We are 🐯 HUGE ANIMAL LOVERS here at MBFF . . .
And so we are lucky to have some 🦌 fabulous animal parks, farms and kennels 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc,
[ ⇒ for more information about 🗻 animal parks au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and a little beyond), see separate article here ]
As we are at the crossroads with 🇫🇷 Further France, 🇨🇭 Switzerland and 🇮🇹 Italy, there are also some fabulous options a bit further away !
Colour code for listings
Pays du Mont-Blanc
Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Les Houches, Servoz, Argentière & environs (and Vallorcine)
Passy (Plateau d’Assy, Bay, Plaine-Joux, Marlioz, Chedde)
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Le Fayet, Saint Nicolas de Véroce and environs
Megeve & Praz-sur-Arly and environs
Les Contamines-Montjoie and environs
🇫🇷 Further France
GOOGLE MAP of ANIMAL PARKS
🇫🇷 FURTHER FRANCE & 🇨🇭 SWITZERLAND (up to 2h drive)
🇫🇷 Tropicaland (jungle aux dinosaures et aux kangourous)
Located near Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, this jungle park has dinosaur creations and some wildlife too (kangaroos and abandoned tropical birds). The park recommends that you come in the early afternoon, as some of the animals like to nap early on, and that you where wellies! There is easy access for buggies;
🗓 opening hours: open all year round, Wednesdays and weekends from 14h until 17h and every day during the school holidays;
price: adults 9,50€ and children 6,50€ (3 to 11 years) and FREE for under 3s;
eating options: snack bar on-site or bring a picnic (no restaurant);
website address: 50 Chemin de Cortenet, 74580, Viry (near Vitam) / tel: +33 6 09 70 13 16;
🇨🇭 Zoo la Garenne (Le Vaud, NYON)
The 🐿 Garenne zoo started as a hospital for local animals in need in 1965, opened by the passionate Erwin Meier . . . in 2016, a new zoo opened, over an area of 3 hectares: mainly Swiss fauna, both wild and domestic, with the idea that “ l’on respecte mieux ce que l’on connait “. There is a Centre de Soins on-site for wild animals.
on-site: there is a playground and restaurant, serving largely local and bio products;
🗓 opening dates: the zoo is open year-round;
website address: Zoo de la Garenne, route du Bois Laurent 3, 1261, Le Vaud;
🇨🇭 Zoo & Tropicarium de Servion (LAUSANNE)
There are all sorts of animals at this large zoo: local animals, 🦔 big cats, bears, birds and fish . . . / a little history: in 1974, three brothers, united in their passion for animals – Charles, Gilbert and Max Bulliard – collaborated to open a small zoo . . . over the years, the small zoo grew to its current expanse of 6 hectares and now has 60 species. There is also a tropicarium (see below).
on-site: playground, picnic areas, self-service restaurant;
🗓 opening dates: the zoo is open every day of the year from 9h to 19h (summer) and 9h to 18h (winter)
price: adults CHF10 and children CHF5,50;
website address: chemin du zoo 1, CH-1077, Servion, Switzerland / tel: +41 21 903 16 71;
🇨🇭 Signal de Bougy Parc Pré Vert
Over on the other side of 💦 Lac Léman, there is a wonderful parc de loisirs, Le Parc Pré Vert at Signal de Bougy: 110 hectares, 🌳 with woodland, 🌈 a large playground, buggy-friendly walks, 🦆 a small animal park, ☕️ a spacious family-friendly restaurant, 🍏 picnic areas, 🎨 workshops for children, 🎭 an outdoor theatre, a parc aventure, ⛳️ mini-golf and more . . . all with 🏔 a splendid view of Lac Léman and snowy peaks!
SHUT over the winter months !
website address: route du Signal, 1172, Bougy-Villars, Switzerland / tel: +41 58 568 31 50;
🇫🇷 Parc Zoologique & « Plaine Africaine » (Parc de la Tête d’Or, LYON)
The Parc de la Tête d’Or in Lyon is fabulous, and you can spend hours here (we did!)! If you have little ones, be sure to pack the draisienne, as it is HUGE!
Animal attractions include:
- the Parc Zoologique (with about 400 animals);
- the « Plaine Africaine » (around 3 hectares, with 🦒 giraffes, 🦓 zebras, 🦔 lions and more. . . );
- a deer park;
The zoo and animal park are FREE to visit and you can have special behind-the-scenes tours too (paying).
And at the Parc de la Tête d’Or, you’ll find lots of grass for running about, landscaped sections, a lake with boats to rent, a playground with a carrousel, more playgrounds, greenhouses . . .
