Snake, Rattle & Roll

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As my boys are currently going through a snakes phase while their little sister is obsessed with apple-eating crocodiles (don’t ask), Expat Husband and I decided that a visit to the Vivarium de Lausanne was in order.

The Vivarium holds the biggest collection of poisonous reptiles in Europe, including some stunning world exclusives like the albino Naja Kaouthia and the world’s most poisonous snake. But don’t be put off because if you’re as squeamish as I am, you’ll still be able to enjoy the large crocodiles, sleepy iguanas and the colourful tropical frogs as tiny as the tips of your fingers.

One of the 2 albino Naja Kaouthia at the Vivarium de Lausanne - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
One of the 2 albino Naja Kaouthia at the Vivarium de Lausanne – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Vivarium de Lausanne - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
Vivarium de Lausanne – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

I fell in love with the miniature blue frogs! photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
I fell in love with the miniature blue frogs! photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Don't mess with an hissssed out snake - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
Don’t mess with an hissssed out snake – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

The Enormous Crocodile - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
The Enormous Crocodile – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

The Vivarium de Lausanne is open every day from 10am to 6pm and they offer some fascinating open sessions where your little ones can watch as the animals are fed, or the snakes helped out of their shedding skins. The staff are great & very knowledgeable, and they enjoy answering all the questions children can think of. These open session take place on Thursday afternoon and on selected Sundays (better give them a quick call before you set off).

When we visited they had 5 sessions on at various times so my little monsters had the chance to learn about turtles’ growth & feeding habits and watch as the staff handled an extremely miffed snake with a clear plastic tube. Don’t try this at home is all I would say.

It's turtle feeding time! photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
It’s turtle feeding time! photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Move over sis, saw that one first... photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
Move over sis, saw that one first… photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

That's how you have a Sunday nap - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
That’s how you have a Sunday nap – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Not now please, I'm knackered...photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
Not now please, I’m knackered…photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Unfortunately, the Vivarium de Lausanne is in desperate need of funds, hence the run-down look of some of its parts, so please do pay them a visit and support their unique collection. In 2016 the Vivarium will relocate and become part of the new Aquatis project, but in the meantime they’ll still have to battle rising heating costs, building maintenance and water leaks so they need all the help they can get!

The Vivarium is arranged over 2 floors and various outdoor areas, so it’s a good idea to leave the pushchair at home and use an infant carrier instead if you have a young baby. It’s also extremely hot inside so layers are essential! Entry tickets cost 12CHF per adult and 6CHF for children aged 5 to 14, but you can buy a family ticket for 30CHF.

They also offer birthday party packages, so bear it in mind if your little ones love creepy crawlies!

Vivarium de Lausanne - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
Vivarium de Lausanne – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Vivarium de Lausanne

Ch. de Boissonnet 82

1010 Lausanne

T +41 21 652 72 94

 

Opening Times:

10am to 6pm everyday (yes that includes Sundays, hurray!!)

Closed on Christmas Day and 1st of January.

PS: We ended our family outing in Lausanne with roasted chestnuts & a run-around on the beautiful Ouchy lakefront, where you’ll find a merry-go-round and a fantastic wooden climbing frame. The sunset views are pretty spectacular too. Best family Sunday ever!

The beautiful lakefront in Ouchy - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
The beautiful lakefront in Ouchy – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Now THAT should wear them out - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
Now THAT should wear them out – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Winter sunset in Ouchy - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
Winter sunset in Ouchy – photo © genevafamilydiaries.net
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