Hey everyone! Due to a lack of theme parks with rides open in Europe, we decided to visit a zoo theme park. Pairi Daiza might be one of the best zoos in the world, not only thanks to its animal collection but the theming and detail they use for the areas where the animals live. Since a few years, you can also reside in the park itself for a luxurious experience. First we’ll get you familiar with the park and then we’ll discuss all the different options of staying in the park and our experience!
– In the past, many of our images have been posted, featured, and shared on forums, social media platforms and websites around the web. We work hard to provide the coverage that we do, and we encourage our audience to share our content and use our images, BUT ONLY IF proper credit is given to thecoasterkings.com. Thank you! –
Pairi Daiza became the most visited themed park a few years back. In 2019, they hit the 2 million visitors mark surpassing Plopsaland De Panne and Walibi Belgium. The park has a rich history starting out as a repurposed old abbey with bird shows and now regarded as one of the best zoos in Europe.
Pairi Daiza invests heavily in the future: the car park got covered solar panel roofs, construction continues on a new entrance and they have plans to open a special water park as well.
The park profiles itself as “Le Jardin des Mondes” which means the Garden of Worlds. 9 worlds in total featuring animals from all over the globe. The first one centers around the history surrounding the Tower. After entering the park, there’s a small farm welcoming the typical farm animals. Around the area however, you will find quite some birds both in reserved as roaming around.
Besides several bird reserves, there’s also an indoor Andalusian garden featuring tropical flowers, birds and smaller animals.
Another area full of birds is Europe’s largest aviary featuring flamingos, spoonbills and many more.
The next area describes itself as a dive in the deep. Inside a 19th century castle, you can explore fish from the ocean inside this unique aquarium but not at the moment due to covid measures. Fortunately, outside you can still spot seals and cute African penguins!
Here are a few impressions from a previous visit of the Nautilus aquarium.
🦘 Southern Cape
The Southern Cape takes us to Australia for a walk right next to kangaroos and view on some of the auzzie animals. One of them had a little baby sleeping in mommy’s pouch. This part of the Jardin is the smallest world to visit, but a fun one nevertheless. Unfortunately, the Koala exhibit was closed due to covid measures.
🐼 The Middle Kingdom
If you’re looking for a touch of China in Europe, Pairi Daiza offers you one of the largest authentic Chinese gardens outside of the Asian country. Although it features one of the big highlights for the zoo animal wise, the area gives you much more than that. Craftsmen from Shanghai came to construct the beautiful buildings in the garden to bring the unique atmosphere of the East. Everywhere you’ll look, there will be details with a story to discover.
The healing path should definitely be a walk you need to take. The 500 m long walk will take you on a cultural exploration of both animals and stories. You can even take your shoes off to walk on the healing stones in the shape of Japanese camillias.
Along the way, you’ll encounter one of the two red panda exhibits where you will definitely fall in love with them.
The main centerpiece however of the Middle Kingdom is the Temple of Compassion. The iconic building inspired by Beijing architecture pays tribute to the Buddha. Right next to it, you can go to the Touch Pool to see and feel the koi.
The biggest draw for the general crowd however is the giant pandas. Since 2014, they became icons for the park as one of the few locations to visit them. On top of that, they gave birth to Tian Bao in 2016 and twins in 2019: Bao Di & Bao Mej.
🦁 The Land of Origines & The Mersus Emergo
This area inspired by Africa holds some of the major animals you expect to see at a zoo: lions, giraffes, rhinos, hippos and African elephants! The hippos reserve was temporarily under maintenance but there were still plenty of animals to see. Hyenas, zebras, buffalos, cheetahs and more!
One of the bigger exhibits hosts the gorilla volcanoes, connected with a monkey island. These intelligent creatures keep a sharp eye on the visitors but also enjoy relaxing in the sun just like we do.
Another highlight of this area in Pairi Daiza is the Tamberma Village. The houses transport you to Togo reflecting authentic architecture of the real village Warengo. Inside each of the buildings has something else to offer: pictures and objects of the original tribe, another shows masks from other tribes… Even the toilets can be found in these unique buildings.
Besides the core village, you can usually also visit the pile dwellings inspired by the Ganvié lake village in Benin. Just like the Tamberma Village, you can find different authentic objects in each of the dwellings.
Last but not least, we have to touch upon the Mersus Emergo, a giant ship tells the story of thinking twice before buying exotic animals. It shelters reptiles, amphibians and other small exotic creatures to save them from owners who can’t handle them anymore. During covid times, the boat is not accessible but we gathered some pictures from previous visits.
Before we go to the next area, check out this “extra theming” Pairi Daiza can offer thanks to a nearby local airfield.
🐘 The Kingdom of Ganesha
Just like the Middle Kingdom, the Kingdom of Ganesha got constructed authentically inspired by Bali. More than 8000 tons of black lava stone got shipped to Pairi Daiza to construct the paths and monuments. The biggest eye catcher being the Flower Temple which homes the Orangutans. It’s pyramid shape invites you to climb up and have a wonderful view of the park.
Another major building is the Temple of Tigers. Inspired by Angkor in Cambodia, it hosts the white tigers!
The main animal of the Kingdom however has to be the elephants. This makes sense as Bali is the land with a god who has an elephant head. Unlike the two African elephants, here they have a dozen of Asian elephants. They also have a special bathing area which they use for guests to behold. To get there, you’ll need to climb quite a path if you’re coming from the lake.
You also can walk in between the rice field and look upon the grain loft. It came all the way from the Indonesian island Sulawesi where it got deconstructed to be shipped to Belgium.
🐻❄️ The Land of the Cold
The final two areas are the newest additions and offer something unique: places to stay inside the park. Before we get into that, let’s talk about what the areas have to offer starting with the Land of the Cold. Inspired by Lapland in Russia, the area has a lot of wooden buildings, including the stunning restaurant: Izba.
One of the few attractions at Pairi Daiza is a ride on one of the steam trains. But besides being used as an attraction, they also have other trains to for example transport water around the park. The train repair station can be found in the Land of the Cold and can be visited.
And then there is the line-up of animals! To name a few: howling wolves, polar bears, Siberian tigers and brand new for 2021: the Penguins Cave!
🐻 The Last Frontier
Last but not least: The Last Frontier. Here you travel to Canada and Alaska to discover the wildlife of British Colombia and more. This area feels pretty much built for the accommodations that it has to offer. The wildlife features two types of bears, mountain lions, moose… to name just some of them.
But yes, The Land of the Cold & The Last Frontier have something more than just animals and theming, they also have accommodations inside the park. Let’s discuss the different types, the pro’s and con’s and if it is worth the money.