Sigean Nature Reserve, Aude visitors guide
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!
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.
Map of Sigean Nature Reserve and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- African reserve of Sigean: zoo or wildlife park (5 km)
- Forêt de Fontfroide: site of natural beauty (12 km)
- Abbaye de Fontfroide (Narbonne): religious monument (12 km)
- Narbonne: secteur sauvegarde (18 km)
- Narbonnaise en Méditerranée: regional natural parc (19 km)
- Étang de Leucate: site of natural beauty (20 km)
- Gouffre de l'Œil Doux: site of natural beauty (25 km)
- Lagrasse: most beautiful village (30 km)
- Enserune: national monument (33 km)
- Perpignan: town of art and history (37 km)
- Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (Cabestany): religious monument (39 km)
- Beziers: secteur sauvegarde (40 km)
The French version of this page is at Sigean Nature Reserve (Francais)