Want to hold a baby croc, meet Big Daddy the largest crocodile in Europe and see dozens of these prehistoric monsters? Then get ready to rock up to the Crocodile Park on the Costa del Sol, where you can.
Crocodiles have been on planet earth for some 240 million years, and these leathery skinned survivors are notorious hunters that in the wild will add man to a long list of prey when feeling peckish.
With such a reputation, both the park’s director and keeper, who provide guided tours and feeding demonstrations, are always on the alert using their extensive knowledge and experience of these predatory reptiles to ensure they don’t become part of the diet.
The crocodile park has been in existence since 1997, originally located in the Andalucian countryside where the intrepid paid visits. However, the move some years ago to the coast allows many more families to feel the fear and respect
There are up to 300 crocodiles living at the park and visitors can walk among them, getting as close as under two metres from those impressive jaws lined with fearsome teeth and tails that whip back and forth.
Feeding times are the most popular, when hunks of raw chicken are thrown to basking creatures, who up to that point may appear as still as felled tree trunks but which spring into life at dazzling speed to snap them up.
The crocodile nursery is another favourite and visitors can hold a baby crocodile and take as many photos as they want for free, or give 50cts to the guide who will take them.
This is a park with an African theme, with lakes and huts, and other than crocs there is a variety of exotic animals and birds to see, also a Saharan-style fortress, souvenir shop and playground.
Nile crocodiles are the world’s largest, reaching 20 feet (6metres) in length and having over 60 teeth. The park’s Big Daddy, with his cavernous mouth, is reputedly the largest croc in captivity in Europe. Crocodiles can live to about 80 years of age and can swim at 25mph using their powerful tails.
There is plenty of parking at the attraction, which is approached along Calle Cuba in Torremolinos, which neighbours Benalmádena and is under 10 minutes’ drive from Select Benal Beach.
*Open all year round from 10.00 to 18.00 (19.00 from June to the end of September), entrance is €15,50 for adults and €13 for those over 65 years and children 4-12 years (free for under 4s), with online booking discounts available. Guided tours and demonstration last two hours, and you can wander round at leisure.
*opening times and prices correct at time of publication