Tag Archives: goats

Animal Spotting at Giraffe House in Stellenbosch (2017-09-30) Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 02 SEP 2018

The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre (better known as the Giraffe House) sits on the outskirts of Stellenbosch on your way to Paarl. Their focus is on providing easy access to some of Africa’s wonderful wildlife and bird species, a place for people to enjoy being outdoors whilst experiencing and learning all about the animals – but most important of all is the fact that they are home to Gerry the hand reared giraffe.

Actually that isn’t all that accurate any more. These days the Giraffe House is home to a handful of giraffes, joining the rest of the stable that includes the likes of monkeys, meerkats, eland, bontebok, grysbok, duikers, springbok, zebra, caracal, cape fox and a black backed jackal!

In addition to the wildlife, Giraffe House also has a couple of farmyard enclosures set up, filled with goats, sheep and geese, perfect recipients for kids eager to feed the animals. (Of course this does then mean with every kid wanting to feed an animal, a lot of kids walk away slightly disappointed when the now obviously not so hungry/quite full goats refuse to take even a nibble! :D)

The center also has a collection of snakes, Nile crocodiles and tortoises on site, with the bird complement being filled by the likes of ostriches, blue crane, storks, lovebirds, parrots, ducks and even a couple of starlings.

Given the open space, the venue also makes for a great locale for kids’ birthday parties, and they have a little snack vendor and small kids play area to ensure that the kids don’t moan too much once they tire of walking about watching the animals.

My favourite part of visiting Giraffe House is however the interactive reptile show with their extremely affable host, who is guaranteed to pretty much always pull a good coupe of laughs out from the crowd.

At least this time around I didn’t end up with a tarantula on my face!

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Pro-Tip: Avoid going in the middle of the day when it is too hot – there isn’t a lot of shade, it is a lot of open ground to cover, and quite frankly neither you, your kids or the animals aren’t going to be even bothered with one another if all are miserable and drenched in sweat.

Related Link: The Giraffe House | Stellenbosch

Things to See in South Africa: The Goat Tower of Fairview in Paarl Travel Attractions 18 AUG 2016

Goats in general like climbing things. So in 1981, inspired by a tower that he had spotted in a garden at Sogrape Vinhos (Portugal), Fairview Wine and Cheese estate owner Charles Back decided to build something intended for the pleasure of his herd of 750 odd Saanen (Swiss mountain) goats.

And so the world’s first ever purpose-built goat tower was born.

fairview wine and cheese estate goat tower 1

Built out of brick and mortar with a steep metal roof and a spiraling wooden staircase (with windows), the Fairview Goat Tower quickly became a symbol of the Paarl winelands, turning these goats into probably some of the most photographed livestock in South Africa!

(Fairview Estate was one of the first estates to open to the public, a leader in the wine tourism economy. In other words, they had tourists, and tourists of course loved the goats!)

fairview wine and cheese estate goat tower 4

With the tower now a symbol of and featuring heavily in the branding of the Fairview Winery, the Fairview team also produced a wine called “Goats do Roam,” a play on the French wine growing region Côtes du Rhône.

fairview wine and cheese estate goat tower 3

In 2007 a replica tower was opened by Charles Back at the Ekeby farm in Norway as part of a collaborative intiative, and in 2011 another replica was built on the Finca el Rocio farm in Argentina.

fairview wine and cheese estate goat tower 2

Of course, there are now other famous goat towers across the world, including the massive six-story, 31-foot-tall Tower of Baaa, constructed by farmer David Johnson, to serve his herd of 34 Saanen milk goats in Findlay, Illinois (USA).

So, if you are ever in Paarl and looking for something different to see, a stop at Fairview to look at their famous goat tower might not be a bad idea at all.

fairview wine and cheese estate goat tower 5

(Though perhaps, just don’t get the goat tower tattoo as Elisabeth Holm, chef at Ekeby apparently did…)

Elisabeth Holm, chef at Ekeby and the girl with the goat tower tattoo

2017-04-22 Update: The girls and I did eventually get to see the goat tower for ourselves!

Related Link: Goat Tower | Atlas Obscura | Modern Farmer | Fairview Wine and Cheese | Wikipedia

I’m Too Big for My Shirt My Life 19 OCT 2013

I had to laugh, but poor old Jess has properly outgrown all of her 2-3 size clothes. Today I got her all dressed up for our Daddy and Daughter day of entertainment while Mommy worked the Willowbridge Market, and the plain and simple green t-shirt that Jess had picked out to wear pretty much left the whole of the bottom of her tummy uncovered!

However, she was determined to wear this piece today, so we hopped into the car and after stopping off to purchase some baking ingredients for Chantelle, I made a detour off to the mall, where we parked, marched in to Pick ‘n Pay Clothing, grabbed a 3-4 t-shirt in the same shade of green, purchased it, and once outside the store, promptly whipped off the tummy-baring, offending top for the much better fitting new wardrobe addition!

(Full disclaimer, she made me buy a pink one as well).

jessica at root 44 market play area 1

With her tummy now nicely covered, we were ready for the rest of the expedition, which saw us head out for some time spent at the Root 44 Market, playing in the play area on the slides and in the sand pit, not to mention wolfing down pancakes and listening to the live music on show.

Following on from there we also popped down to Helderberg Farm where we bought some carrots and feed and spent a decent amount of time strolling around and feeding the bunny rabbits, ducks, and rather vicious goats!

jessica feeds rabbits at helderberg farm

Oh, and there was even enough time before mommy arrived back home to still pop into the shops on our way home for supplies and booze (we’ve got visitors in the form of Retha and Miguel this evening), as well as spend some time crashing an endless amount of planes into the water in Battlestations: Pacific on the XBOX 360 – something that seems to amuse Jessica to no end!

Anyway, the point is that once we had gotten home and I threw her now very dirty clothes in the wash, I was forced to dig through her wardrobe to find something that fits her – the end result being that I had to settle on her new, just purchased this morning, bright pink t-shirt.

In other words, my little baby girl is definitely growing “up” quickly! :)

jessica goes down big slide at root 44 market

P.S. She went down the slide pictured above really, REALLY fast. Probably explains the expression!

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