Planet Exotica: You have never seen a park like this ...

Royan
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Planet Exotica: You h ...

Planet Exotica is nothing like another amusement park, zoo or leisure center. It is a unique, magnificent and very astonishing place, run by a couple of true explorers invested in, and committed to the protection and understanding of reptiles. Tropical greenhouse, reptilarium, Japanese zen garden, bamboo garden, rose garden, mini-farm, trampolines and giant playgrounds, dinosaur park, Indian village with equestrian show, museum, nursery and research laboratory... on 8 hectares of nature with a river and waterfalls, get ready for an extraordinary day !

Photos of the article © Guide Charente Maritime, unless otherwise stated


Planet Exotica gardens
Outside the park and in the distance, the tropical and desert greenhouses

The creation of Planet Exotica

How to talk about Planet Exotica without introducing you to the incredible character who is at the origin of it? Marc Jaeger is originally from Switzerland, but his heart is forever in Africa . From a young age, he traveled to Kenya, Tanzania but also around the world in Asia and Australia to learn more about reptiles. Because these cold-blooded animals, which terrify us with pleasure, are for him a real reason for living. In his diaper, he was already catching lizards, snakes and other scale animals. With his wife Patricia, they traveled the globe to observe them in their natural environment, to understand the care they need, they are herpetologists (the science that studies reptiles)!


Marc Jaeger Planet Exotica
Marc Jaeger, creator of Planet Exotica. Photo © Miluline & Planet Exotica

Traveling allows you to rub shoulders with other cultures. Curious and open, Marc and Patricia have rubbed shoulders with peoples of all kinds and cherish a fantastic collection of souvenirs, objects and artefacts from different cultures, which the visitor will discover at the end of the walk in a dedicated museum space. Objects, but also animals : Marc loves reptiles and has, depending on the opportunities, exchanges and adoptions of abandoned animals (smuggled through customs or rejected in the sewers, it's not a myth! ) constituted an eclectic and wild menagerie.

Transmit, explain and show, this is the goal of Marc Jaeger. You will meet him in the Planet Exotica park, he is inexhaustible on his cold-blooded babies, he knows them all individually, looks after them and feeds them, with the help of 2 other caretakers. After having created a zoo specializing in reptiles in Switzerland with his collection, he imagined a traveling exhibition but quickly ran out of space for births (around 200 per year). Marc and Patricia are looking in Thailand, Florida, Spain and all over the world for a place to settle their large family. It was then that they saw an advertisement for the takeover of a park in Royan, with a very large lot and a greenhouse! It's an incredible coincidence, the structure corresponds to their project and after several months of major work to rehabilitate the abandoned greenhouse and gardens (with 4 people!), They opened Planet Exotica in 2014 with 300 animals.

Marc Jaeger Patricia jaeger
Marc and Patricia Jaeger. Photos © Planet Exotica
Planet Exotica photo exhibition
An exhibition of photos of their travels, at the end of the visit to the park


There are several highlights in the park throughout the day. You can attend shows , entertainment , but also and above all the care and feeding of animals. Marc is often present, it will be a pleasure to meet him!


Today, Planet Exotica Park is quite simply the culmination of a childhood dream. Marc is an insatiable man of knowledge, of learning. Passionate about animals, History, civilizations and peoples, he has designed a park in his own image; full of surprises and teeming with concepts. If the central point remains the tropical greenhouse and the reptiles, Planet Exotica also offers the discovery of the world of dinosaurs and botany on 6 hectares of nature... it is a stroll to be approached with the eyes of a child (by the way the little ones LOVE the park), like Alice in Wonderland who goes from one world to another tasting what she sees, with ease.

Planet Exotica the dinosaurs

Young and old, everyone is having fun at Planet Exotica
Planet Exotica

Let's study the plan before going on an adventure!

Presentation and advice for visiting Planet Exotica park

It's hard to summarize all the things to discover at Planet Exotica, the best is still to present you a map of the space .


Plan of Planet Exotica

Planet Exotica's plan in Royan Image © Planet Exotica


The park is 8 hectares, it is an absolutely lovely place in all seasons (especially in summer anyway). The first part is the tropical greenhouse and the desert one, so you're indoors and it's hot and nice. I recommend that you come with a good pair of shoes, because you will be taking a lot of steps! The park discovery circuit is a loop, with a few by-passes to avoid spaces. Picnics are allowed, several places allow you to settle down. There is also a SUPER Snack restaurant, the Sunset, which is also autonomous and open in the evening (without going through the park). The atmosphere is good and the food simple, but qualitative! 2 other restaurants are available at the entrance to the park, the Jungle Bar and the Palm Beach Lounge.

You can come with your dog, except in the greenhouse with the reptiles. Allow hat and sunscreen for the summer and children, do not hesitate to bring the stroller, the spaces are well passable. For the visit of the park , count at a running pace 2 to 3 hours. To really enjoy it , read the signs, stroll through the spaces and the gardens, taking breaks to appreciate the landscape, take advantage of the activities, workshops and the show, count the half-day, or even the whole day!


Planet Exotica

Planet Exotica Planet Exotica

The tropical and desert greenhouse

You start the visit by entering the heart of the large glass structure visible from the outside. It's a tropical greenhouse. Exuberant, colorful and graceful vegetation is expressed there. In the middle of plants and flowers, terrariums of different sizes, which welcome animals. The reptiles present are all more different than the others. To find you there, panels present them and others give you information about their natural environment. Crocodiles, alligators, snakes of all sizes, shapes and colors, lizards, turtles... A little further, it's the desert greenhouse: different humidity and we also see spiders, chameleons, scorpions... In short, it 's is an intense journey for the curious as well as the phobic of small animals.


