Knuthenborg Safaripark

Bandholm, Denmark

Knuthenborg Safaripark

Knuthenborg Safaripark is a safari park on the island of Lolland in the southeast of Denmark. It is located 7 km (on Rte 289) to the north of Maribo, near Bandholm. It is one of Lolland's major tourist attractions with over 250,000 visitors annually, and is the largest safari park in northern Europe. It is also the largest natural playground for both children and adults in Denmark. Among others, it houses an arboretum, aviaries, a drive-through safari park, a monkey forest (with baboons, tamarins and lemurs) and a tiger enclosure. Knuthenborg covers a total of 660 hectares (1,600 acres), including the 400-hectare (990-acre) Safaripark. The park is viewable on Google Street View.

The park is set in Knuthenborg, previously known as the medieval manor of Årsmarke, which was Denmark's largest private estate. In 1714, it became part of the new county of Knuthenborg. The park has its origins in 1867 when Eggert Christoffer Knuth (1838-1874) built a sturdy 7.4 km (4.6 mi) wall around his property with stones fished out of the Smålandsfarvandet. He then hired English landscape architect Edward Milner who, on the basis of plans completed in 1870, laid out a park for his world collection of rare botanical plants as well as the many rhododendrons which are also a great attraction to tourists. There are several hundred species of exotic shrubs and trees. In 1926, the park became protected under a preservation order. An enclosed zoological garden was established in 1950 adjacent to Swan Lake (Svanesøen) with 70 deer. In 1969, Count Adam W. Knuth added the first exotic animals to the park; antelopes, plains zebras and ostriches were the first to be acquired from Kenya followed by white rhinos. It is now a famous zoo of Denmark.

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