Record visitors venture to Budakeszi Wildlife Park
A record number of more than 180,000 visitors trekked out to Budakeszi Wildlife Park during 2017. Luring them here are all kinds of animals, able to roam in similar surroundings to their natural habitat, brown bears, lynx, raccoons and owls. Found just the other side of Budapest’s city limits from north-west Buda, Budakeszi Wildlife Park comprises some 200 creatures, whose forested home is an easy hop by city bus from Széll Kálmán tér. This family-friendly attraction remains open through winter, when snow lends the wildlife park a particular beauty.
Bucolic woodland just beyond the Budapest city limits provides natural habitat to all kinds of creatures native to Hungary and the Carpathian Basin. Introduced to the public in 1979, Budakeszi Wildlife Park comprises expansive forested grounds for these animals to roam relatively freely, offering a more suitable environment for its inhabitants than a traditional urban zoo would do. Come snow or sizzling sunshine, this spacious oasis entices couples, families and school groups to observe Central Europe’s wildlife up close. So many now venture to this nature reserve that it registered record numbers of 182,000 visitors over the course of 2017, according to reports on Hungarian travel news resource turizmusonline.hu.
Home to more than 200 native and exotic wild animals, this attractive menagerie spreads across nearly 30 hectares, all well maintained and open for visitors throughout the year, even in the depths of winter. Animals living here include brown bears, wolves, jackals, raccoons, wild boar and water buffalo, as well as many bird species, eagles, ravens and pheasants. Budakeszi Wildlife Park is also home to chickens, pigs, goats, geese and even racka sheep, a Hungarian variety known for its spiral-shaped horns.
An out-of-sight location far from the city center tempts many from Budapest to head out to Budakeszi, just the other side of János Hill, and meet wildlife so close to nature. Visitors can also see daily activities such as zookeepers feeding bears and buffalos, or approaching raccoons, foxes and even jackals to offer treatment. While some amenities of the park are available only during summer, including its outdoor adventure tracks, this offbeat oasis is similarly appealing during the winter months, when snow shows life in the wood in a different perspective.
You can reach Budakeszi Wildlife Park by taking bus 22A or 222 from Széll Kálmán tér and alight at the Szanatórium utca stop. From there, a pleasant walk along a rustic pathway leads you to the park.
- 2092 Budakeszi, 0210/8. hrsz.
- Opening hours in winter: Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 15:30Sat - Sun: 9:00 - 16:00