We really love places like Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo where you can have a wonderful family day out with animals and nature.
Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo is a 42-hectare zoo where 1,500 animals of 200 different species live. It is not just a zoo but a center for the protection of endangered animal species.
Among the many projects that the park supports are the conservation of species such as the Lemur and Andean Bear, the reintroduction of the European Bison, Griffon Vulture, and Lynx into the wild, and environmental education whose goal is to raise awareness of respect for the environment among all people and, in particular, the younger generation.
In this article you will find all the information you need to organize your visit to Natura Viva Park, located between Verona and Lake Garda, in the municipality of Bussolengo.
How to visit Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo: tour route
Natura Viva Park consists of two sections: the Safari section and the Wildlife section.
The Safari section is a circuit just over 2 km long that you drive through in your own car. You pass very close to different species of African animals such as antelopes, giraffes, lions and cheetahs, so it is absolutely forbidden to get out of your car. If no queues form, it is covered in about 40 minutes.
The Wildlife section, on the other hand, is a walking trail that winds through the five continents. Step by step along the path that winds through the Africa section, you can observe hippos, lions, chimpanzees, and meerkats.
The walking trail continues in Madagascar where you can see various species of lemurs. The small detour to Australia, takes us instead to see cassowaries, wallabies, kangaroos, parrots, and swans.
At this point we enter Asia, where we can find camels, the red panda, the Siberian tiger (3 observation points are dedicated to her but you have to be very lucky to see her), and birds of prey.
Then you arrive in South America where sloths, various species of monkeys, and the anteater rule the roost. In Amazonas there is the large aviary of parrots.
The last stop on the walking trail is Europe where, within an oak forest, live the wolf, lynx, wild cat, and Borealia where the animals of the cold i.e. snowy owl, reindeer, and European bison are found.
What else to find in Natura Viva Park
In addition to the 5 continents, along the way you can also find the Extinction Park i.e., an area where you can observe the first animals to emerge on land, dinosaurs, and large mammals of the past up to the most recent extinctions. Small excursus on the preservation of rare turtles in Chelonia.
House of Giants is the tropical greenhouse where you can admire the Komodo dragon, dwarf crocodiles, anaconda, butterflies, and more.
They also could not miss the Farm animals: you can go inside the enclosure and feed the baby goats! Feed is bought at the vending machine inside (1 sachet = 1 euro).
Finally, in the Park there are 3 wonderful play areas for children, the largest of which is the one called Animaliadi, near the Africa section.
The walking trail involves several ups and downs and is approximately 5 km long. There is no set time to complete it but in our opinion at least 3½/4 hours is needed to walk around it leisurely.
Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo: tips for a weekend visit
You can indifferently visit either the Safari or the Fauna section first, but we feel like giving some advice if you plan to visit Natura Viva Park on the weekend.
As for the Fauna section, there are no queuing problems as the walking route is really big and you can get around well at any time.
As for the Safari section, on the other hand, the route by car is obligatory and, if you arrive at peak time (after 10:30 a.m.), you are likely to be stuck for several hours.
Our advice, therefore, is to arrive at opening time (even about ten minutes earlier if possible by positioning yourself in front of the entrance gates) and do the Safari right away so that you will be among the first. After the Safari is over, park your car and start your visit in the Wildlife Park.
If you can’t get there early, the advice here is to park the car right away and do the walking tour in the Fauna Park. When, after lunch, the queue at the Safari is hand over hand, you can take the car and complete the visit.
Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo: ticket prices and how to buy it
The entrance ticket to Natura Viva Park costs 27.00€ adult, 19.00€ boy 6-12 years, free 0-5 years.
If purchased online (weekdays only), the full ticket costs 24.00€ and the reduced ticket costs 17.00€.
The ticket is single so it includes both Safari and Wildlife sections and is valid for one day.
It can be purchased either at the ticket office on the day or online at the official website (once purchased it is non-refundable).
If you plan to start at the Wildlife, it might be useful to buy it online so that you can enter directly, without going through the ticket office.
If, on the other hand, you plan to do the Safari first by car, you will have to go through the cash desk then you can buy your ticket at that time.
It may be helpful to know that if you do not have a car, the Park provides a 7-seater jeep (without driver) at an additional cost of 50.00€, which must be booked in advance.
Annual passes are also available.
For all information and to buy a ticket, you can check out the official website.
Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo: opening hours
Natura Viva Park is open daily from March to early December with hours of 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Safari until 4 p.m.) Monday through Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Safari 4:30 p.m.) on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
From early December to early January (closed on Christmas Day), only the pedestrian section remains open.
Always check the hours on the official website before planning your visit.
How to get there and where to park
Natura Viva Park is located in Località Quercia, 37012 Bussolengo VR.
If the idea is to do the Safari right away, once you pass the traffic circle and the entrance flags, take a right at the fork to the ticket office. Even if you have already purchased your ticket online, passing through the ticket office is mandatory.
If you are leaning toward the Fauna instead, take the left fork at the traffic circle that leads to the parking lots and the walking entrance.
The walking route is well-marked but always take a look at the very useful map they will give you at the entrance so you don’t miss a single attraction.
The Park has a large parking fee (4.00€) that can be paid in advance online or at the ticket counter.
Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo: when to go and how to dress
The ideal season to visit the park might be spring or fall, avoiding the intense summer heat. At weekends, many queues can form on the Safari trail so, if possible, plan your visit during the week.
The trail that runs inside the Park, is a dirt road that, in some places, has some nice steep climbs so comfortable clothing and sneakers are recommended.
Parco Natura Viva of Bussolengo: where to eat
Inside the park, you can find a restaurant, a snack bar and a fast-food restaurant as well as some vending machines and a few stalls where you can buy a cone of chips or a quick sandwich. There are also a variety of picnic areas with nice wooden tables where you can have a picnic lunch. No water fountains are present.
Other useful information: strollers and dogs
Natura Viva Park can be visited safely with strollers. All the steepest points, are marked by a sign indicating the grade. There is a little bit of effort on the steepest climbs but nothing impossible.
Dogs are not allowed in the pedestrian area. Near the parking lots, there are boxes of different sizes where you can leave it. The service is self-managed, that is, you must request the lock from the staff and return it at the end of your visit, and it cannot be reserved in advance.
Special Birthday at the Park and Upcoming Events
Treasure hunting and meal preparation for an animal species are just two of the fun activities designed to celebrate the little ones’ birthday at Natura Viva Park! The guided tour lasts two hours at the end of which refreshments will be offered at the Timbavati bar.
The cost of the package is €150.00 for groups of up to 10 children, who must be accompanied by an adult, and €200.00 for groups of up to 20 children (and two adults). Cake is not included in the package but can be booked separately if desired.
In addition, every month the Park offers various initiatives for the whole family such as in-depth talks with experts on the animal species present (free of charge), and interesting workshops for children aged 6 to 11 (at the honest cost of 5.00€).
Where to sleep near Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo
B&B Milu’ – Family rooms with excellent breakfast included. The facility is bright, comfortable, and equipped with air conditioning. Free parking and cancellation – Book here.
What to do near Natura Viva Park
Natura Viva Park in Bussolengo is only a 15-minute drive from the best-known amusement parks in northern Italy, namely Gardaland and Movieland, located a short distance from Lake Garda. Lake Garda, the largest in Italy, also offers several opportunities for walks, cultural visits, and out-of-town trips.