Become one with the animals at Parco Natura Viva

Become one with the animals at Parco Natura Viva

by Jocilyn Shanise Carver
Stripes Europe

Looking for an adventurous day trip with the family? Want to get up close and personal with the wildlife from the African savanna without even having to exit your vehicle? If so, Parco Natura Viva is the ideal spot for you! Located in the small town of Bussolengo, Italy, near Lake Garda, Parco Natura Viva is a modern European zoo that is divided into two sections: The Safari Park and The Fauna Park.

A giraffe standing tall and proud. Photo by Jocilyn Carver.

The Safari Park allows visitors to explore the 240,000 sq. km area from the comfort of their car, truck or coach bus. Many people find this attribute appealing because it’s convenient for parents with infants or small children that don’t want to deal with the hassle of strollers. It’s also great for elderly visitors who may find walking long distances tedious a chance to comfortably experience the trip without having to walk anywhere. Because the animals are so friendly, don’t be surprised if you see a long-neck giraffe or a laughing hyena pecking at the window of your vehicle to say hello.

A cute alpaca. Photo by Jocilyn Carver.

On the contrary, if the ride to Parco Natura Viva left you feeling restless and you’re ready to jump out of your vehicle and do some exploring on foot, the second section of Parco Natura Viva, Fauna Park, will fulfill all of your desires. Fauna Park is for pedestrians only. While roaming through the park, you will be greeted by a parade of pink flamingos, cute fluffy alpacas gentle enough for small children and adults to pet, and rare breeds of goats that the park owners allow visitors to feed. Also, you’re more than likely to see a rhinoceros and a hippopotamus frolicking around like the best of friends due to the fact that Parco Natura Viva is the only park in Europe where rhinos and hippos live together.

After a day filled with exploration, you’ll probably be feeling hungry. Don’t forget to stop by Simba Self, a safari-themed restaurant at the park, for your choice of delicious pastas, fresh fruits, and tasty desserts. If you want a way to forever remember your trip, the park offers a Natura shop called Bazar Natura, a souvenir shop that allows you to purchase books, stuffed animals, and handcrafted artwork from different parts of the world.

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