Open from today, Wednesday, 20 May, Hungary's first drive-in safari park has been set up in Szada, on the eastern edge of Pest County. Run by the Hungarian National Circus, this family-friendly attraction can only be visited by driving round it – our photographer Gábor Szabó was there for press day.
Hungary's largest travelling circus comprising about a hundred animals is currently housed at its off-season site in Szada. In the park, you can also see giraffes, elephants, camels, horses and zedonks – a donkey/zebra cross.
The park is about 30 minutes’ drive from Budapest. Visitors may only drive into the facility by car, with a closed roof. Online registration (so far Hungarian-only) is mandatory: only a limited number of vehicles is allowed in the park at any one time, staying for up to an hour and going round on designated routes. Although our photos show people outside, this was only for press day – don’t get out of the car is the rule!
According to circus director József Richter Jr, the opening was planned earlier, but postponed due to the shutdown. “As there has been no similar attraction in Hungary before, it has been a complex task to plan out for every eventuality,” he said.
The Safari Park is also a lifeline for the Hungarian National Circus and Richter Flórián Circus, both in a difficult situation due to the coronavirus: “Keeping about a hundred animals between the two companies is a huge expense, but we haven’t embarked on fund-raising campaigns. We are trying to solve this unique situation ourselves by providing something new to visitors”.