Balaton-felvidéki National Park Directorate
The bird sanctuary, which is outstanding even in European level, 200 years ago was one of the bays of Lake Balaton, where steamboats ran. Although the marshy, swampy area is now strictly protected, tourists have an opportunity to have insight into “wild water land” by means of modern visitor centres, bird watching stations, educational paths or organised tours.
By guaranteeing undisturbed tranquillity and gradually restoring natural environmental conditions this more than 14 000 hectares of marshland is a real hydrophyte- and bird paradise. In the conservation area more than 250 bird species have been observed so far, more than half of which return to breed in the aquatic world lined with reeds and islands.
Most of the Kis Balaton can only be visited under appropriate professional supervision, but the prying eyes can watch flock of birds rich in rare species from the look-out towers and indented shores of Kányavári Island or from the bird watching huts, which can be reached from the research house of Kis Balaton in Fenékpuszta.
The starting point of the organised tours is the Kis Balaton Research House located by Road 76. From here visitors can go to Diás Island, can see the Fekete István Memorial Room or sneak into Uncle Matula’s hut. The staff of Balaton Uplands National Park also organise tours by boat into the wildlife.
It can be a unique experience to visit the Buffalo Reserve in Kápolnapuszta, where visitors can get to know this native animal species and there are a petting zoo, exhibitions, a souvenir shop and look-out points. In the historical park next to the Kis Balaton House, located in the fields of Zalavár, visitors can have insight into the history of the former County Zala.