In late May, 2022 we visited the Vivarium Darmstadt, which is a nice compact zoo near the Lichtwiese campus of the technical university. Afterwards we went on a walk in the forest nearby with some of my colleagues to see the Waldkunstpfad, a trail featuring various objets d'art.

Of course the Vivarium is not a serious zoo (a serious zoo would have penguins) but it still offers a nice selection of mostly small(ish) animals. We actually came to see the tapirs, which – like the milk in a supermarket – have their enclosure in the area farthest from the entrance, so you get to look at all sorts of other animals on the way there and back. There are lots of interesting birds but also some quadrupeds and assorted creepy-crawlies.

We didn't get to see the Bennett kangaroo, presumably because it had run away with Mr Wickham, the crocodile seemed to be taking a nap at the bottom of a very murky water tank, and according to the explanation the zebras are taking turns in their outside enclosure with the antelopes, so as the antelopes were there, the zebras must have gone for ice cream or something until it's their time again (the placard didn't say whether they change on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis). The coati enclosure was empty because the last coati had died in February and the Vivarium can't get any new ones as they're considered an invasive species; in the meantime while the Vivarium people are figuring out what to do with the recently-empty coati place it seems to have been invaded by a large number of very photogenic frogs.

The Waldkunstpfad (forest art trail) offers a considerable number of pieces of sculpture of varying quality, originality, and purpose. Some of them were good fun, though. After a while we reached the top of the Luisenhöhe, from where there is a very scenic panoramic view across the Rhine-Main area and towards Frankfurt. (The view would presumably be even better if the viewing tower was open, but it is apparently under heavy reconstruction. Perhaps some other time.)

Click on any picture for an enlarged view.