Calviac Zoological Reserve (Reserve Zoologique de Calviac)
The reserve is built around a mile-long trail that loops past various enclosures as well as waterfalls and plaques inscribed with poetry. Like most zoos, the park is organized into geographic regions, with sections devoted to Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, Oceania, South America, and Madagascar. There are also lemur and wallaby enclosures that visitors can walk into and regularly scheduled feedings.
Things to Know Before You Go
The reserve is popular with families and those interested in wildlife.
There's a cafe and gift shop with outdoor seating for those who want to bring a picnic.
The park is somewhat stroller accessible, and there are three baby carriers available for loan to those who prefer to leave strollers at the reception.
Wheelchair users may find it difficult to get around in parts of the park.
How to Get There
The reserve is situated in the Dordogne region of France, just outside of the town of Sarlat. To reach the reserve via public transportation, get off at Sarlat or Souillac, and hop onto bus number 6, which will drop you off at Carsac-Aillac, about a 10-minute walk from the reserve.
When to Get There
The reserve is open daily from the middle of February through the middle of November and on weekend afternoons during the rest of the year. There are different feedings throughout the day; check the schedule for times
The reserve was designed using the principles of thejardin planétaire (planetary garden), which were espoused by acclaimed gardener Gilles Clément. According to this philosophy, the earth is essentially a garden unto itself, and this should be taken into account in farming and gardening. Many of the buildings and water systems in the park are eco-friendly; there's even an old tobacco-drying shed that's been converted into dry toilets.