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We recently had an amazing break in The Netherlands, using Eurocamp sites as our bases for the trip. For our first week we stayed at Beekse Bergen Lake Resort – and a perk of staying there was free entry into the next door Beekse Bergen Safari Zoo and Speelland Attraction Park.
We were so lucky with the baking hot weather, despite it being September, which made for a great day exploring the zoo – and certainly added to the African safari feeling! Here’s what we thought of the safari park – I’ll give you a clue, we loved it!
What’s there to see and do?
Beekse Bergen Safari Park, located in the southern part of the Netherlands, is one of the largest safari parks in Europe. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience a safari-style adventure – when we visited it was 33 degrees so we certainly felt like we were on safari and not in The Netherlands! Here are some key features and attractions of Beekse Bergen Safari Park:
Driving Safari: Beekse Bergen is known for its impressive safari experiences. Visitors can explore the road safari in their own cars or take guided bus tours through large, open enclosures where animals roam freely. It’s a chance to see a wide variety of African and other wildlife up close, including elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos and more.
Boat Safari: In addition to land-based safaris, Beekse Bergen offers boat safaris on the lake. This provides a unique perspective on the animals, and who doesn’t love a boat ride!
Walking Safari: For a closer look at some animals, follow the walking safari – where you can see pretty much every animal you can think of! They have the largest range of species we’ve ever seen at a zoo, and plenty of each animal!
There are walk through areas where you can get up close and personal to animals like lemurs and penguins too.
And it’s such an engaging place – this rope bridge area takes you over the bear enclosure for a closer look in a fun way! It even had a slide to get back down!
The animals have huge open spaces, and it’s certainly the most natural style setting we’ve ever experienced at a zoo. Trenches or moats are used to accommodate the fences where possible, so you get a direct, uninterrupted view of the animals making them seem super close.
Lodging Options: Beekse Bergen offers various lodging options, including safari-themed accommodations, allowing visitors to stay overnight within the park, if you fancy more than a day out. You can also stay on the next door Lake Resort, like we did, and gain free entry into the safari park as many times as you like during your stay.
Who is it suitable for?
Beekse Bergen Safari Zoo is a great place for children and adults of all ages. There’s some much to see and do, and you won’t be disappointed. It was honestly one of the best days out we’ve ever had, and you should certainly add it to your list of places to visit if you are planning a trip to the Netherlands.
When you take the car safari you’re able to play a guided tour on your phone using the Beekse Bergen app – so it’s accessible to everyone in a wide range of languages. However, the person-led tour on the boat safari was only in Dutch.
The site is huge – we spent more than 6 hours there and clocked up 5 miles of walking! I would definitely recommend doing the car safari first, having lunch in the car afterwards (so you don’t need to carry anything heavy), then completing the walking safari, and then catching the boat safari back to the entrance.
The boat runs to and from either end of the park, so save it until last to get a ride back when little legs are tired, as there’s a lot of walking to be done! The boat trip is around 25 minutes and runs every 30 minutes throughout the day.
What other facilities are there?
The play areas dotted around the zoo were great – ranging from full on parks, to balancing beams over streams and other obstacle type bits and bobs.
There are plenty of toilets, picnic areas and various restaurants / food huts. I can’t comment on the quality of the food as we’re picnic people, so the kids only had an ice-cream, but it did look tasty and it seemed reasonably priced too. The huge restaurant has glass windows, and a massive outdoor picnic area, all overlooking the monkey and hippo enclosures so you can eat with a view!
There were a couple of large gift shops, which my two enjoyed browsing in and purchased some souvenirs with their pocket money. The staff were all really cheerful and friendly, and spoke good English. We were also able to fill up water bottles around the site easily. The whole place, including the safaris and the buildings, follows the safari theme amazingly well, so you really do feel emerged in the safari experience.
Is it good value for money? (And money saving tips!)
If you stay at the Beekse Bergen Lake Resort for 3 days or more then you can visit Beekse Bergen Safari Park, Speelland and several other attractions as many times as you like – without spending a penny! So, it’s a fantastic offer if you can get these places included for free. We had a fun, action packed holiday on a small budget.
However, you can also visit Beekse Bergen Safari Zoo if you’re in the area, without staying on the resort – tickets are around £20-25 per person. Whilst that quickly adds up if you have a large family, I do think this zoo presents the best value for money of any we’ve ever visited – and it would certainly be money well spent. It is an incredible place. Try to visit on a weekday is possible, as it was definitely a lot quieter than the weekend.
View their website for current opening times and prices: www.beeksebergen.nl/en/prices
And if you fancy a free visit, and would like a brilliant place to stay, check out my review of Beekse Bergen Lake Resort – it was honestly one of the best trips we’ve had, and the kids would have happily stayed for longer. I’d highly recommend a Beekse Bergen holiday!
Useful information for your visit…
Facilities: Restaurants, gift shops, toilets, picnic areas, play parks, safaris
Parking: Yes, but charged
Address: Beekse Bergen 1, 5081 NJ Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
For up-to-date opening times and prices, please check their website.