Keszthely, Hungary

In recent years and decades, Béla has hunted a wide variety of small and big game in Hungary and almost all European countries. He first hunted in Africa in the early 1990s. Since then, he has not been free from the magic of the black continent: he returns year after year, sometimes several times in the same country in the same year.

In the meantime, in the second half of the 1980s, he settled back in the country. He brought home the relics of his exceptional hunting past: his unique collection of trophies, which he donated to the Hungarian Museum of Natural History. His unique collection of hundreds of trophies includes more than 200 species of game taken outside Europe alone. There are many special specimens of exceptional size or very rare specimens.

More than 280 full-size life-size taxidermy specimens are on display in the Keszthely Hunting Museum’s dioramas.
The large male lion, the mysterious bush antelope, also known as the bongo, all three subspecies of the situtunga (swamp antelope), native to the deep African swamps, the pygmy buffalo, the black-backed bush antelope (the rare bay duiker) – whose trophy is still a world record a decade and a half after its capture, giant moose, mountain nyala, 46 cm warthog, alpine rock goat, giant rainforest hog, 158 cm Marco Polo wild sheep, giant argali, all three of the three huntable representatives of the marten goat (markhor), the Nepalese blue ram and one beautiful specimen of each subspecies of turoc. These include two world records and 25 of the top ten trophies in the Safari Club International’s world ranking of game species.

The Festetics Castle Museum of Wildlife has one of the world’s richest and most spectacular collections of trophies from five continents, with more than 280 specimens displayed in life-size and life-like environments, but its role in educating young generations, novice hunters and future professionals, as well as in disseminating information on a wide range of subjects, is of great importance and exemplary for experienced hunting travellers.

Béla leads museum groups in the Hunting Museum in Keszthely and the Forestry Museum in Sopron, presenting exhibitions and talking about his hunting adventures, especially in the mountains and rainforests, raising awareness of the importance of ethical hunting.

The museum in Keszthely has about 95,000 visitors a year.

In 2021, the exhibition was enriched with Brian Jarvi’s “African Menagerie”, courtesy of Béla. Painted by one of the United States’ most famous wildlife and nature painters, the 17-year-long hard work of the artist has resulted in one large and six small paintings depicting 209 iconic species (125 birds, 78 mammals and 6 reptiles) of the African continent. They are joined by man, who prays to God to preserve this still diverse and varied wildlife for future generations. The painting therefore has an important message of wildlife conservation, and in this way it is given a mission.

The original painting was purchased by one of the largest natural history museums in the US for $27 million. The artist made only 20 reproductions, the “example on display here” is the second in the world.