The Safari Park in Pombia, in the province of Novara, is the largest safari zoo in Piedmont: it covers an area of 450,000 square meters, not far from Lake Maggiore.
The park actively collaborates with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Turin and is currently home to 400 animals and 110 different species, three of which are currently endangered: the Addax Antelope, Somalian Donkey and Royal Cobra.
Many animals are born within the park-in fact, the Safari Park is an international breeding center: guaranteeing the survival of the species and, when possible, their reintroduction into the wild.
The Safari Park in Pombia is for all intents and purposes a real safari: there is an “obligatory” route to follow with your own car or with the Park’s little train, which winds through a winding road and allows you to really observe the animals at close range as they eat or play.
Since our eldest has turned two and a half, at the weekend we try to combine our great passion i.e., treks, with trips to the various age-appropriate theme parks to spend a slightly different day.
▶ An amusement park that we really liked, for example, is Leolandia in Capriate San Gervasio.
So below you will find all the information and our tips for organizing your family day out at the Safari Park in Pombia.
Pombia Safari Park: how to get there and where to park
The Safari Park is located in Pombia, at 3 Larino Street. The nearest highway exit (Highway A8-A26 Gravellona Toce) is Castelletto Ticino.
Follow the signs for Novara ➜ Pombia ➜ Safari Park. The park is well signposted.
The car is left in the paid parking lot inside the park (2 euros).
Pombia Safari Park: tickets and how to save money
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office on the day itself or on their site in the days before the visit.
Our advice is to buy on their site because you save 3 euro per ticket. So for a family of 4 for example, there would be a savings of 12 euros!
The ticket is open date so if at the last you could not go, no problem because you can use it within 10 months from the date of purchase.
The ticket cost for adults is 26 euros (22 on their website), for children is 22 euros (19 on their website), free under 2.
Update April 2023
The mechanical attractions will no longer be included in the entrance ticket but must be purchased inside the park, another ticket at a cost of 10 euros.
The ticket includes 6 rides; if you do not want to ticket, a ride on each individual ride costs 3 euros.
Safari Park in Pombia: a family day out. How it works
Pombia Safari Park is divided into two distinct areas: the zoo safari area and the amusement park area.
☛ Zoo safari
There are two ways to do the zoo safari i.e. independently with your own car or by parking it at the entrance and taking their little train.
The main difference is that the little train slows down when approaching the animals but does not stop while in the car in theory you can stop and observe them more calmly. I say in theory because a lot of queues are created and the many rangers signal to move so as not to create further slowdowns.
How it works. If you decide to go by car, our advice is not to park it but to head straight to the ticket counters where you will have to pay for parking and where you will be given a map of the park.
At this point, you follow the “obligatory” route that will lead you to really close observation, rhinos, zebras, lions, tigers, giraffes, antelopes, monkeys to other animals.
The full tour takes about 45 to 50 minutes and eventually the trail leads back to the entrance from the parking lots. You leave your car and walk to the amusement park area where you will also find food stations and various stalls.
☛ Amusement park
The amusement park includes several rides such as the Ferris wheel (no age limit), pirate ship (for children ages 10 and older), trampoline (ages 3 to 8), green caterpillar, and more.
Almost all rides are for children at least 3 years old with the exception of one ride aimed at younger children, which is the classic merry-go-round where you sit the child on the little horse and stay there with him.
Each attraction however has a panel near the entrance that indicates from what age the child can access it.
In this area you can also find an Aquarium (nothing like our Aquarium in Genoa of course) and a Reptile House (very interesting).
When we went (March weekend) there were no live shows scheduled but we read that the “Arena” hosts several shows such as the parrots in flight exhibition, the one with raptors and the one with Spanish horses.
Safari Park in Pombia: a family day out. Where to eat
Inside the park there are several eateries where you can eat burgers, pizza, pinsa, fried fish, and a self-service restaurant with plenty of choices.
You can find first courses such as penne with tomato sauce or gnocchi with pesto, several main courses of meat or chicken such as cutlets. baked leg with a side of potatoes or vegetables, mixed salads, rice salads, fruit, cake…
The food is excellent, the portions are large, and the prices are fair (entrees cost 5.50 euros, main courses 7.50 euros).
Safari Park in Pombia: when to go and how long to stay
Mid-seasons are ideal to avoid the heat and crowding of the summer months. We went in mid-March and still queued a bit both in the car ride and to access the games.
The advice is to arrive at the opening so you can be one of the first to go on the zoo safari and avoid the lines at the entrance.
The park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from October to March and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April to September. Between the car ride (about 50 minutes), rides, and shows, you can easily stay without getting bored from opening time until closing time.
Where to stay
❒ Agriturismo Helianthus – 10 minutes from the Safari park, you will find this farmhouse nestled in the countryside with free breakfast. Very quiet place and family welcome, recommended. Book here.
The animals seem well-kept; the lions really have nice musculature, like the free-roaming ones we were lucky enough to see on our trips to Africa, and this pleased us greatly.
We were a bit tender-hearted, on the other hand, about the crocodile positioned under spotlights inside the Reptile House.
Each bathroom has changing facilities but they are all really dirty, unfortunately.
The rides are a bit dated but we were told that with the new management there will be an upgrade.
Ticket cost: 23 euros adult and 19 euros child (online price) are in our opinion a fair price considering the different attractions the park offers.
We liked both the safari zoo and the amusement park and the girls had a great time so we recommend the Safari Park to spend a slightly different day with your family.