An unexpected surprise

The Oostvaardersplassen reserve proves that nature at its most beautiful can arise in truly unexpected places. Originally pencilled in as an industrial zone, today it is an area where tens of thousands of birds land to rest and feed or find a breeding and nesting ground. You can also come across animals such as wild cattle, horses and red deer here.


Remarkable origins

The Oostvaardersplassen reserve’s history is a recent one, only extending back as far as 1968 when large pools of water remained in the newly created Flevopolder. This was initially intended as an industrial zone, however it turned out that there wasn’t any real demand for such. It was subsequently decided to scatter the marshy land with reed seeds and let nature take its course. This is how the new land eventually became a new ‘wilderness’.

Bird flight path

Grand area

Tens of thousands of birds opt to rest or breed here in an area where you can also come into eye to eye contact with wild cattle, horses and red deer. Even in broad daylight foxes ply their opportunist ‘trade’. The space, the peace and quiet and the ample availability of nutritional riches prove a magnet to the ever-increasing number of different species that are attracted here.


On an adventure

Five tips on how to discover the various areas – not all freely accessible - of the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve:

  • Set off on your own to explore via one of the walking, cycle or all-terrain bike routes
  • Roam the Oostvaardersplassen reserve on a guided tour
  • Discover and enjoy the environment at one of the many observation points
  • Go on a 'safari' with a forestry guide
  • Enjoy the food and drink available in one of the two visitor centres

With children

For children


Heading out with groups

Organising a meeting in the De Oostvaarders outdoor centre, on safari with a forestry guide or an excursion with an eco-cart are just a couple of the possible options. For a full list of the possibilities, contact one of the two outdoor centres.

More information

Oostvaardersplassen gateways