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“You could have been in Africa - but it was a French Chateau”

Parc Zoologique et Chateau de Thoiry
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Thoiry
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Thoiry is a rare example of esoteric Renaissance architecture where the sun rises or sets in the central arch following the solstices. Home since 1559 of the Counts of La Panouse, the drawing rooms offer visitors fine family portraits, furniture and tapestries presented by costumed guides. The 300 acre gardens: Rhododendron woods, Maze, Autumn, Rose, and Perfume Gardens, perennial borders give year round pleasure. Thoiry's world famous 350 acre animal reserve is open year round.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“You could have been in Africa - but it was a French Chateau”
Reviewed September 27, 2011

An amazing experience to get up close to African wildlife. We started with a drive-through safari around a large park - seeing giraffes, elephants, zebras, camels, deer etc up close. It was a quiet weekday so there was only a few cars going through which made it extra special. We then went to see bears - a number were walking around, just amazing!
After a lunch at the cafe, it was off to explore the zoo "by foot" - the lion enclosure was incredible. We were there are feeding time - we all stood in a glass tunnel to see the lions being feed all around us. Very special as they were literally inches away and amazing photos.
After seeing the other zoo animals and finding our way through a maze, we went to see the Chateau - beautifully laid out as it would have been in the 1700s.
A great day and would highly recommend.

Visited September 2011
3 Thank Familyh0lidayers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,119 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Nice, France
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“A great day out with kids”
Reviewed September 25, 2011

We only had time to do the zoo and the safari park, but they were both excellent, with great opportunities to see some large animals roaming fairly freely. Lions' enc losure excellent..get there early for feeding time.

Visited August 2011
Thank lemanieg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Absolutely fabulous!”
Reviewed September 22, 2011

Couldn't imagine that an African SAFARI was possible in France! But we were in for a great surprise! An all day event, so get very comfortable walking shoes! - and if there were 30 hours in a day, we would definitely stay all the way! What a great place! Very well managed, very clean, many animals to see. There are two parks. One offers a drive-through, and you can see the animals in the habitat without leaving the car. Another is more of a Zoo, where you walk around and see the animals behind the fences, or in closed spaces (to maintain the proper temperature). There are a couple of food stalls with ready-made sandwiches, drinks and french fries, and a big restaurant on the entrance/exit (sort of buffet), but many people brought their own food and sat at the tables (although ate it before entering the park). A very cosy chateau should be the last point of your tour, it's pretty, but there isn't much to do there, better spend your time in the park. Take an all day pass, that comes cheaper, and maybe a year pass would be a better idea, especially if you have small children. The price difference makes a lot of sense this way!

Visited August 2011
1 Thank Marina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Invercargill, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amazing zoo, great day out with kids.”
Reviewed June 19, 2011

We found the zoo and wildlife areas amazing. The chateau was not that interesting for us as all the information was in French.

Thank Euro11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Worth a trip to Europe”
Reviewed May 5, 2009

Wikipedia and Creative Commons seem to suppress info about this place, maybe because the French government does not want the word to get out to Americans -- this is a favorite place for French families. Both of my visits, many years apart, were astonishing. You need to rent a car to visit it, and that could be the reason that info has apparently been suppressed. ( I tried to enter information about the place at Wikipedia and saw it expunged.)
Aloha ~~~ Ozzie Maland ~~~ San Diego

3 Thank Tinwhistler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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