Yesterday the kids were off school (it was a planned day so not sure if they were striking as I read on the internet but they had the day off and we needed to do something outside of the home). The weather was nice (about 14 degrees and sunny – celsius – we’re not mad). After doing a bit of searching for something fun to do outside, I remembered the Beekse Bergen Safari Park which is about 11 miles from our house (but driving it’s about 30 minutes. I know you can go the back roads, but I find the highway much easier.
When we arrived the main gate looked a bit like Disney World – and I actually thought it was closed at first, but then decided to follow a few people who drive into the main gate area and glad we did – we had a fantastic day out!
There are various ticketing options available including tickets only to the Safari park or only to Speelland (which was still closed for the season) or a combi which is entry to both! As we now live nearby, it hard to justify spending €24,00 p.p. for me and the two kids to visit the park once when we could get a YEAR LONG pass (called jaarkaarten for both parks for €62.50 each. Just attending three times in the course of a year, pays for itself. We do still have to pay for parking but instead of €9. it’s €3 and in mid-March they are running an offer buy 10 tokens, receive 2 free – so we’ll do that. I also received three booklets with coupons for 50% off entry tickets to other attractions like Blijdorp in Rotterdam, Apenheul, Zoopark Overloon, Aquazoo, Dierenrijk, Klimrijk and Aquafun at Sportium and Icefun at Sportium in Den Bosch and a lot more discounts including food in the park.
There are four ways to see the Safari park. 1) Self-driving in the car through the free-roaming animals. 2) On a bus which stops at various spots allowing you to see the animals. 3) By boat, which is seasonal so closed yesterday. And finally 4) by walking in the park (safely on paths of course. So with our new cards printed, we set out to visit the park. We agreed to first drive through the animal park.
As we started to drive into the park, I was telling the kids about the only one other time I was in a self-drive safari park in France where lions and bears were able to come up to the car. Here there were cheetahs free roaming but in the grass resting. Inside the park behind a cage, there were jaguars – but they all look alike to me 🙂
Of course, there were zebras and giraffes and camels and deer – the gentle animals all roaming around and able to come near the cars.
Happily the lions were not able to walk up to our car but within distance to see them.
At 3:00 pm, we watched the Birds of Prey show on the far end of the park – which was cool. Unfortunately it was 100% in Dutch, so we didn’t quite get the whole thing but we’ve been to a few of these shows, we get the idea. Plus we were there to see the beautiful birds, right. My favorite was the owl – he was cheeky.
There is not a bad seat either, as there are two bird handlers so one guy walks at the top of the viewing area so the birds fly over each section.
Throughout the park are playground areas for kids with slides, large jumping pillow and these wooden obstacle courses with ropes, which is prefect with kids full of energy. Our kids LOVED them…
There were other animals which we saw like rhinos, hippos, monkeys, goats. I personally found it comical there were black bears and otters sharing an area. The place is really big so I’m sure we missed some animals. Now that we have our annual pass, we can return again soon.
Apart from a snickers bar we bought at the vending machine, we didn’t eat anything but there are some places for meals and snacks in the park. Next time we’ll have an ice cream oh and claim our free churros from our discount booklet which we discovered when we got home. 🙂
Overall it was an awesome day out and we look forward to future trips and visiting Speelland when warmer. Two afternoons a week they get out of school early at 12:30 pm, so will surprise them by going straight from school as we’re already half way there.
Here are some tips:
- Dress in comfortable shoes and in layers.
- Drive into the safari and then you can easily park at the top of the park in the Congo.
- Bring your own food if you want to save money. [Unlike some parks, here you can bring your own lunch/drinks/etc]
- Parking is €9.50 but they run deals where you buy 10 tokens you get 2 free! With your membership – it’s less than this price – but I’m not 100% the exact amount.
- There is a holiday resort being built so consider staying in the park – camping, safari lodges, and something really cool called a JUNGALOW are available.
- Try your best in Dutch, but everyone speaks English and their website translates into English too.
- If you plan on visiting more than 3 times in one year, buy the jaarkart!