The Parco Natura Viva in Bussolengo is located at Lake Garda. It is split up into a regular zoo where you walk through by foot and a Safari Park where you will be driving through by car.
On your visit at the nature park you will see all sorts of different animals from all five continents. Even some animals from endangered species such as snow leopards and Madagascan lemurs. The park is therefore involved in many international projects to help protect endangered species all over the world from extinction. The habitats are rebuilt as close to the original as possible and to match their natural living environment.
Included into the zoo is a dinosaur park which takes you back in time when the gigantic reptiles were still roaming the earth. Here you will find near-naturally designed and life-sized replicas of different dinosaur species such as the Camptosaurus or the Triceratops but also animals like the dodo or the saber-toothed tiger.
The safari park is separated from the area of Parco Natura Vida. Here you can not walk through but you have to take your car on the Safari Tour. African animals are able to roam the premises freely. So if you leave the window down there might be a giraffe peering inside. Other animals you might be able to see are lions, hippos, rhinos as well as exotic birds and hyenas.
The zoo was the idea of the architect Alberto Avesani. He began turning his agricultural enterprise into an animal park in the 1960s. On the 25th of June in 1969 the first animal park was opened and covered an area of ten hectares. In 1973 they added the section of mammals and African birds known as the Safari Park which visitors can drive through by themselves. Other sections were added in 1978 such as the Tropical House, the Aqua Terrarium and the Dinosaur Park with lifelike replicas of the majestic reptiles. In consideration of new fundamental aspects of animal welfare the park was realigned in 1985. The architecture of the zoo changed as well.
How to get there
The park is located in Bussolengo, close to the Lake Garda and about 18 kilometers (11.2 mi) away from Verona.
Driving on the Milano-Venezia highway take the exit Sommacampagna or Verona Nord and simply follow the brown signs to Parco Natura Viva.
If you drive down the Brennerautobahn highway you take the exit Affi and from there you also just follow the signs.
In front of the park there is a large parking space available but there is a parking fee of two euros.