Parc Zoologique et Chateau is a 370 acre zoo, castle, and botanical garden in the town of Thoiry, France. The biggest section of the zoo covers 240 acres and has a road running through it for five miles. It is the African Reserve section, and visitors drive through in their own car while the animals roam freely. Some of the animals you can see here include horses, bears, bison, wildebeest, greater and lesser kudu, camels, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, and elephants. In the walk-through section of the zoo, you can see tigers, leopards, gibbons, red pandas, lemurs, macaques, cheetahs, wolves, pygmy goats, and Komodo dragons.
The 16th century chateau is still home to the Counts of La Panouse, but some sections are open to the public with guides dressed in costume. The castle was designed as a solar calendar with the garden walkways as the hands. On the summer and winter solstices, the sun rises and sets in the castle windows as if it is coming out of the castle itself. The castle is surrounded by 95 acres of landscaped gardens and trees.
Parc Zoologique et Chateau de Thoiry is located 33 miles west of Paris and can be reached using route N12. The zoo and safari park are open 10am to 5pm in the winter and 10am to 6pm in the summer. The castle is open 11am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 6pm in the winter and for the whole day from 11am to 7pm in the summer. Admission is 30 euros.