Loads of kiddy fun to be had in Paarl

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Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - THEM­BEKA DLAMUKA

THE school hol­i­days are over but next time your fam­ily is lucky enough to have a break think about spend­ing the day in Paarl and its sur­rounds.

The Drak­en­stein Mu­nic­i­pal­ity took some lo­cal kids out for a day of fun in and around Paarl at the end of the hol­i­days. JBJ went along. A pet­ting zoo, croc­o­diles, a jump­ing cas­tle and a mys­tery ac­tiv­ity box made it a day to re­mem­ber.

There’s plenty for kids to do in this scenic part of the Boland. For one thing there’s the Le Bonheur croc­o­dile farm where you can learn about – and meet – these an­cient and po­ten­tially deadly rep­tiles.

A guided tour of the croc pond, where about 1 000 of these rep­tiles hang out, pro­vided a chance to get up close and per­sonal by hold­ing and touch­ing one of the smaller crocs. For the ad­ven­tur­ous, Le Bonheur has re­cently in­tro­duced a croc cage dive – but you have to be older than 9. The fam­ily-owned farm is also home to emus and pot­belly pigs. There’s a dam for catch­ing and then re­leas­ing fish and a cozy pizze­ria. All of which adds up to a great place for an out­ing, or even a birth­day party.

At the Al­paca Loom farm kids get to play with some of the 330 al­pacas. These an­i­mals orig­i­nate in South Amer­ica al­though they seem very at home in Paarl. They weigh 50-90kg and come in 12 dif­fer­ent colours and many shades. They are clean and in­quis­i­tive an­i­mals and have beau­ti­ful fleeces, which are clipped once a year. Far­mowner Ker­stin Heis­terkamp said al­pacas were not too big and did not need much main­te­nance com­pared to other live­stock. This made them ideal for small farms. Al­pacas don’t bite or butt. If they are con­fused or fright­ened, they sim­ply lie down. Spit­ting is one of their few means of de­fend­ing them­selves. For­tu­nately, spit­ting is some­thing they do to show other al­pacas who is boss, rather than at hu­mans.

After learn­ing about ex­otic crea­tures, Rhe­bok­skloof Wine Es­tate was the per­fect lunch spot. It has hectares of lawns, a jun­gle gym and a jump­ing cas­tle, and there is a kids’ menu at the restau­rant. Spe­cial events and fes­ti­vals such as the Om­miBerg see Romp­ing Ras­cals trans­form the area with toys, an ob­sta­cle course, push­bikes, trac­tor trikes and a tram­po­line – with adult su­per­vi­sion. On Sun­days there are pony rides.

Fri­day’s grand fi­nale came at the Neder­burg Wine Es­tate where the staff have de­vel­oped a fun kids’ tast­ing with a mys­tery box. A clue is cho­co­late, straw­berry, marsh­mal­lows and cook­ies all fea­ture.

The last word goes to one of the kids, Ben Ros­siter, 9. Ben said he had the time of his life and would def­i­nitely be back to visit the al­pacas.

An al­paca heads over for some pet­ting from par­ents and kids at the Al­paca Loom farm. In front is Jaime Withers, 8.

Lea Goebel, 5, feeds al­pacas a treat of dry grass.

Chil­dren en­joy the out­door play space at Rhe­bok­skloof.

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