Cheetahs at Spier in the Stellenbosch Winelands

28 Oct

Author: Kendal

Hello, long time no blog 🙂 .

Last week we went to this place called Spier.  Originally the plan was to eat BIG for lunch at a really cool restaurant at Spier called Moyo (it’s buffet style) and has an African music show, but . . . we decided it was best if we just went to see the animals rather than pig out.  The cool thing about Spier is that it is not only a vineyard, but it has Moyo, another restaurant called Eight, cheetah’s, horseback riding, segway tours, a hotel (we ate in their bar), and it has a bird-of-prey rehabilitation center. Driving up we immediately saw the cheetah’s, they were big and beautiful let me tell you, they are something else 🙂 . We had wanted to come and see them but learned when we called that cubs would be coming in October so we waited to visit so we could see the cubs.  It was awesome to see them.   Dad and I even got to pet one! We only pet the older cheetah because the rest of my family didn’t want to go in with the babies, and me being the baby that I am didn’t want to go in by myself. The cubs had just arrived that Monday (they were pretty big for cubs) and they weren’t used to visitors petting them so we had to stick with our new family motto “you can never be too safe” (I made that up last week).  Then we jumped right next door to be with the birds.  We got right in to a show that was going on, they gave us each a special glove and we got to hold the birds on our arms, they were quite scary because they were so close that if they wanted to they could have poked our eyes out!  We also learned that they don’t use their beaks to kill prey but they use their talons (feet), they have the death grip and once they hold their prey they never let go unless they are eating it. They have a lot of different owls there that we were able to hold and pet.  They are extremely soft.  Two of the owls have been together since they were babies.  One a spotted Eagle Owl and one a Barn Owl.  We learned that they imprinted on each other and the Eagle Owl thinks he’s a Barn Owl and the Barn Owl thinks he’s an Eagle Owl – pretty cool.  We got to hold “Wally” the Walbergs Eagle later, and when we were petting her she thought we were picking off her ticks for her so she nibbled our fingers to take off our “ticks” as well, she was returning the favor :). It was so cool we even kissed her but sadly Mom didn’t get to take the picture fast enough.

Mom(to Keegan): When you kiss her do it nice and slow so I can take a picture, you kissed her way to fast, nice and slow…

Keegan: Mom I already kissed her like 3 times!

Cheetah cub Chillin' in the sun

These are the cute cubs that just arrived, pretty big cubs don't you think! And they were running around like crazy.

This 6-year-old cheetah was really relaxing when we pet him but later we saw him staring at the cubs that were in a different area. When the trainer tried to grab his leash the cheetah growled and snapped at him, it was really scary. The trainer backed away and said that the only thing this cheetah wants to do right now is kill those cubs. He wasn't used to them being around yet.

Good thing we had the gloves.

She kept staring at me but I got used to her really fast, she was so gentle.

This bird really liked Keegan!

We also did a hike called a The Moon Rise, where you climb up a mountain as the sun is setting and then climb down when the moon is out. While you are on the top you have the picnic dinner that we packed. We, being the Nervous Nellies that we are, went up early, ate and then went right back down when it was still light out. Reason being is that it was a very treacherous walk up, especially towards the top, at one point we were on all fours going up huge rocks, very scary.  We would be coming down with a couple of torches (flashlights) but no light from the moon because it was cloudy.  The view was breathtaking :)!  We only took a few pictures though because it was extremely cloudy, and you couldn’t really see the moon rise or the sunset with all of the clouds.  I hope that the few that we did get show the great view of all the vineyards around us.  Hopefully next time we’ll get a less cloudy night.

Here's my family on the way up the mountain for a picnic.

As you can see it was a lot of hard work getting to the top.

That's my mom and a nice view of the gorgeous valley.

1 Comment

Posted by on October 28, 2011 in South Africa


One response to “Cheetahs at Spier in the Stellenbosch Winelands

  1. Julie E

    October 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    You all are too funny. Great posts and pics.
    miss ya,


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