About 20 minutes from the pleasant little town of Vejle, is Givskud Zoo with its famous lion park. When I was growing up, families went on summer holidays to Denmark, particularly to Legoland and Givskud Lion Park. We never did. (Mum took us kids to New Orleans instead, so I can’t really complain).

Nevertheless, seeing signs for the Lion Park brought back memories of childhood. Also, Cat adores lions, so visiting the lion park was a given. Givskud Zoo is a walk around/drive around kind of zoo – or more a safaripark, really – only we’re in Denmark, not Kenya. The animals are often close enough to touch. (Some you actually can touch, like the charming camels.) Have a look at the Givskud Zoo website; it’s a well-thought out animal park.

Givskud Lion Park

Givskud Lion Park is a drive-only area. This is the really exciting part, particularly the large areas where giraffes and zebras roam. Odd to have to wait for a giraffe to cross the road before you can continue driving. And the term zebra crossing gains a whole new meaning.

Then, of course, there are the lions. Needless to say, they are in the drive-only zone, with a system of locks for security. Even with the extremely high level of security, though, one can’t help but wonder what would happen if a lion or two got out to roam Danish streets.

Driving inside the locks, there they are. Close enough to touch. I drive ever so slowly through the large area. Beside us, lions are lazing on the unseasonably warm day (unseasonably warm for Denmark, that is – less so for their more natural African habitat). Others walk alongside the car, looking at us, rather disinterestedly. My 8-year-old is overwhelmed, quiet, happy, moved…

Lions are such beautiful creatures: proud, muscular, agile, strong, just gorgeous. In my next life, I think I might want to be a lioness.