Exotic and tropical greenhouse Planet Exotica

Crocodile Planet Exotica Planet Exotica

Planet Exotica

Planet Exotica Planet Exotica

Planet Exotica turtle

Planet Exotica Planet Exotica


Planète Exotica has a research laboratory, to study reptiles but also to work on pharmaceutical formulas from their venom. There is also a training and internship center, which allows healers to strengthen their knowledge of certain species, but also everyone to do internships to no longer be afraid of spiders or snakes. You know where to go to overcome your fear of small animals!


Planet Exotica Laboratory
Planet Exotica Laboratory Photo © Planet Exotica

Planet Exotica Desert greenhouse

Planet Exotica Desert greenhouse Planet Exotica Desert greenhouse

Planet Exotica Desert greenhouse Planet Exotica Desert greenhouse
Planet Exotica's desert greenhouses

The gardens and exteriors of Planet Exotica

You leave the greenhouse in the open air, to immerse yourself in a delicious maze of plants. On your right is the Japanese and Bonsai Garden, a haven of peace, extended by a pond of Koi carp. You pass a small bridge which offers a superb view of the entire park. A little further, some domestic animals on small islands in the middle of the river. You can then continue to the flooded forest , which reminds us that the park is located in swamps with lush vegetation.


You can rent pedal boats to walk on the water of the canals! Don't forget a cap or hat in the height of summer.



Planet Exotica Bamboo Garden
Planet Exotica Zen Garden
Planet Exotica Planet Exotica
Planet Exotica
Enjoy the magnificent outdoor spaces

Planet Exotica

Planet Exotica Planet Exotica


A fork leads you to the left towards the rest of the park, towards the entrance, to the right towards new spaces! There we find a mini-farm with animals such as goats, sheep, ducks… all the domestic poultry yard. A new space, the Gold Rush to learn more about gold panning and finally the space with tipis, dedicated to Indian culture, where the platform for the daily equestrian show is located.


Planet Exotica mini farm
The small farm, there are lots of animals, go to the Planet Exotica Facebook page to see the births and all the animals
Tipi Planet Exotica indian show
From the Indian village are the Tipis and the equestrian show; Photo of the show © Planet Exotica

We continue towards the English garden, the columbarium and the bamboo labyrinth where the children run to try to find the exit! During this time, parents can sip a drink or have a snack at the nearby Le Sunset bar. This bar is also open in the evening, atmosphere with lanterns and in small huts, it's great for an evening with friends.


Bamboo maze Planet Exotica
The Bamboo Labyrinth and the rose garden
Planet Exotica Planet Exotica
The Sunset restaurant

The next space is that of the dinosaurs, they have a whole island to themselves, surrounded by canals! It's fun, we learn more about these ancestral reptiles from those we saw previously in the greenhouse! A paleontological pit allows children to play little archaeologist explorers.


Entrance to the dinosaur park

The archeology pit
Planet Exotica's superb dinosaur park

Back towards the entrance is the Tuscan-inspired garden, with flowers , vines and an extraordinary 1800-year-old olive tree (its age is attested), probably planted in Italy by the Romans in AD 200. We arrive at the children's quarter, there are water jets to cool off in the summer, trampolines to let off steam (if walking in the park was not enough!), Spaces with bleachers for shows.


Here you can meet an (almost) real dinosaur! Larger than life, with his beautiful skin, his animated eyes and his sharp gestures… He might chase you, but I promise, he's harmless… Just deliciously scary.


Tosan garden
The Tuscan-inspired garden and in the background, a magnificent 1800-year-old olive tree!
The dinosaur Planet Exotica
The vines
Playground for children

Museum spaces, exotic collections and the laboratory

Before heading out, I hope you have some time left to discover the magnificent exotic and ethnographic objects, the collections of animals , native ornaments and photos from Marc and Patricia's travels. It is a very intimate and fascinating museum of curiosities. It is appreciable to share, through these showcases, the owners' love for life and exotic cultures. We learn surprising things, we allow ourselves to be surprised by strange objects, as if from a movie.

A research laboratory is at the end of the route, with the nursery for the animals. All the animals in the park are born in captivity. They are protected, badged for their monitoring, and some reproduce to then make conservation exchanges between zoological parks specializing in reptiles around the world. Marc has the incomparable privilege of having rubbed shoulders with these animals in their natural environment, so he can observe them and assess their state of health at a glance.


Planet exotica museum

Planet Exotica Planet Exotica

Laboratory Planet Exotica


Marc Jaeger loves his park, but still loves wild nature. This is why he launched a travel agency, Herp Safari , to take a dozen lucky people with him, to get up close and personal in the forest, the jungle, the savannah ... the species of reptiles he adores. ! Notice to the adventurer who sleeps in you ...


Just before leaving, take a tour of the boutique , which is as abundant as the park and will amaze young and old alike. Soft toys, books, objects, games, books… Everything about dinosaurs, plants, reptiles and more. We wish you a good visit of the Planet Exotica Park!


Planet Exotica Planet Exotica
The Planet Exotica store


Did you like this report? Find others on the Guide Charente Maritime blog. We also have a Charente Maritime Guide Facebook page , as well as an Instagram account @guidecharentemaritime


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