Tourism and experience travel landscape has changed in the recent years. Gone are the days when simply watching life go by was enough. Today, we want to immerse ourselves in experiences. And this is very much the case for animal encounter experiences. We are no longer satisfied watching animals play in enclosures. Not to mention a number of animal rights groups fighting poorly run animal parks, the onus has shifted to zoos to change and innovate.
These days there are safaris and sanctuaries galore. So if you wanted to see elephants up close, you can just make their way to South East Asia. Like a lot of zoos, Zoo de la Fleche faced the challenge of adapting to new competition and customer expectations. Eager to offer their customers something new and different, they came up with the idea of Lodges. This is where guests can feel like they’re actually interacting with animals, not just watching them.
For security, Lodges are built within an enclosed area in the zoo. With private gardens, bedroom, terrace and outdoor showers, these high-end luxury lodges truly make you feel like you’re one with the animals.
There are five types of Lodges at the zoo, each themed according to the animals you’ll be observing. Most have a safari feel about them with an Asian, Canadian or African theme. The one that’s caught our attention is the Arctic Lodge. It’s attached to the polar bear enclosure and pool. With a distinct chalet feel of fur throws, warm luxury lodge décor and of course a polar bear or two for company. The bedroom is partially submerged, so when you wake up, you might just see a polar bear staring back at you.
As you might imagine, the Lodges are incredibly popular. This gives Zoo de la Fleche much needed profits to advance their conservation efforts and improvements to the rest of the park’s enclosures.
This is probably as close as you’ll ever get to sleeping next to a polar bear…or a grizzly bear or a tiger. But that’s alright with us. We like having some protective glass between us and these amazing predators.
Zoo de La Flèche, France
Be sure to book in advance, like a year in advance. These Lodges are incredibly popular.
What you need to know:
While the Lodges are definitely a highlight, Zoo de La Flèche is an amazing facility. If you can’t spend the night, this is still an incredible day out with the family.