better with a video. I will also show the other parts of the park besides the animals in that video. So keep tuned, it will be up on the blog within the next days!
* For the purpose of this review, two combi-tickets (including zoo and waterpark) were offered by the park. But all my opinions are my own. The combi-tickets costs 569 NOK (71 USD) per adult and 509 NOK for children between 3 and 13 years. Tickets just to the zoo have a cheaper rate.