Wildpark Gangelt

Schinvelder Str.
52538 Mindergangelt
Tel: 02454-2459

Web: http://www.wildpark-gangelt.com/
(The Website has English translations on all its pages)
Open: 0900-1900 every day
Price: Adults — 6 E; Children ages 4-15 — 4 E
Food: 1 Euro/bag to feed the animals. They also like chestnuts and acorns in the fall.

To go, or not to go: Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. But, I’d say, go, definitely.

If you want to go to a zoo filled with exotic animals – with elephants and giraffe, lions and tigers… then this is going to be a major disappointment. But, if you want to take the kids somewhere on a nice day or if you just want to enjoy a nice walk and take some great wildlife photographs, then you will love this place.

Usually the deer are the most boring part of the zoo for me. So, a wild park that is mostly deer should be boring. The key with this place, is that you can feed most of the animals – many, by hand. So for 1E you can buy a bag of food, or you can feed them acorns that you pick up off the ground. The deer and sheep will eat gently out of your hands. Even my three-year old could feed them safely. The wild boar were amazingly entertaining and though you couldn’t feed them by hand, you could feed them and were right next to them with just a small fence in between you and the boar.

That was another bonus. The park is in a beautiful forested area and so it’s all very natural. The animals are there behind very thin wire fences just being animals. Playing, making noises, eating… it’s fun to watch them. I heard the deer making calls I’d never heard before. It was just a relaxing place to be.

Food and Bathrooms: There is a snack bar and souvenir booth at the entrance with drinks and ice cream. Not far from the entrance inside the park is a nice restaurant with a full menu from cake to steak. Prices are average for a park – I haven’t eaten there to know the portion size or edibility factor. I’d suggest a picnic when the weather is nice. Bathrooms are located at the playground and in the restaurant.

Playground: If the kids get bored feeding the animals, they can find an absolutely fantastic playground about half-way through the park. It has a bathroom there, a seasonal ice cream stand, and plenty of picnic tables.

Dogs: Are allowed – except for in the birds of prey area. Dogs are required to be on leashes and if you have a dog that likes to bark at animals, for obvious reason, I wouldn’t advise it. But, that being said, I did see a few leashed dogs today.

Cautions:

  • The wild boar are fun, but the fence is easy to stick a hand through – watch the kids carefully.
  • Keep an eye on the sheep with little ones. They won’t eat fingers, but they may just steal the bag of food from them. (I speak from experience. Funny thing to see a guilty faced sheep with a white paper bag sticking out of it’s mouth.)
  • Don’t be alarmed by the totally bizarre animal noises. Some of the deer make a sound akin to an ally-cat coughing up a really big hair ball. Something that you don’t hear everyday.

Tips:

  • Make a day of it. Pack a picnic or bring snacks and enjoy the day. The restaurant looks decent, but a picnic would be fun, cheaper, and the park is very conducive to that. A lot of families had picnics set up at the playground.
  • Although 1E buys you a bag of food, it can go fast. The boars, deer, and sheep love acorns. Next time we go, I’ll let the kids collect acorns and we’ll bring a big back to feed the animals with. Carrots or stale bread would also be ok.
  • Bring your bicycle and go for a ride afterwards, or park nearby and just bike around the woods near the park. It’s a nice area.
  • Don’t forget your camera (and unlike me, don’t erase your card before you download your photos)
  • The entire walk around will take the average person probably about 30 minutes. It took us about 3.5 hours, but we stopped and fed a lot of critters and played at the playground.

Directions: When coming from GK on the B56, turn left at the first round-about and follow that road keeping left until you reach another round-about. Veer left at that one and continue, following the signs for Wildpark Gangelt until you reach a parking lot on your left with a row of International flags behind it (you can see this lot from the 274 on your way back from Schinnen). You can park there and walk, or you can cautiously drive under the highway through the narrow tunnel and that will lead you to more parking around the corner on the left and to the entrance of the animal park.

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