Why walk a dog, when you can walk an alpaca?
Move over unicorns. Move over sloths. Today belongs to the alpacas (and llamas, but most people can’t tell the difference anyway)!
Go to any random store in the high street and chances are, you will run into an alpaca-something. Alpaca mugs, alpaca stuffed toys, alpaca duvet covers, alpaca slippers, alpaca backpacks, alpaca alpaca alpaca. Alpacas are simply everywhere.
And are we really surprised by this? I mean, I am not. Have you looked at them? So cute! So adorable! Sure, there is this spitting thing that they do, but… THEY ARE SO FLUFFY!
Cows better watch their backs…
Their increasing popularity means that their number has been growing in the Netherlands. Rogier van Bree from Alpaca Association Benelux has estimated that there are now some 2.000 alpacas in the country, with the Netherlands home to around 130 farms, housing a minimum of 10 alpacas each. This means alpaca numbers have doubled since 2014, according to the NOS.
And dogs better watch their backs too!
The latest trend concerning alpacas is alpaca-walking. Many of the aforementioned alpaca farms offer a chance for you to feed the alpacas, and take a nature walk with them. And I was lucky enough to do just that at River Forelands in Wamel, Gelderland. Without getting spat on!
Alpaca farms in the Netherlands
If this seems like it could be your thing too (how could it not be), here are some alpaca farms in the Netherlands that offer alpaca nature walks:
River Forelands - Gelderland
River Forelands is an alpaca farm that breeds alpacas. Their herd consists of multiple prize-winning stallions and mares of different colours and ages.
After welcoming you with some tea and / or coffee and a snack, you will get a short talk about the farm and its animals (what’s their wool like, why do they spit, what’s the difference between a llama and an alpaca, can you eat them?)
After this informative talk, you will be able to feed the mares and their little ones (if there are any). After feeding, you will receive a short instruction about the walk and off you will go with some of their stallions.
The experience (talk, feeding, walk) takes 1,5 to 2 hours and costs 20 euros per person for a group walk. Private walks are also possible, but costs vary.
Alpaca Oord – Drenthe
The family behind alpaca farm Alpaca Oord in Drenthe fell in love with the animals after watching the Australian TV show McLeod's Daughters. Now, 10 years later, they specialise in raising alpacas and are dedicated to helping people understand their behaviour.
The walk starts at the farm and will take you to the surrounding forest. A minimum of one alpaca per two people will join you and your friends. This popular alpaca walk is often fully booked, so be sure to sign up for the waiting list!
The Alpaca Experience in Drenthe costs 25 euros per person, with a max of 10 people per group for 2 hours (75 min walk, 15 min meet and greet).
Alpacahoeve Klinkenberg – South Holland
Situated in Sassenheim, Alpacahoeve Klinkenberg is a small, family-run alpaca farm situated in the tulip region of the Netherlands. Not only do they offer alpaca walks, but they also offer other alpaca experiences, such as alpaca yoga (goat yoga, what?) and mindfulness with alpacas.
Walks cost 25 euros per person and they take around 1,5 hours.
Alpaca Teatime Lemelerveld - Overijssel
A special mention goes to Alpaca Teatime Lemelerveld. They don’t offer alpaca walks; however, they do offer teatime with alpacas! Cuddle up with the cuties while sipping on tea and munching on cookies, candy and other delicious snacks!
Costs run from 22,50 euros per person for the cheapest package to 44,50 euros per person for the most expensive package.
Ready to walk an alpaca?
Have we got you all inspired to take your own trip to one of these farms to walk an alpaca for yourself? Or have you already taken an alpaca for a walk and know a great place to do it? Drop us a comment below!