Durrell Wildlife Hostel Review
Growing up reading tales of Gerald Durrell’s wildlife escapades and adventures in creating a zoo on the small island of Jersey it was always my dream to not only visit the world renown Durrell Wildlife Park but to stay on site at their Durrell Wildlife Hostel. That dream came true!
Durrell Wildlife Hostel
Located in the north-east corner of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of France, is the Durrell Wildlife Park, a leader in conservation and a forward thinking zoological park. On site is the Durrell Wildlife Hostel with 35 beds and starting at £30 a night, it’s a great spot to stay while visiting the Wildlife Park or even while exploring the rest of Jersey. There’s a bus stop right out front of the Park for easy access to the rest of the island and it’s only a 10 minute walk to a coastal cliff walking trail.
The Durrell Wildlife Hostel is set in ‘Les Noyers’, an old traditional Jersey farmhouse that Durrell purchased to develop it into a residential programme of endangered species recovery training facility but in 2010 it was opened to tourists. Each room of the hostel is named after an endangered species and many of the rooms offer views of the grounds of Durrell Wildlife Park. Included in your stay is a continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and use of the computer lab and TV lounge.
Also included in your stay is a free single entry into the Durrell Wildlife Park, and what a Park it is! It’s a “zoo” but not in the traditional sense, hence the name, and is home to over 120 species ranging from lemurs to fruit bats and gorillas to a species of frog called the Mountain Chicken. The Park is home to some of the most endangered species on the planet as well as a café, restaurant and scattered throughout the day be sure to catch at least one of their keeper talks to learn more.
And that’s not all! The Durrell Wildlife Hostel also offers help with booking other exciting things to do during your stay including horseback riding, cycle tours, abseiling and so much more!
I was given a room of my own on the top floor, and upon entering I caught sight of the name of my room – Torti for the endangered saddle-backed Rodrigues giant tortoise of Mauritius, how endearing. As I entered I was welcomed by the sweet smells of fresh laundry, a perfect little bed in one corner, an old wooden desk in the other, fit for doing a little writing and three windows, one of which had sweeping vistas out over the hostel garden and even the Wildlife Park’s orangutan enclosure in the distance.
In the mornings I was awakened by the chorus of lemurs, whose enclosure was nearby, which in the moment of waking leaves you confused – did I just wake up in Madagascar? For the animal lover in me, it was an awesome way to wake. After getting ready I headed down for breakfast in their charming farm-style kitchen/dinning room and sat myself across from the fireplace. During my meal I was surrounded by families and even conservationists studying and/or working at Durrell Wildlife Park. I guarantee you will never find a dull conversation!
One of the highlights for me was the Durrell journal room, just off the t.v. lounge. Once inside and the door shut behind me I was surrounded by seemingly endless information from Gerald Durrell’s books in various languages to wildlife magazines and tons of zoo journals from zoos around the world. For a wildlife and book nut such as myself I was intoxicated by the copious reading at my finger tips.
So, whether you’re an animal nut, Gerald Durrell fan and want to stay at the Durrell Wildlife Park or you’re looking for great, affordable accommodation on the island of Jersey than a stay at the Durrell Wildlife Hostel is not only a fabulous choice but it will leave you with amazing experiences and lasting memories.
For more info on Durrell Wildlife Hostel and how to book your stay visit their site here.
Have you ever stayed at Durrell Wildlife Hostel?
I was a guest of Durrell Wildlife Hostel and as always all opinions are my own.