This native wildlife and natural habitat park in the Leipziger Auenwald (“floodplain forest”) in Connewitz is well worth a visit. The park started out as a deer enclosure in 1904, was all but destroyed in WW2 but since 1979 has been restored and expanded to its current 46 hectares. Admission is free although a few parts, such as a guided adventure trail and the pet farm, require a small entrance fee.
There are about 25 different species on show in their native habitat. On a recent visit we saw moose, bison, foxes, whitetail and red deer, boars, pine martins, and several owl species. All of these animals are (or were) native to the area. Some are endangered. Because the park is more of a nature and habitat reserve than a zoo the animals are not always “on show” in their living areas, so you’ll need patience to spot many of them.
The entire Wildpark Leipzig is walkable and very kid-friendly and is popular with local school children out on daytrips. The pet farm (“haustierfarm”) is geared towards families and has a snack shop and outside seating. There’s also a kids play area next to the Russisches Blockhaus Teehaus (“tea house”).
The Wildparkgaststätte is a pretty good on-site restaurant where, if you’re feeling up for it, you can actually eat some of the animals on display! We liked the mixed grill “wildlife park” (€14.90).
The main entrance is off Koburger Straße in Connewitz. There’s parking here or you can take tram 9 or bus 79 (summer only) to the nearby Wildpark stop. Even better there are several other access points from the biking/walking trails in the surrounding Auenwald forest. Open daily from 9am to 7pm (5pm in winter).
[page content last updated July 2014]