SA petting farms and animal sanctuaries to head to this Easter

2017-03-01 18:36 - Sam Smith
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Cape Town - As much as Easter is about the chocolates, the chocolates and the chocolates - it is also about those cute little hens and the fluffy little bunnies. 

The Easter holidays make for a great time to get away from the city, hit the long road and find a bit of fun for the family. While you are strategically planning your egg hunts and family picnics, think about where you can find the Easter this year. 

South Africa has an abundance of farms and wine estates filled with adorable little animals. 

From rabbits to billy goats, lambs to ponies - here are 12 fabulous farms to find them all. 

Important things to remember when visiting animals:

1. Make your children aware that they are entering the animal's home, and when one is a visitor in another person's home we should remember to respect them, be gentle and caring. 

2. If the animal does not want to be petted - do not force it. 

3. Pet animals gently - like one does with a dog or a cat.  

4. Always supervise children when they are holding a small or young animal. It is better to sit and hold an animal too, because if it is heavy or wriggly the child might drop it.

5. If the animal is in a pen or behind a wired fence - do not stick your fingers through the fence - they could be mistaken for food. 

6. Never chase or tease animals. 

Here are nine animal sanctuaries and petting farms to check out across SA!

Imhoff Farm - Cape Town 

The Imhoff farm is lovely place near the sea and just under an hour's drive from the city centre. Little ones can pet the animals at the Higgeldy Piggeldy Farmyard - like the goats, pigs, sheep, geese, rabbits and ponies. 

If your family enjoys horse riding - then try out one of the farm's beach-ride offerings. Or perhaps you're brave enough for a camel ride? 

A photo posted by @iphonography_0312 on

Pony rides at Red berry Farm - Garden Route 

The Red Berry Farm prides itself on outdoor family fun. There are sweet pony rides in a lush green garden and little ones can feed the bunnies delicious veggies or simply watch the hopping about. 

Vergenoegd Wine Estate - Stellenbosch

One special thing about this pretty wine estate is their feathery flat-footed ducks - who love to parade and waddle around freely. The ducks suss-out all of the snails and bugs on the farm. Vergenoegd explains that there are as many as 800 ducks on the farm!

The best way to catch them all in action is to see them line up at the entrance to the vineyards - eagerly awaiting their snail and bug hunt!

Kinderplaas - Pretoria 

The Kinderplaas is a fun simple farmyard where children can spend some time getting to know rabbits, goats and ponies and chilling out with the giant pigs.

A photo posted by Helen Bosman (@helenbosman) on

Willow Feather Farm - Pretoria 

The Willow Feather Farm is a green zone for picnicking, tea parties and petting adorable animals. They have adorable rabbits, alpacas, cows and ponies.

You might enjoy the peaceful environment so much you may never want to leave. 

Bush Babies - Hartbeespoort North West

While you may not find the Easter bunny here - paying a visit to the residents at the monkey sanctuary is always memorable. 

The bush babies are orphaned and previously abused animals which have been rehomed at the sanctuary. Some are confident enough to steal the show and interact quite comically with you - while others prefer to lay low and chill in the trees. 

Pony Adventures - Drakensburg 

If you still haven't found the Easter bunny by this point - you may need to change your view a bit. Perhaps she's in the Drakensberg? Or perhaps you'll be able to spot her from a higher vantage point, like on top of a pony.

The Drakensberg Adventures offer 2-4 day pony rides through the mountains. 

Meerkat Meander - Northern Cape 

Meerkats are pretty good at finding things! They might know where the Easter bunny is hiding. Take a drive along the main road towards the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and stop off at the meerkat sanctuary run by Prof Anne Rasa and her team. 

The meerkats at the sanctuary are all rescue animals. It is a wonderful experience to see them now running freely, some still carrying little scars from their previous lives. It is a good opportunity for children to recognise that not all animals are meant to be house pets and when humans get this wrong - the consequences are near fatal. 

So let the meerkats guide you through the red dunes and update you on all the news (tracks and prints of who was where the night before) and hiding spots. 

Elephant adventures - Limpopo 

If the ponies just weren't tall enough to get a good view of the mysterious Easter bunnies - you may have to try a taller animal, like the elephant! Elephant Adventures offer elephant rides in the wild, stargazing with the elephants and even a chance to swim with them. 

Bring your hat, sunblock and keep your eyes peeled. 

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