Al(pack)a your Bags for these Fluffy Getaways
When Agnes in Despicable Me said, ‘It’s so fluffy I could die!’ we felt that. That’s why TravelGround has compiled a list of stays where alpacas strut their feisty selves right there on the premises and you can aw and ooh to your heart’s content.
Fynbos Guest Farm
Near Wolseley, Western Cape
This working farm at the foot of the Witzenberg Mountains seeks to restore the property’s natural fynbos and renosterbos ecology and has become a shelter for a variety of animals both feathered and fluffy. From zebras to emus and potbelly pigs to alpacas ─ approximately 90% of the animals on the farm are rescues. Guests are welcome to bring fruits and vegetables to feed the animals and can even sponsor them by making a donation toward their care.
The stay: Accommodation is offered in two-sleeper or four-sleeper self-catering cottages, two B&B rooms, or at camping sites with ablution facilities and electricity. There are two small plunge pools on site and nearby Tulbagh has shops and sights to peruse.
Near Fouriesburg, Free State
There are many different farming ventures on this scenic estate, but its most quirky agricultural pursuit is alpacas. Fairview’s herd hails from the first fifty alpacas imported to South Africa in 2001 and their progeny have been living on the estate ever since. So come and meet Captain Russo, Pedro, Napoleon Dynamite, and Fairview’s other plucky alpacas!
The stay: Accommodation is offered in four unique accommodation options, but the Twin Towers, a three-storeyed, refurbished silo with a wood-burning fireplace, is the best option if you’d like to be close to the fluff. The communal pool is also located behind the Towers. Do note that a high-clearance vehicle is recommended. The artsy village of Clarens is just 50 kilometres away.
Buffelshoek Dirosie Lodge Cradock
Near Cradock, Eastern Cape
This game lodge boasts alpacas and their larger family members, llamas, not to mention a variety of game. The alpacas at Buffelshoek Dirosie Lodge stay in a sheep camp where their innate feistiness makes them the perfect deterrent for jackals.
The stay: Accommodation is available in double, twin, triple, and quad family rooms, each with its own bathroom and basic self-catering facilities. The lodge is just 19 kilometres from Cradock making it the ideal, quiet escape while still being conveniently close to town.
Comfrey Cottage Collection
Set at the foot of the Witteberg Mountains in Lady Grey, this four-star guest house offers lush, park-like gardens in summer and a blanket of snow during winter. Stroll along the river, through the orchards, herb and vegetable gardens, and finish by feeding the alpacas who are always keen for an extra bite to eat!
The stay: Accommodation is offered in three uniquely-decorated cottages, each containing a number of en-suite bedrooms. Be treated with homemade buttermilk rusks and a welcoming sherry and if you prefer a self-catering stay, this can also be arranged. The guest dining room and lounge area has a log fire during winter and lovely fresh mountain breezes in summer.
Oude Wellington Estate
Situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Oude Wellington Estate produces wine and brandy and offers loads of entertainment such as open-air table tennis, a big chess set, a swimming pool, and a host of friendly animals for parents and children alike to pet. These include dogs, cats, geese, ostriches, and alpacas, most of which will come when called.
The stay: Accommodation is offered in five air-conditioned, self-catering rooms with free Wi-Fi. Alternatively, guests can stay in a collection of cottages sleeping up to five. Guests can have dinner in the rustic restaurant under the shady oak trees or inside the working distillery.
Bright Valley Tented Chalets
Near Caledon, Western Cape
Nestled in Tesselaarsdal near Caledon, Bright Valley Tented Chalets offers the ultimate getaway experience complete with a splash pool, a trampoline, and jungle gym for the kids, as well as a petting farm with alpacas. The alpacas at Bright Valley are brothers named Thumper and Chaos, and they share their home with the dwarf goats Bucky, Billy and Nelly, a rabbit family and two zebras.
The stay: Accommodation is offered in elevated tented chalets boasting a breathtaking panoramic view of the mountains. Each tent has a kitchenette, bathroom, lounge, deck, and a private boma. The arty coastal town, Hermanus, is only 45 kilometres away.
Blesfontein Guest Farm
Near Sutherland, Northern Cape
Situated on the Roggeveld escarpment with a spectacular night sky, this guest farm offers game viewing on horseback, an amateur observatory, occasional snow in wintertime, carpets of flowers in spring, and, of course, some tame animals to admire which include (you guessed it) alpacas! The tame animals are all used to being hand-fed and therefore love visitors.
The stay: Accommodation is offered in ten basic self-catering units. Some have communal kitchens, but each has its own bathroom and most have an indoor fireplace or a braai. Dinner and breakfast are available by prior arrangement.
Whether you’re looking for the next weekend getaway with the kids in tow, or are only in it for the fluff factor, a herd of irresistibly cute faces await at these hand-picked stays.
Main image: Bigstock
All photos from TravelGround unless stated otherwise.