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Sigean Nature Reserve visitor guide

Photo of Sigean Nature Reserve

Visit Sigean Nature Reserve, France

Sigean is a town in Languedoc-Roussillon to the south of Narbonne. It is most visited for the Nature Reserve, a few kilometres north of Sigean itself and an important ancient settlement unearthed nearby.

Sigean Nature Reserve (Reserve Africain de Sigean)

Spread over a vast terrain of 300 hectares there are literally thousands of wild animals living here on the African Nature Reserve, including all your favourites - from flamingo to zebras, from lions to rhinoceros, in an area that is extensice enough to allow the animals to live in semi-liberty.

The main route through the park covers several kilometres and takes around an hour to complete. You can do the route in your car (or in a bus if you prefer), and passes through various distinct areas representing different natural habitats.

There is more to the reserve than just fun - it is also an important place of research into the lives and habitats of the animals that are held here, and into the conservation of these magnificent creatures as their natural habitat becomes ever more threatened. But don't worry, there is plenty of fun to be had as well!

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When the children get fed up with being sealed in the car (curiously you aren't allowed to get out and stroke the lions) there is also a section of the park where you can get out, explore, and come into contact with the less dangerous animals such as chimpanzees and tortoises and get closer to some of the larger mammals such as elephants.

Note: there are of course various safety rules to be followed (keeping car windows closed, not stopping next to a bear...). See more details including admission times and prices at Sigean Nature Reserve.

In the vicinity

Sigean itself, historically an important frontier town between France and Spain, has a small historic centre that is worth strolling around.

Nearby you can also visit the iron age settlement at the Oppidum de Pech Maho where extensive archaeological excavations have unearthed a town dating from around 550 BC onwards. The town was destroyed around 200 BC, although the reason is unknown - destruction by Hannibal during the Punic Wars or defeat by the Romans are two possibilities.

To the east of Sigean you can visit one of the Languedoc coast resorts such as Leucate or Port-la-Nouvelle, and to the north you can visit the busy town of Narbonne.

You can find more travel ideas in the Aude guide and the Languedoc-Roussillon guide.

See also: 

Map of Sigean Nature Reserve and places nearby

 
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Visit near Sigean Nature Reserve with France This Way reviews

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As well as the pleasure port and old village centre, Gruissan is also well known for its windsurfing

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Fontfroide Abbey

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Leucate

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Leucate guide
Narbonne

Narbonne

Among other highlights, the parts of Narbonne along the canal and around the cathedral are especially worth exploring

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... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Aude

The French version of this page is at Sigean Nature Reserve (Francais)

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