Eriksberg Vilt- och Naturpark
Nature and wildlife park near Karlshamn
Eriksberg Vilt- och Naturpark, one of the largest wildlife parks in Northern Europe, is located about 9 kilometers northeast of Karlshamn at the archipelago of Blekinge. The total area is about 1,300 hectares, of which are about 400 hectares of water and more than 900 acres of fenced wildlife park.
More than 50,000 visitors every year are drawn in the spell of the very special atmosphere of this little wilderness in Eriksberg Vilt- och Naturpark. Red and fallow deer, wild boar, bison and mouflon live in a unique natural environment. With a little luck you get to see even sea eagles. The animal population in summer is a total of about 1,500 animals in the park.
The lake Färsksjön contains the world's largest continuance of strictly protected red water lily. The first water lilies came from the lake Fagertärn in the Tiveden national park at the boundary between the historic provinces of Närke and Västergötland. They were settled in the 1950s in Eriksberg, to form a natural reserve stock. They chose the Färsksjön because it is located in a well-protected area, has the appropriate water depth and the right soil conditions and is also far enough away from Fagertärn, so that the two water systems may not have a connection with each other.
On a 10 kilometer loop trail through the park you drive your own car through beautiful coastal scenery consisting of shady deciduous forests and fascinating cliffs. One may stop anywhere, look, filming and take photos. At three points, at the romantic bay Mahraviken, at the resting place Kyrkesta and on the grounds of the main yard, it is allowd to get out of the car.
On the site of the large main house is a modern hotel complex with 29 rooms and the historical buildings of the farm house include two restaurants, a small café, a farm shop and exhibitions on the history of Eriksberg.
At the entrance to the wildlife park you can borrow an English CD that provides valuable information about the park and about various interesting points while driving. Dogs may be carried along and must be leased outside the vehicle. Guided tours are also possible, but must be pre-booked.
A safari with your own car is only possible in the season from the beginning of April to the end of August. Outside of the season, only guided tours are possible. Access to hotel and restaurant is possible all year round.
In the 17th century, the area was in possession of the former Danish country estate Mara and consisted of the estate, several smaller farms, a brick factory and a mill. After the Peace of Roskilde, the area fell to the Swedish crown. In 1770, the former Swedish Finance Minister Baron Eric Ruuth bought the territory and renamed it in Ericsberg. He also built the main yard building.
The most famous owner of Eriksberg was the wildlife photographer, filmmaker and author Bengt Berg. He bought it in 1938 for the purpose of his research on deers. The agricultural and forestry uses of the site was completely shut down. The inhabitants of the very small farms were resettled and the area left to itself, to restore the original, natural state. Berg began to fence the area to prevent influences such as immigration and emigration of animals and to create a self-regulating biosphere. The fence was recently finished by his son in 1976.
The subsequent owner Alexander Wendt opened Eriksberg to the public and began to create the wildlife park as a tourist attraction like it is today. Since 2007 Eriksberg is owned by the Melby Gård AB group now.