See the animals between the vineyards in Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is filled with beautiful valley's filled with vineyards boasting some of the best wine in the world. However, what many people don't know about are the animals in the area and the many reserves and parks in and around the area designed to be both a home and protection for some of South Africa's favourite animal world species. Many of them are in close proximity to the wine farms themselves, which means you can enjoy two fantastic offerings from Stellenbosch at the same time, only a short distance from your Stellenbosch accommodation.
The Eagle Encounters Centre at Spier works as a raptor rescue centre as well as a place for people to learn more about South Africa's collection of Falcons. Most of the falcons are rehabilitated at the centre and then released into the wild while some of them call the centre their home and interact with visitors during falconry displays. See buzzards, hawks, falcons and owls do what they do best and then enjoy a meal, picnic or a wine tasting on the Spier farm.
For those who enjoy a good dose of bird viewing matched with wildlife, head to Vredenheim Big Cats Park where you can enjoy the company of Africa's beautiful cats such as white lions, leopards, cheetahs, lynx and the new addition; a tiger cub. In amongst these giant cats you will also catch a glimpse of game, the likes of Springbok, Eland, Zebra with a few geese and fish eagles flying overhead and guinea fowls running between your legs.
If however you prefer to see your game from a distance, in a vehicle with a well-trained guide then the Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary will provide the perfect opportunity for you. The area is filled with Springbok, Red Haartebeest, Eland, Gemsbok, Bontebok, Zebra and Bush Pig. Villiera is one wine farm in particular where it's simply not advised to leave before wine and cheese tasting – a fantastic way to end your game viewing.
What all these parks and reserves seem to be missing though is giraffes, which is why those who have a special love for these long-necked giants should head to Giraffe House where you can walk around and enjoy an educational talk on these and other majestic game creatures. The park offers guided tours on request, allowing you to see vervet monkeys, zebras, meerkats, giraffes, ostriches and Nile crocodiles up close – well, not too close to the crocs.
If the thought of getting too close to a few animals with teeth isn't really to your taste then head to the Butterfly farm; a 1000sm tropical garden in a green house filled with butterflies – truly boutique accommodation for butterflies. The sight of these colourful and quiet creatures truly is breathtaking. For the more adventurous though, the farm also houses spiders, scorpions and an iguana. The farm imports 500-800 butterfly pupae per week of all different species; bound to provide you with a butterfly experience quite different to the one found in your back garden.
About the Author:
Villa Grande offers warm-hearted boutique hotel accommodation in Stellenbosch and is situated in the historic centre of the town in the beautiful Cape winelands.
Contact Niel today to find out more about visiting Stellenbosch .