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Zoo trip to Germany 2016

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Goura, 22 Apr 2016.

  1. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone - just looking for some advice. I'll be visiting Switzerland and Germany and taking in zoos in Zurich, Basel & Frankfurt with Walsrode as my main reason for going and which I intend to visit at least twice.

    I have a couple of extra days and was wondering if anyone could recommend a collection worth seeng between Walsrode and Frankfurt...or else somewhere that's within easy striking distance of any of the cities I'll be visiting.

    My main interests are birds, small carnivores and lower primates (especially old world primates)

    I'd appreciate any advice

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    When's your trip going to be? :)

    Basel is very close to Mulhouse in France, which should fufill your interest in old-world primates nicely:

    http://www.zootierliste.de/en/zoosmap.php?showzoo=10000835

    As that list shows, they hold species such as Hamlyn's Guenon, Belted Ruffed Lemur, Pileated Gibbon, Crowned Sifaka, Northern White-cheeked Gibbon, Mongoose Lemur, Roloway Guenon, Southern White-cheeked Gibbon, Sclater's Lemur, White-collared Lemur and Golden-cheeked Gibbon to name a few. Your taste for small carnivores will be relatively well-served too - Oncilla being a highlight.

    The best "small carnivore" collection between Frankfurt and Hannover, roughly speaking, is probably Dortmund. They hold a lot of nice species, including Himalayan Palm Civet, Jaguarundi, Southern Tigrina (not the same taxon as Oncilla) and Philippine Palm Civet.
     
  3. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that very useful information. Although Mullhouse sounds tempting, I might have to save it for another time. Dortmund on the other hand sounds like a very interesting proposition. Will check it out.

    I'm leaving mid-July for the UK, flying out to Zurich a couple of days later and then on trains for the rest of the trip. I'm finishing in Antwerp which I've been to many times (it's my second home) and will of course be visiting the zoo as well as trying to get in Plankendael (?) whilst I'm there.

    Will no doubt post a full report when I return.
     
  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent :) pity it is not the start of June as this is when I visit Walsrode myself!
     
  5. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it would have been great to meet up! No doubt there'll be other zoochatters around at the same time.

    Just looking at the map and Mullhouse is ridiculously close to Basel - may try and do it as a day trip if possible
     
  6. Javan Rhino

    Javan Rhino Well-Known Member

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    Would also suggest Cologne, it is a beautiful zoo and a beautiful city (and there is the Douc langur :) )
     
  7. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    I agree - and it's a great base from which to check out some other great zoos like Krefeld and Wuppertal, but I've been there quite a few times now and would like to branch out on this trip.

    Regarding the Douc Langurs, do they still have them? I thought they'd phased them out due to lack of breeding success. In any case, I got back from Singapore a few weeks ago which has one of the best displays of them anywhere with incredible breeding success and excellent opportunities for photos - some of my photos are in the Singapore zoo gallery.

    I'm also planning a two-week volunteer visit to Cuc Phuong primate research centre in Vietnam later this year so should be getting some pretty good shots of them plus the other langur species they have.

    Thanks for the reply anyway
     
  8. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Cologne zoo.

    I am going to visit Basel zoo on June 8th this year, I already purchased airplane tickets, and maybe I will visit Mullhouse, after TeaLovingDave recommendation..
     
    Last edited: 23 Apr 2016
  9. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    In mid-July I have probably just left for Ethiopia, otherwise I would have loved to meet up in Basel/Zurich.

    Mulhouse is easy to visit (30 minutes by train from Basel SBB) and it is quite a pleasant park (also a botanical garden), though the primate enclosures are quite cramped, especially for their age. The collection is however very good. The lemurs in the Antananarivo zoo have more space than the ones in Mulhouse....

    A zoo I am particularly fond of is the Tierpark in Bern, which focuses on European taxa and has a very high standard in exhibit quality, the zoo is not very big though, but Bern is a wonderful city and about 1 hour from Basel.

    There is still 1 douc langur at Cologne I think and Wedell-tamarins will soon be visible as well, so more primate highlights.
     
  10. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I'll be in Switzerland just from 15:30 h on 7th June till 20:00h on 8th June, hopefully I will have time first to visit Basel zoo from morning on 8th June from 9:00 - and I don't know after that. I suppose Basel zoo (more than 500 species, also okapi - first time in my life will see okapi on live) is more interesting than Mullhouse in France? What are the working hours for Mullhouse zoo in France? Can I get there from 16:30 till 19:00 h?
     
    Last edited: 23 Apr 2016
  11. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Working hours in France, you must be joking :p, are you sure you do not mean striking hours?

