Description: With 1600 animals to see spread over many hectares this is a zoo really worth visiting. It is situated in a pleasant location among the pine trees, west of the large resort of Royan, thus offering welcome shade in the hotter months. The zoo is well laid out and maintained with good facilities in terms of toilets, baby changing and snack bars. It’s famous for breeding endangered species.
Location: Just before the town of la Palmyre, 15kms up the coast from Royan on D25. There is plenty of parking.
General Info: Open all year 9AM-6PM. From April to September opens 9AM-7PM. Website. Tel No: 0(5) 46 22 46 06.
Our recommendations: This is an excellent place for a family day out. A minimum visit of 4 hours is recommended and considering the size of the car-parks we imagine the zoo gets incredibly busy during peak season (we understand they welcome three quarters of a million visitors annually). Try and arrive early and make a day of it. A recent visit out of season was relatively quiet.
For children: Ideal for just about all ages. Children will especially enjoy the two shows, one featuring sea-lions and the other parrots. Check out the times of these at the start of your visit or alternatively listen out for tannoy announcements (in French). One of the highlights is feeding popcorn to the giraffes and elephants – not sure why popcorn, but you can buy packs of it at the entrance!
Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to the Charente Maritime: