Kristiansand Zoo – Adventurous experiences in the world of animals and books
Norway's biggest family attraction, Kristiansand Zoo, offers unique experiences for holidaymakers of all ages.
Kristiansand Zoo, located just twelve kilometres from Kristiansand, has understood the importance of offering its guests a complete package. Started as an animal park in 1966, the unique park has been continuously expanded with more theme parks, so that it now offers everything a family could wish for on holiday.
Here it is possible to put together a tailor–made programme for the family with overnight stays in unique surroundings, action–packed experiences in the water park and amusement park, educational and fascinating journeys of discovery in the many areas of the animal park and fun and entertaining hours in Thorbjørn Egner's beloved universes in Kardemomme By and Hakkebakkeskoven. All against a backdrop of the most beautiful Norwegian mountain scenery.
We bring you some of the highlights from the park:
Eldorado for animal lovers
The core of the park – the many themed attractions – is worth a visit in itself: Kristiansand Zoo is Norway's largest zoo, with 7–800 animals of 148 different species. The focus of the park's work is to provide the animals with as natural an environment as possible – for example in the Nordic Wilderness, where the animals roam freely and visitors walk along fenced footpaths and bridges high above the hills where the animals roam.
The park staff hold daily animal presentations where the animals' characteristics are demonstrated during feeding and the public gets up close to each fascinating species.
Kardemomme By in real life
One of the main attractions in Kristiansand Zoo is undoubtedly Kardemomme By, which is a popular destination for many Danish families with children. The city is built as a faithful copy of Thorbjørn Egner's beloved children's book universe, and the characters from the book – including Aunt Sofie, Police Chief Bastian and robbers Kasper, Jesper and Jonathan – can be seen in the city streets.
In 2015, the park also opened another unique attraction based on Egner's universe: the Tribunetogetthrough Hakkebakkeskoven, where scenes and songs from Klatremus and the other animals in Hakkebakkeskoven are performed right next to the rails on the journey around. The train is said to be the only one of its kind in the world, and a total of 35 actors help bring the stories to life for 300,000 train passengers a year.
Spending the night among pirates or lions
That Kristiansand Zoo has understood the full meaning of the word 'experience economy' is also clear when you look at some of the park's accommodation offerings: the pirate hotel Abra Havn, which consists of 171 apartments decorated in a pirate theme, and the Safaricamp Zoo, which consists of 42 safari lodges. Here, guests become part of the experience when breakfast is served on board Captain Sabeltand's ship, where rat soup and skull waffles are served, or on KuToppen, where the breakfast feast is followed by the morning feeding of the animals.
Speed and excitement in the amusement park
No family holiday is complete without a day or two of fun and action in an amusement park. Kristiansand Zoo understands this too, and has built in several areas with rides for the whole family. Here you can try carousels of all sizes, ride the JungleBob track at a top speed of 45 km/h or challenge yourself on the Jungle Trail.
Right next to the zoo is the Badeland, which covers an entire island. There are both indoor and outdoor pools and water slides – also for the little ones. Badelandet has its own entrance, but it is possible to buy tickets valid for both the bathing area and the zoo.
Read more and see opening times on the zoo's website.