If simply looking at animals is not enough for you, here are some great interactive animal experiences you can do in the Cape.

1. SIT ON AN OSTRICH  

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The Cape Town Ostrich Ranch gives you the opportunity to get up close with ostriches. In addition to learning about the magnificent giant birds, you get to engage with them in many exciting ways. You can feed them, see the baby chicks (in the right season) and if you are feeling brave enough, you can sit on their backs and snap a great pic. For those who would rather admire at a distance, you get to test the strength of an ostrich egg by standing on them. Whether you engage or not, a trip to the Ostrich Ranch is worth it for one little detail: you could see the world’s smallest ostrich, named Tom Thumb. He officially holds the Guinness World Record.

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Where Old Malmesbury Road, Cape Town
Contact +2721 972 1669, [email protected]www.ostrichranch.co.za

2. DIVE IN THE TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM EXHIBITIONS  

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Seeing the incredible marine life through the glass at the Two Oceans Aquarium is incredible, but imagine getting inside the tank! If you have a diving license, you can dive in either the Kelp Forest or the Predator tank and see the fish from a different (and awesome) perspective. If you don’t have a diving licence, don’t worry. There are other ways for you to interact with the marine wildlife. You can meet the penguins or dip your hands in the touch pools and feel the kelp, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs.

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Where The Two Oceans Aquarium, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Contact +27 21 418 3823, [email protected]www.aquarium.co.za

3. PET A FLUFFY ALPACA  

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If you go crazy at the sight of of furry creatures, you will love Alpacas. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Alpaca, it is a South American animal belonging to the camel family. They produce a great fibre that is processed and weaved at The Alpaca Loom. Most importantly, they are extremely cute and you get to pet and feed them in the petting zoo area. This is sure to delight kids and adults alike.

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Where Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Klein Landskroon Farm, Paarl (directions)
Contact +27 84 793 3666, [email protected]www.alpacas.co.za

4. CHILL OUT WITH PENGUINS 

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A trip to Cape Town is not complete without a visit to see the penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. This world famous colony of African penguins is one of the few in the world. Watching the cute little birds in their natural habitat is truly remarkable. After seeing the colony you can head on over to Boulders Beach, where the penguins roam free. Your beach experience is not cool unless you see a penguin in the water near you.

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Where 1 Kleintuin Rd, Simons Town
Contact +27 21 786 2329

5. CLOSE UP WITH CROCODILES 

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Crocodiles may not be cute or cuddly, but they definitely are awesome. Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm has guided tours of their various dams, which are home to 1000 reptiles. You also get to hold a baby crocodile, and for the more adventurous and fearless among you, you can go crocodile cage diving with African Croc Dive. It is quite an experience.

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Where Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm, Babylonstoren Road, R45, Paarl
Contact +21 863 1142, [email protected]www.lebonheurcrocfarm.co.za

6. SNORKELLING WITH SEALS  

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Seeing seals at the V&A Waterfront or in Kalk Bay is always a treat. Swimming with them is even better! Animal Ocean arranges snorkelling trips in Hout Bay, during which you get to experience seals on a whole other level. You get into the water with marine guides. as well as owner and zoologist Steve Benjamin, who take you out to where the seals are happily frolicking. All you need to know is how to swim. Animal Ocean provides everything else. For those who have a diving licence and would like to do that, there is an option for you. All you have to do is email Animal Ocean ahead of time.

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Where Outside the NSRI station 8 building, Hout Bay Harbour off Harbour Road
Contact [email protected], www.sealsnorkeling.com

7. HOLD A BIRD OF PREY 

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Seeing bird of prey up close shows you how truly remarkable these creatures are. At Spier wine farm you’ll find Eagle Encounters, a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism centre. There you can see all kinds of birds, from eagles to owls. You can also hold and stroke the birds and witness wonderful flying shows and demonstrations, learning all about them in the process.

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Where Spier Estate, R310, Stellenbosch
Contact +27 21 858 1826, [email protected]www.eagle-encounters.co.za

8. WALKING AMONGST THE BUTTERFLIES 

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No matter your mood, a butterfly can brighten up your day. At Butterfly World you get to walk through a warm tropical area that is filled with the colourful insects. Try and spot them in between the wonderful flowers and bushes, or watch them as they fly in the air. There are plenty of other fascinating animals to see here, such as parrots, lizards, spiders and tortoises.

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Where On the R44, Klapmuts (near Stellenbosch, just before the Franschhoek turn-off)
Contact [email protected]www.butterflyworld.co.za 

9. FEED A GIRAFFE 

 

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You probably thought you’d never see a giraffe’s face up close, what with their long legs and necks. The Giraffe House educates you about these gentle giants and gives you the opportunity to feed them. There are also other great animals you can interact with, making a day out at Giraffe House a must for all animal lovers.

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Where Corner of R304 (towards Stellenbosch) and R101 (towards Paarl)
Contact +27 21 884 4506, [email protected], www.giraffehouse.co.za

10. WATCH THE DUCK PARADE 

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This is less of an encounter and more of a unique site that everyone should see. On the Vergenoegd Wine Estate, hundreds of ducks are sent forth to the vineyards to eat, and therefore get rid of, all the unwanted slugs and pests. Every day at 9:45 am the ducks set off to the fields for their day’s walk, and return at 3:30 pm. This is known as the ‘duck parade’, and is a treat to see.

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Where Vergenoegd Wine Estate, R310 Baden Powell Drive, Faure, Stellenbosch
Contact +27 21 843 3248, [email protected], www.vergenoegd.co.za

Photography Archives, Animal Ocean 

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