Butterfly World is the largest park with free flying butterflies to be found within South Africa. Situated near Paarl, it is home to more than 24 species of exotic butterflies and a large variety of birds. There is also a spider room with glass displays of indigenous and exotic spiders and scorpions. There is an outdoor garden in which you will find a large aviary, a meerkat enclosure, and wandering ducks, chickens and goats eagerly awaiting the seed and fodder that children can buy from the gift shop in order to hand feed them. Another venture is a large iguana cage which shows off these large lizards in their tropical environment.
The Cheetah Outreach centre, situated at Paardelvlei in Somerset West, is a fun and educational outing for children and adults alike. Visitors can enjoy a personal encounter with an adult cheetah or with a cheetah cub. The Cheetah Outreach project is a fantastic initiative which aims to raise awareness of the decline in cheetah numbers due to loss of habitat, predation and poaching. Currently there are about 20 cheetahs at the centre.
The Drakenstein Lion Park situated in the Paarl Valley, is a sanctuary for captive born lions that cannot be rehabilitated into the wild. Currently there are 40 lions, including a one white lion. Guests can stroll through the park at leisure, and view these magnificent animals at eye level or get a bird’s eye view from one of the raised viewing platforms. There are also ostriches and farm yard animals which are on the park.
Le Bonheur Crocodile farm between Paarl and Franschhoek, is a registered breeder of the African Nile Crocodile. An ideal family destination, the farm houses over 1000 crocks and offers an insightful glimpse into these pre-historic reptiles. Guided croc pond tours leads you across open dams via ramp ways and guests will also meet Snowy, an albino crocodile. Tours are interactive and visitors have an opportunity to touch and hold a baby crock. The visitor centre also offers catch and release fishing in their well stocked dam which holds Bass and Tilapia.
Monkey Town is a sanctuary for monkeys and apes with more than 230 animals and 28 different exotic monkey species and the famous chimp sisters. Situated just outside of Somerset-West, park is designed in such a way, that the visitors wander through walkways and the monkeys roam freely. There is interaction with tame monkeys under guided supervision, koi ponds and many bird species and small antelope on the premises.
Spier is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa situated in the heart of the Stellenbosch winelands. Spier’s beautiful gardens offer an ideal picnic area and playground for children. Kids can clamour over rocks and have fun on the lawns while parents can lounge enjoy a glass of award-winning Spier wine. Supervised pony and cart rides are available on the lawns and there is also a horse carriage tour and an equestrian centre for older children.
A visit to the Eagle Encounter at the Spier Wine Estate is a fascinating experience for both children and adults. The centre is a bird of prey rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism project on the Spier Estate. There are a variety of fun and informative displays and parents will see the kid’s excitement as Hank trains hand raised eagles to fly or observe the hunting styles of various birds of prey.
Strawberry fields and scarecrows await pickers in the Cape summer season. Strawberry picking begins in November and is a fun family outdoor activity. Mooiberg Farm is placed in a very beautiful part of the Cape, close to Stellenbosch and has a backdrop of the scenic mountains and surrounded by vineyards. Enjoy the summer sun and the fresh, delicious, juicy hand picked by you and your family.
The Giraffe House is a privately-owned centre situated between Klapmuts and Stellenbosch. Giraffe House promotes education, knowledge and respect of African wildlife and its heritage, in order to ensure their well-being and preservation within their natural habitats on the African continent. Giraffe House has some pretty special animals which kids will love! There is the smallest antelope in the world, the blue duiker, as well as the largest antelope in the world, the eland, the tallest animal in the world, the giraffe, as well as the largest and meanest reptile in Africa, the Nile crocodile to name but a few. A daily animal encounter show is very popular and visitors have the opportunity to meet and hold some interesting creatures.
The Toy and Miniature Museum in Stellenbosch is a world of enchantment and offers the chance for young and old to experience the wonderful world of toys. The museum gives an overview of toys through the years. The museum houses a collection of 1:12 scale miniatures, room boxes, miniature houses, antique dolls, cars, cuddly toys and others! A extremely detailed and lifelike miniature of South Africa’s famous Blue train – the only one of its kind in Africa, is on show, the train travels from a miniature Stellenbosch, through the Cape Winelands and the mountains to the Karoo where it passes Matjiesfontein before it returns back to Stellenbosch. The Museum has a small shop where the Doll’s House furniture, accessories and many other gifts and treats are offered for sale.