Recently we spent a lovely autumn weekend in Dvůr Králové nad Labem. It’s a tiny town (about 16k population) most famous for its Safari. Yes, exactly, African Safari in the middle of Czech Republic! Dvůr Králové Zoo hosts the greatest number of African species in Europe, making it a very interesting place for the kids :)
The Zoo is split into two parts – one is a rather compact and traditional in style and another – an actual Safari territory. It is, of course, possible to see everything in one day, but, as our youngest one is still so small, we decided to split this program into two days and stay overnight in Dvůr Králové.
We planned to see the smaller part on the first day. The enclosures are made of glass, so it makes it all the more interesting for the kids to see; there’s a number of interesting pavilions with rainforest climate and tropical animals, birds and fish. You can choose from several places to eat, one of them is The Lemur Restaurant, where you can actually watch the lemurs behind a glass wall while eating. One of the definite favourites for my girls though was a huge playground :)
There’s a small hotel inside the Zoo itself and if you stay there you can actually walk around the Zoo grounds after closing hours. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, we tried to book it just a couple of days before the trip and there were no rooms available anymore, so if you want to stay there, remember to book in advance!
Instead we booked an apartment just a couple of minutes walk from the city centre (it is still just a five minute drive from the zoo). The place is called Apartmán Kučerovi; it is an apartment in a private house, taking up the first floor. The place was clean, sufficiently large and even had toys for the kids and a fire place for us to enjoy in the evening. In the evening we decided to go for a walk around the town centre. I have to say that it looked really pretty but somehow empty for a 7pm Saturday evening :)
The next day it was time to go on Safari! There’re several available options – going by a zoo bus, by a ‘train’ (also kind of a bus), by your own car and also there is a walking route. Check the Zoo website (http://www.zoodvurkralove.cz/en/) before planning a visit – the Safari options are limited to the summer season only.
We chose to walk. There was another hour drive from Dvůr Králové to Pardubice, so we wanted to give our kids more opportunities to run and get tired :) The walking route is the shortest and you can see more if you drive around the Safari grounds, so we might do that the next year. Nevertheless, we really enjoyed the beautiful Safari grounds on a quiet autumn day.
The Dvůr Králové Zoo takes part in various conservation projects, doing an especially valuable work in black and white rhino breeding.