    Zoo Basel is not very large in size (+- 12 hectares) and 5 hours should be enough for a proper visit. Zoo Mulhouse is open from 9 am to 7 pm in June. So if you squeeze it, you should be able to visit. Though it may be stressing and not worth all the extra effort.

    I assume you will be staying in a hostel/hotel in Basel, if so then you get a free public transport card, which makes it easy to visit the Tierpark Lange Erlen in the north of Basel. This small zoo focuses on Swiss fauna and is free of charge and the combination Basel Zoo + Lange Erlen is easily doable in one day normally.

    In Basel make sure to spend a lot of time in both the Gamgoas and the Etosha house, which are some of the better zoo-exhibits in Europe. Also in the Bird house there are 2 large rarities that live free in the house that are not signed, the golden-naped tanager (only zoo in Europe) and the Silver-eared mesia (only in 4 European collections)
     
  12. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. How you mean free public transport card, it is free of charge for whom? for all? I will stay in a hostel yes, one night.
     
  13. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    When checking in at your hotel you will get a transport card free of charge for yourself, it is valid the days you stay and it is valid within all of Basel.
     
  14. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    Well the trip is just about organised. On the advice of Tea Loving Dave I've arranged an extra day in Basel to visit Mullhouse (it must be close since the two cities share an airport).

    So at this stage it's Zurich, Basel, Mullhouse, Walsrode (the main reason for this trip) - haven't decided on Dortmund yet - and then Frankfurt. After that I'll be staying with friends in Antwerp so should get to Planckendael as well with any luck.

    Will no doubt report back on the success (or not)
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2016
  15. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Few tips: Zurich zoo deserves full day - especially if you want to spot animals in Masoala hall! In Zurich, try visiting the little establishment Voliere Mythenquai in the park in the city centre. It takes 15 minutes or so, but has some rare birds. Outside aviaries are visible 24h a day.

    Basel and Mulhouse are small zoos separated by ca 1-1,5 hours public transport door-to-door. I am not sure how fast you are, but I would suggest going to Basel morning and Mulhouse afternoon. Lange Erlen is really just to kill your time - small collection of common European animals. Another such little 15 minutes thing is also free: Botanical Garden in Basel, with small glasshouse with several exotic birds.

    If you are on a budget, I suggest spending as little money in Switzerland as possible. Prices just across the border are about twice lower.

    Then, my geography suggests Frankfurt first, Walsrode later. But I will try to talk you out of Frankfurt and Dortmund. Frankfurt declined incredibly since Bernhard Grzimek times, and is not really a top zoo anymore. I consider Frankfurt and Dortmund much inferior to any of the following zoos:

    If you visit Walsrode and then Antwerp, my first priority would be drop by to the Netherlands and see Burgers Zoo, Apenheul or possibly Veldhoven and Rotterdam. If Dortmund, then why not other zoo in Ruhr area, especially Wuppertal with its birds and small cats, or Cologne with its birds and primates?

    But, at the end, your animal priorities decide - check zootierliste for them! In any case, you should have a great trip, and I hope you get one!

    BTW, good idea may be to prepare a list of species to see in every zoo - to be sure you miss as few as possible.
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2016
  16. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that advice Jurek7, I will certainly look into a lot of what you've suggested.

    I prefer to take things slowly when I'm visiting zoos and like to take a lot of photos, so will take a day to do Mulhouse and I'm sure Basel has other things on offer. I'm so pleased you told me about the Botanic gardens in Basel. Also thanks for the information about Voliere Mythenquai which I'd never heard of!

    I have visited Cologne several times and also Wuppertal so I won't be going there this time although I agree, they are both 'must see' establishments.

    Burgers is a zoo I've always wanted to visit but my time frame doesn't allow it on this trip sadly although you never know! My reason for visiting Frankfurt is also partly business as I'm considering working there in the next year or so, but you've helped me make up my mind about Dortmund anyway. Will report back on my trip later in the year.
     
  17. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I would also opt for spending a day in both Mulhouse and Basel. The botanical garden is indeed worth a visit and on walking distance from the zoo, there are 2 botanical gardens, the one owned by the university is the nice small one that Jurek means (and it is free). the Basel city center is not the most interesting one, but it is still very nice to stroll along the Rhine and the town hall and Munster church are nice buildings, if you like (modern) art there is lots to see and the "Tinguelibrunnen" in the center is probably the weirdest fountain I have seen. If you are visiting in the first half of July, I might be able to join you in Basel.
     
  18. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Basel has an interesting natural history museum, which is next to the culture museum, which has artefacts from different parts of the world.
     
  19. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    Now that would be interesting as I always like to visit good natural history museums - thanks for the info
     
  20. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    Well now that might be worthwhile - I'm afraid I won't be in Basel until about the 20th of July (coming from Zurich) but it's always a possibility. The botanic gardens certainly do sound good as well