Giraffe House Family outing
Giraffe House, Muldersvlei, between Paarl and Stellenbosch
As we were looking for things to do with the kids this weekend, we came across Giraffe House. Did you know that giraffes can reach almost 6 m and, therefore, the tallest land mammals on earth? Well, we met one and standing next to it was a totally different experience from seeing it from your car in a game park. Living in the city has its benefits, but one thing I miss about the farmer’s community is that we used to grow up with animals. Being amongst animals, watching their behavior, living symbiotically does something for one's soul and appreciation of life.
So in order to give my kids some exposure to animals, we sometimes drive out to phisante kraal to see their little lambs in the wild, i.e. not at an animal touch farm. I was pleased to find that giraffe house was really easily accessible from the N1 and only a short drive from the Northern suburbs. Many more family activites near Cape Town.
Meet Gerry Giraffe
Gerry Giraffe is joined by some other animal friends that have been selected to form part of their wildlife educational programs. The main aim of giraffe house is to educate and inform kids about nature and nurture. They cater from preschool and school groups to senior citizens. The wildlife education is presented in an informative wildlife conservation program suited for the individual group though general public and families are also welcome. Their popular daily interactive encounters are held at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00, giving families the opportunity to meet and hold some interesting creatures. When we were there the focus was reptile encounters. Giraffe House can be contacted to confirm shows on Monday - Friday as show times may vary according to school visits/large groups (tel.: 021 8844506).
Upon our arrival, we were surprised to see they do not take cards and the nearest ATM is back at the petrol station by the turnoff. They have started using an app “ZAPPER” to transfer money, but it does not work with debit cards or saving accounts. I would love to hear what families out there think- would you prefer carrying cash around or would you be willing to pay 5% extra (to cover their transaction costs) if you paid by card? Let’s call it a cash discount e.g. R100 to enter, R95 cash discount? Let me know @thingstodo_kids #cashorcard.
Some of the animals we saw included Zebra, Eland, Springbuck, Jackal, some smaller species and, of course, the reptiles. I would recommend taking your pram with if you have toddlers as it is quite a walk with very little shade. Take some sun hats, sunscreen and extra cash for drinks afterwards. They have a play area for kids including jungle gyms and they also host kids parties. If you plan on spending the day, you can have a little picnic there with kids running around in a relatively safe area.
At the date of this post they had the following Services and Facilities available
- 15 Hectares of land situated close to the N1 and Stellenbosch. Only 39 km from the centre of Cape Town.
- Giraffe House is an open-air facility. Please dress appropriately for winter or summer.
- Summer: A hat, sunscreen and some water are advised.
- Winter: Gumboots/old shoes and warm clothing is advised.
- Special rates available for schools and other groups of more than 15 paying visitors.
- Refreshment kiosk available, but no restaurant.
- Bring your own picnic basket - No Alcohol Permitted.
- Kiddies' party options available. See their Party Information Form on the home page.
- The lapa is a 100 square meter thatched roof lapa with drop down sides. This is available for kids’ parties, functions and talks with prior bookings.
- The play area consists of 3 jungle gyms and if the weather (and ESKOM) permits – a giraffe jumpy castle on weekends.
- Animal food is available at the entrance to treat the animals with.
- Tap water is not suitable for drinking. Bottled water available at the kiosk.
- Some of the animals might interact with you, but they do not encourage any forced interaction with them.
Pram and wheelchair Friendly, toddler and baby friendly, picnic spot, not ideal in windy rainy weather. Separate baby changing facilities- yeah, so dads can take the kids out too!
Read more about our recent family excursion to Old Paarl Road, Strawberries, Lion Park & Eaglevlei.