You might not expect to be able to go on safari in the South of France. But in fact, you can! Camargue Autrement offers adventurous safaris in 4x4s exploring La Petite Camargue or La Camargue Gardoise. It is a great introduction to this protected area, classified as one of France’s Grand Sites.
Our happy family booked the three and a half hour afternoon tour. Regarding the sunny weather, we were very pleased to leave after the great heat. The meeting point was in Grau du Roi, where Camille waited for us in her Jeep. Four in the front, four in the back and off we went! We started with the famous flamingos and the saltworks in Aigues-Mortes. Camille pulled over so that we (I…) could take photos out of the open roof and she could explain more of what we could see.
Via the medieval town of Aigues-Mortes and the Tour Carbonnière, we drove through the beautiful landscapes of La Petite Camargue. As soon as we went off the beaten track, the kids were allowed to stand on the back seats. They laughed and screamed while shaking from side to side. Full of excitement, we arrived at a breeding ranch for horses and bulls, where Camille opened the gate. This way, we could see the impressive bulls from rather close up.
Birds and horses
After the bulls, we drove off to meet the horses. The small-sized Camargue horse is an ancient breed that naturally adapted itself so that it could survive in this particular part of France. Near one of the horses, we saw a cattle egret, beautifully translated into French as ‘héron garde-bœuf’ (literally cow guard). This white bird gets rid of annoying insects that bother the horses and bulls.
After another bumpy ride, we came to the fun part of our safari: the wine tasting. Camille took us to Domaine Notaire in Vauvert, where we enjoyed some excellent wines. Along with some local snacks, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful and adventurous afternoon. What a lovely way to be introduced to La Petite Camargue!