The Ecological Buffalo Reserve, Kápolnapuszta
Meet extraordinary native animals in the Kápolnapuszta Buffalo Reserve, right between Zalakomár and Malatonmagyaród, and admire hundreds of buffalo lounging and bathing in the mud. Walk the 1.5-km interactive educational buffalo trail and learn almost everything about the eating and breeding habits as well as the behavior of these 700-kg animals.
Buffalo were once common domestic animals in Hungary, but they almost disappeared by the middle of the 20th century. Boasting 250-300 specimens, Kápolnapuszta is the largest of the various gen-protecting reserves that were established to provide a peaceful home to and maintain the genetic heritage of Hungary's native buffalo. Buffalo were once used for their milk, meat, skin, and their strength to pull carts.
Become familiar with the gentle, dark animals as you take this path supplied with a picnic area, information boards, a lookout tower, and an exhibition with further displays about buffalo. Along your 1.5-km journey down the trail, stop to study the numerous buffalo herds from various observation points—through binoculars, from a deer stand, or up close (with, of course, a fence in between).
See the exciting sight of a buffalo herd marching
If you are lucky, you may catch a herd in motion and see how furry calves follow the robust cows. Buffalo like living next to the Balaton lake and can spend several hours in the mud to cool themselves during hot Hungarian summers. For a better understanding about these fascinating animals, visit the interactive exhibition about the flora and fauna of Kis-Balaton, part of the Balaton-felvidéki National Park, and get acquainted with the buffalo-raising traditions of the past. Check the website of the national park for upcoming events, like the Buffalo Festival held every year in May.