Raising Boys / travel

Cape Town Part 3 : Country

If you haven’t read part 1 and 2 yet you can find them HERE and HERE.
The country part of our trip was intended to be a relaxed time, time to have slow mornings and rest.  See some beautiful scenery and slow lunches and just soak up being on holiday and relishing in our rest time.
Some of our top places we went to were:

Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate is in Klapmuts, now if you know Cape Town, that’s not your typical end of the “wine route” but there it is, nestled in a hollow with a large dam and gorgeous Cape Dutch architecture.  We visited this particular wine estate not only for the wine, but for the ducks.
Yup, ducks.
They have a posse of around 1500 Indian Runner Ducks that “work” the vineyards, cleaning and chomping all the snails and bugs they can find, keeping the vineyard healthy and gogga free so this eliminates the use of dangerous chemicals on the vineyard.
They do a parade with the working ducks three times a day and my kids LOVED it!  I LOVED it!! I’m a bit of a bird nut, and this was a special treat just for mama, it was my  “non negotiable holiday item” that we HAD to do.
I’ll let the photo’s tell the story, cause you really cannot use words here, it was just so overwhelming watching THAT MANY ducks pass by.

The staff there were AMAZING, from being greeted at the parking lot to walked through how things work and where to pay and being shown the deli with all it’s glorious foodie treats!  They even took the time to sit with my three year old to help him feed the ducks when he felt totally overwhelmed by it all.

We had a lovely lunch there and bought a bottle of their Runner Duck Sauvignon Blanc to take home with us (it was delicious, by the way).
Vergenoegd is definitely a wonderful place to take the kids, they have a market every Saturday where vendors come and show off their wares.  The food on the wine farm is delicious and the wine is even better!  Put this one on your list for your next visit for sure!

 
Bon Amis at Bloemendal Wine Estate was a lazy Sunday lunch visit with friends.  I know Bloemendal from years ago when I lived in Durbanville.  The local wine farms where just starting with their tasting rooms and I was buying their wine regularly, so when I saw on their website all the amazing changes that have been made there and how they’ve expanded I definitely wanted to pay them a visit.
We met with old friends for a catch up over lunch and let me tell you, the foodie in you will have a hard time choosing a meal for lunch, we struggled to decide, everything looks delicious on the menu.  We had between us four the Chicken Curry, Pizza, Seared Salmon and Roast Pork Belly, yumm!  They have a kids menu too, our kids shared corn dogs (hand made) and chips.
The kids have an outdoor area under the poplar trees with three or four different sized jungle gyms, swings, a large tubular slide section and there’s even a bike track!
I think we sat out there under the trees for close on three hours over lunch, and the kids had a blast playing and digging in the sand.

 
Butterfly World is one of those stops that you just have to make.  It’s not just a place to visit, it’s a sanctuary for abandoned and rescued animals, birds and reptiles.  People surrender their exotic pets to places like this or the animals are rescued from abusive or ill prepared homes, most of these pets are illegal.
They also have a butterfly room.  You can view the pupa busy ripening and walk around the small tropical garden with the butterfly’s flapping around you.  It’s quite magical, and my kids really enjoyed the the close up interaction with the butterfly’s.
We walked around the rest of the centre and saw lots of lizzards, big ones, snakes – also big ones, owls, meerkats and tortoises. All rescued or surrendered pets that cannot be released into the wild because of their “tame” upbringing.  It still amazes me how people still think it’s okay to take a wild animal out of it’s natural habitat and claim it as a pet, a wild animal is ALWAYS a wild animal and should stay that way.
They have an impressive collection of Tarantulas, and I got such chills from them I had to look the other way!  Did you know that it is ILLEGAL to own a Tarantula in South Africa?  People have them and then can’t keep up with their care and release them into the bush?  PLEASE DON’T!  I know I sound like a mother hen now, but this stuff is how you get giant alligators in the sewers and alien animals living in an environment that was never meant for them.
They have a large education center where school groups can come and be educated on what they do at Butterfly world, and I think this is brilliant!  We need to teach ALL our children to respect and care for the world they were giving to live in.
Okay, enough preaching, here are some photos.


 
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is, as always, beautiful.  I forgot to post about this wonderful place in my Town post previously, so I’ll slot it here at the end.
We made a special visit to walk the Boomslang.  I was not prepared for the long walk uphill.  I have since re-assessed my fitness levels and am now definitely a sloth.
Even in the middle of the drought, the gardens looked amazing, green manicured lawns and lush vegetation, they are very well cared for.

After our long trek up the mountain – jokes, it’s a hill – we had a drink at Moyo and the boys played on their very inventive play area.  It was a fun afternoon outdoors for all of us.

That brings my Cape Town series to a close.  There is so much more to say about the captivating mother city that we love so much, but I think I’ve given you a big enough snippet to make you want to go make memories of your own there.
 

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