The famous Kristiansand’s Zoo and Amusement Park
Kristiansand, a district in Kristiansand region in Vest-Agder county, was established in 1641 in Norway. It is a summer tourist destination in Southern Norway, attracting many visitors particularly the Dyrepark. There are also other interesting and beautiful places to visit in Kristiansand and it is often difficult to make a choice about the best place. Whether you are visiting Kristiansand alone or with friends, it has a lot to offer to tourists and locals.
Not far from Kristiansand (about 11 kilometers from the city center) you will find the Dyrepark. In fact, it is a very good combination of a zoo and a leisure park. This feature gives the place a special charm.
The park is opened from 10am till 5pm in the afternoon. You may buy a one day or two days tickets. It is probably the single biggest attraction south of Oslo. This is essentially an entertainment park for small-children-families and children aged 2-12. For those beyond that, there are the bathing facilities (huge water play area), The Jungle Land climbing area, a collection of animals here seemingly living good lives: tigers, lions, an African savanna replica, animals from Scandinavia, some monkeys, crocodiles etc., quite interesting.
The big draws, however, you will understand when you see the small pirates and Tante Sofie-dressed girls who are returning from Kardemomme By (Cardamom Town) and Kaptein Sabeltanns pirate ship (Captain Sabretooth). The first is a small town, built on the stories of the author Torbjørn Egner, the town was actually modeled out of a Moroccan mountain town. The other one is a pirate harbour built on stories by Terje Formoe. Played out in both places are musicals for children. Captain Sabretooth’s stuff is for those children that are not easily scared. Adults also find it entertaining, it is becoming a cult song and frequently played on full volume on beer parties!
The area is huge, so to see all, you will need more than one day. It is pricey, so consider getting a cheaper multi-day tickets if you will be visiting more than a day.
The big disappointment for me in Dyrepark – and I spent three days there – was the food: fast food junkets, french fries, soggy burgers, very little that I would consider fresh, healthy and appetizing. Commercial sponsors of Dyrepark seem to have been given the license to provide the food, so with some exemptions you are stuck with it and it is not good. And made worse by tired and inexperienced youthful, probably cheap staff on summer jobs. In particular the eateries in the Africa theme area were dirty and not good. A BBQ buffet is probably worth it, but you need to pre-order tables. Bring your own food if you take my hint.
The activities put on for children means forever staying in lines for your turn. Opt for something else if possible, or avoid to visit the Dyrepark the two last weeks of July.