Bonn is lucky enough to have its own 40 km² forest, called Kottenforst, which is a popular hiking and walking destination and also houses the Waldau animal park. The forest intrudes into many of its neighbourhoods such as Friesdorf, Ippendorf and Bad Godesberg. It is actually the eastern part of Rhineland Nature Park, which stretches across North Rhine Westphalia, the state that Bonn belongs to.
Being so vast, there are many ways to enter Kottenforst. Without intending to, we discovered more than one route during our explorations. It was almost as though the forest was calling out to us. And we were more than happy to heed its mysterious voice each and every time.
Presenting through photos and memories of a winding walk in spring – Kottenforst: The Whispering Woods of Bonn:
Another time, we encountered a different part of Kottenforst while exploring our very own backyard – Friesdorf. We hiked on an upward path to the 18th century Haus Annaberg and continued further. There, a crossroads led to Kottenforst and an animal reserve called Waldau.
Waldau Tierpark in Venusberg district houses a nice restaurant (Gasthaus Waldau) and children’s playground, but we went there to see the animals which included red deer, fallow deer, and wild boar. Children enjoy feeding the animals and petting them as they lap up the treats.
Oaks and pine trees abound in the Waldau, as do badgers, toads, and grass snakes. At night, you might hear an owl or bat. We also enjoyed the exhibits about carbon emissions from various activities like textile production. Entry to Waldau park is free of charge and it is open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM.
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