Go on safari 1.5 hours’ drive away from Haarlem

If you opted for a ‘staycation’ and are looking for ideas of what to do, why not head to Tilburg for an educational outdoor adventure? Go on safari right here in the Netherlands, exploring nature, getting some fresh air and coming face-to-face with wild animals at Beekse Bergen.

You can get a taste of Africa right here in Europe, where you can not only watch the wild animals up-close but also stay overnight and literally greet them from the porch of your bungalow. With all that, as well as numerous playgrounds and cafes – plus a swimming pool that both adults and children can enjoy – it’s a paradise for everyone, especially for kids and animals-lovers.

This place is called Beekse Bergen and it’s a complex of four parts: a Safari Park, Resort, Camping and Playland. It’s situated in the south of the Netherlands, near Tilburg.

Dutch safari

What to do in the Safari Park?

Dutch safari by car

The territory is quite big and during our stay there were two main activities – enjoying the safari by car or by foot – plus there were the various playgrounds, making the journey for the little kids double enjoyable.Dutch safari ostrich

Drive Safari

During the Drive Safari, you can see most of the animals at close proximity while staying behind the closed windows of your car. Please do follow the warnings of the numerous signs telling you to keep the windows closed, as there was an accident when a family was attacked by cheetahs.

As long as you stay inside you car, you’ll have a great experience and be prepared for your car get licked by a giraffe or pecked by an ostrich, as it happened to us. It was fun.

Dutch safari elephants

Walk Safari

Taking a Walk Safari can be even more fun, with fresh air, a deeper experience and exercise, of course. Your trail will be winding, taking you between the large enclosures with elephants, giraffes, gazelles and wild cats, and the kids can also explore the many more and playgrounds.

Dutch safari resort

Where to stay in the Safari Resort?

Dutch safari animal watching

In the Safari Resort, you can stay overnight and watch wild animals from your porch, listen to the lions and seals roaring at night and waking up to the birds singing. There are several types of accommodation available.

There are bungalows with all the comforts of home and lodges overlooking the animals’ enclosures enabling you to greet them every morning from your balcony or garden. It’s not the best option for toddlers as they would need to be constantly watched but should be a great experience otherwise.Dutch safari resort treehouse

There are also tent houses – accommodation with all conveniences and canvas walls – and tree houses perched on stilts among the forest.

Kids lodges are colourfully-painted bungalows that encircle a spacious, enclosed playground – which can be used in the daytime, where you can leave your kids and relax without worrying about their safety.

Tips for staying with kids

Dutch safari resort kids lodgeMaybe you are wondering which is the best accommodation for a young family? For us, we opted for a kids lodge: a brightly-coloured bungalow with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the safest and most fun option. Dutch safari resort kids lodgeIt had everything we needed: comfortable beds, stylish furniture, essentials, cleaning equipment, TV and music, and even a cot, high chair, baby bathtub and buggy that we could use outside. The shower was a hit too!

When, rather than if, we go back to Beekse Bergen again, we’d also be sure to book a kids lodge. I’d be curious to hear of other people’s experiences. Would you like to have accommodation with a playground in front or with a view of the animals?

Have you enjoyed the safari experience? How was it for you? You are welcome to comment below!

Take the winding trail past elephants, giraffes, gazelles and wild cats

Safaripark and Speeland Beekse Bergen
Tilburgseweg 41
5081 NJ Hilvarenbeek

Following lockdown, Beekse Bergen has now re-opened and guests can stay overnight, though there are still restrictions in place and certain facilities are closed. Check the website for details here!

Dutch safari

This article is based on the original blogpost on Frogs in the Box.