🗓 opening dates: all year round;
website for Parc de la Tête d'Or & website for zoo address: Parc de la Tête d'Or, Place du Général Leclerc, 69006, Lyon;
🇫🇷 Le Domaine des Fauves (Fitilieu, ISERE)
Located between Lyon and Grenoble, the 🦔 Domaine des Fauves is now more than 55 years old now, and was set up in the 1950s by a team wanting to protect and study some endangered animals. Today this park is home to the most furry and feathered predators in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes!
You’ll find 🦔 big cats and smaller cats here, as well as wolves and plenty more !
[ ⇒ for or a list of all the animals, see here ]
You’ll find on-site a snack bar, picnic areas, and also playgrounds !
website & FB page address: Le Domaine des Fauves, 567 route Nationale 75, 38490 Fitilieu, Isère / tel: +33 (0)4 76 55 28 88;
🇫🇷 Parc des Oiseaux (Villars-les-Dombes, L’AIN)
Spread across 35 hectares, the 🐦 Parc des Oiseaux is located in Villars-les-Dombes (in l’Ain), halfway between Lyon and Bourg-en-Bresse, in the heart of les Dombes (an area of water pools).
There are 300 different species of colourful birds, from all over the world, and plenty of spectacles & animations.
There are picnic spots, a restaurant and shops and a NEW 27m panoramic tower! There is also a music festival here in the summer: Musicales du Parc.
NEW in 2018: l’Afrique en Mosaïque – a new space dedicated to birds from Africa: 3ha, 3 waterfalls and rocky zones, 300 birds;
NEW children’s activity: le goûter des Lémuriens (children from 6 to 12 years can see what it is like to be a feeder and feed the Maki Catta themselves!
🗓 opening dates: shuts for winter hibernation, opening again in late March;
price: adults 19€, children (3 to 12 years) 14€, FREE for under 3s;
website & FB page address: Le Parc des Oiseaux, 01330, Villars-Les-Dombes / tel: +33 (0)4 74 98 05 54;
🇫🇷 FURTHER FRANCE & 🇨🇭 SWITZERLAND (up to 3h drive)
🇫🇷 Safari de Peaugres (PEAUGRES)
The 🦔 Safari de Peaugres is the only safari located in the region of Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, and it is located between Valence and St-Etienne. you’ll find animals from Africa and North America;
activities: a car safari, a walking safari, an aquatic safari, an interactive farm . . .
on-site playgrounds: there are several, including the immersive Gitaki, where children get to jump like squirrels and crawl into beaver homes . . . and a water park!
🍏 eating options: self-service restaurant and snack bars and picnic spots / plenty of animations and special events;
Over the winter months is a light show: Lumières Sauvages;
🗓 opening dates: the safari takes a winter hibernation, re-opening in February;
website / plan of park address: Safari de Peaugres, 07340, Peaugres / tel: 04 75 33 00 32;
🇫🇷 La Ferme aux Crocodiles (Pierrelatte, LA DRÔME PROVENCALE)
With not just 🐊 crocodiles, but plenty of other reptiles too (🐢 tortoises,🦎 lizards, 🐍 snakes,🐦 birds and 🐟 fish) and a botanical garden with exotic plants, this animal park is quite far from the Pays du Mont-Blanc, but worth a mention!
There is also a lab and hatchery on-site for the purpose of scientific study and animal conservation.
There are plenty of animations and a playground, picnic areas and snack bars;
family price: 50€ and cheaper to by tickets on-line . . .
❤️ coup de cœur ❤️ we have a little boy who has loved 🐊 crocodiles for a couple of years . . . so we treated ourselves to a weekend in the Drôme with Grandpa and headed to la Ferme aux Crocodile . . . everybody loved the visit, and as we went in early December, we had the site practically to ourselves and were able to ask the animateurs plenty of questions. There is a fabulous indoor playground on-site, overlooked by 🐍 the pythons 😉!
website address: 395 allée de Beauplan, 26700, Pierrelatte;
🇨🇭 Papiliorama butterfly park (Kerzers, near BERN)
🦋 Papiliorama is an animal park dedicated to butterflies, with over 1000 exotic butterflies flying freely around the visitors in a tropical garden (with around 120 species) contained within a dome. Visitors can also learn about: the hatching of a butterfly in the emerging chamber and see the eggs and caterpillars in the terrariums. There are also some bird species and the in the water stingrays and other tropical fish species from Asia and America.
Heere are some of the features :
- Nocturama is a unique space: the translucent roof of the dome filters the natural daylight and creates a full moon night atmosphere, and the reversed day and night rhythm allows you to take a nocturnal walk in the middle of the day, and hence see nocturnal animals of the tropical forests: sloths, tree porcupines, night monkeys, armadillos, bats . . .
