Denmark is the land of amusement parks, theme parks and zoos. And when spring arrives and sunshine knocks on the door, all the fun begins. These places are paradises for children and families, Denmark generally being very focused and advanced in facilitating children’s culture on so many different levels. Well, even though, my boyfriend and I are not children anymore, nor parents yet, we’ve spent a fantastic day in Givskud Zoo, this trip being our little treat for each other for our seventh anniversary.
We drove 50 kilometers from Kolding, the city where we live. Already that one hour drive in itself was a joy, cause just passing along the vivid yellow rape fields made me feel like I can finally say goodbye to the rainy days. Even though, deep down I know there is no such a thing, if you live in Scandinavia.
We chose to visit Givskud Zoo instead of any other park of this kind, because it offers something that not many others do in this country. You can go to a six kilometers long safari divided into four sections (North and South America, Africa, and the lions’ territory), where you can drive among zebras, Baringo giraffes, Sable antelopes, lions, bongos, American elks, African buffalos and so many other animals. It’s your choice whether you do it on your own or with the safari bus. This was something that we haven’t really tried before. When I think about safari, I think about Africa, remote wilderness and the hot savanna. Well, to be honest, this was nothing like that. And yet, it was still a unique and unforgettable experience.
It is another question how the animals might be affected by the hundreds, sometimes even thousands of people, who form never-ending queues, constantly whistle and try to lure them, just to capture a good shot or to admire them for a second. I could see that many of the animals rather moved to distant corners, sometimes so far that we could barely see them. But I can imagine, how annoying we might seem to them. Often, they just need a break from us, nosy humans. But how the hell can I hide my excitement, when a lion crosses the road right in front of me so naturally, so majestically and so close that I can see all her muscles tensing in her body with every step she takes?! (Yes, it was a lady lion.)
The safari is just one part of the experience. The zoo itself is another one. Actually, it doesn’t even look like a zoo. Even though, I knew that there was a fence between me and the animal, it was so imperceptible that sometimes I wasn’t even sure whether it can completely approach me or not. This was funny with the monkeys, but not so much with the grey wolves. Anyways, I had three favorites: the Southern white rhinoceros and Pymy hippopotamus, because I’ve never seen these two types of animals before …
… and the Western lowland gorillas, because I was just simply amazed how humanly their behaved with each other. It seemed like they understood one another, they communicated through gestures. The intelligence that I saw in their eyes made me feel delighted and shocked in the same time. Here is a cute gorilla moment 🙂
Beside walking around and looking at the animals, you can also educate yourself, if you want to. There are plenty of interactive screens, boards and exhibitions that give details about the body compositions, origins and other things of certain animals.
The fact that these animals are taken good care of by competent and dedicated staff was obvious right from the start. The park is going through constant development, and the circumstances that animals are living in are great. They have huge, open spaces to move around, which are constructed in ways, so that they somewhat resembles the animals natural habitats.
Employees are everywhere all around the area in order to offer immediate assistance for those in need (both humans and animals), and to make sure that all the visitors respect the rules. So, I felt like the entire zoo worked as a well-oiled mechanism, which gave some kind of comfort, when I thought about the fate of these wild animals, which were not born to be here.
The last part of the complete Givskud Zoo experience is the Dinosaur Park, where approximately 40 life-size dinosaurs are exhibited, such as Plateosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex, Dilophosaurus etc.
These lifelike reproductions made us go back in time with millions of years, when us, humans, were nowhere on this planet. I think, it is pretty amazing to be able to get an idea about, how these creatures really looked like, how tall they were, how long they were, what did they eat, and which animals might be their descendants.
The entrance to Givskud Zoo is almost 30 euros (200 Danish kroner), but I’m telling you, it was worth every single cent. You can easily spend around five hours in the park, especially, if you are with children – because then you spend minimum two hours on the playgrounds, as well. For us, at least, this was not just a common zoo experience. It is was a fun, a special way to learn and get a little bit closer to the beautiful creatures of our world … and a perfect way to spend our anniversary.