- Jungle Trek – a small copy of the nature reserve run by Papilorama in Belize, here visitors can hike through a tropical forest, seeing toucans, iguanas, coati and more from the 7m high panormama bridge;
- Wild Seeland – the outdoor area, with native flora and fauna / Zoë Zoo – the petting zoo, with dwarf donkeys and goats, rabbits, ducks and chickens;
- there is also a nature playground, with water features for the warmer months!
The Jungle Restaurant is on-site and picnics allowed in designated areas.
🗓 opening hours: summertime 9h until 18h and wintertime 10h until 17h;
price: adults CHF 19 and children (4 to 15 years) CHF 9,50 (uner 3s FREE!);
good to know: if visiting Bern, you can also visit the city’s famous 🐻 BEARS !
website address: Moosmatte 1, 3210, Kerzers / tel: +41 31 756 04 61;
🇮🇹 Il Parco Villa Pallavicino (Stresa, Lago Maggiore, ITALY)
A couple of years ago, quite by chance, we discovered 🦌 Il Parco Villa Pallavicino, near Stresa on the western side of Lago Maggiore . . . perfect for a family outing, the huge park and stunning gardens (set across 20 hectares) boast an animal park and 🐇🐐 petting farm , a great playground, views of Lago Maggiore, picnic areas and a great restaurant, and an on-site!
🗓 opening dates: from late March;
website address: via Sempione Sud 8, 28838 Stresa VB, Italy;
There are no 🦎 aquariums, tropicariums or vivariums to visit au Pays du Mont-Blanc, but there are a few options around 🇨🇭 Lac Léman . . .
🇨🇭 Elapsoïdea Vivarium de Meyrin
MBFF decided to visit the Vivarium de Meyrin one rainy day this springtime . . . it is small, but a very special place where we got up close and personal with snakes, tortoises and lizards (and even got to touch a python!).
a little history: back in 1979,three herpetologists decided to found Elapsoïdea (the name of an African snake), and soon started to organise school visits and managed to reproduce snakes in the lab!
🗓 opening hours: Monday to Friday 14h until 17h and weekends 10h until 17h;
price: adults CHF10, children (6 to 16 years) CHF6;
website & FB page address: 32a rue Cardinal-Journet, 1217, Meyrin, Switzerland; tel: +41(0)22 785 60 60;
🇨🇭 AQUATIS Aquarium & Vivarium (LAUSANNE)
MBFF had a superb outing to 💦🐟 AQUATIS Aquarium & Vivarium in Lausanne last year ! It’s a beautifully designed aquarium / vivarium / museum, with a superb mis en scène.
restaurant on-site: Piranha, with a view on the piranha pool!
🗓 opening hours: November until March, every day 10h to 18h; April until October, every day 9h to 19h;
price: CHF29, children (5 to 15) CHF19, under 5s FREE;
[ ⇒ read about MBFF’s experience here ]
website address: route de Berne 144, 1010, Lausanne, Switzerland; tel: +41 (0)21 654 23 23;
🇨🇭 Musée du Léman et Aquarium (NYON)
A museum dedicated to the history of 💦 Lac Léman and an aquarium too! The aquarium consists of 5 bassins, with 300 fish and crustaceans, representing the 31 species living in Lac Léman and the rivers.
🖼 new permanent exhibition at museum: « Petite Nature? » (36 questions to decode the the secrets of the lake!);
🎨 l’atelier Créa’lac – every 3rd Sunday of month, a workshop for children at 15h30;
🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, April until October, 10h to 17h and November to March 14h to 17h;
price: CHF8 and free for children under 16 years;
good to know: FREE every first Sunday of the month and 1 x entrance = free access to the Musée Romain and the Château de Nyon (valid 12 months) / there is a super playground right next door, and picnic spots!
website & FB page address: quai Louis-Bonnard 8, 1260, Nyon, Switzerland / tel:+41 (0) 22 316 42 50;
🇨🇭 Tropicarium de Servion (near LAUSANNE)
Tropical flora and fauna all year round in this animal park: Komodo dragaons, a Galapagos giant turtle, a Siam crocodile, penguins from South Africa, pink flamingos and more (see animal list here). There is a restaurant on-site, a picnic area and playground;
🗓 opening hours: open all year-round, 9h until 18h;
price: adults CHF 12 and children CHF 7;
website & FB page address: route des Cullayes 7, Servion, Switzerland / tel: +41 21 903 52 28;
🐟 Aquarium de Lyon (Lyon)
MBFF visited this aquarium back in 2019, and we had a fabulous time !
[ ⇒ to read about MBFF’s experience at the 🐟 Aquarium de Lyon, see separate article here ]