This one pretty much does what it says on the box – but it’s certainly a unique experience. The brace (it’s the right collective noun – check it!) of Indian Runner Ducks at Vergenoegd make the journey from the farm’s dam to the vineyards three times a day, where they help boost the farm’s biodiversity credentials by eating the snails and bugs that would otherwise threaten the vines and grapes – instead of using pesticides.

They’re herded to a ‘starting line’ of sorts at a set of gabled gates by some very patient team members, where they all stand proudly and wait for a signal. There’s a pathway charted for them through the grounds in front of the homestead by a set of shin-high barriers, lined by enthusiastic visitors who travel from far to see the parade. Once all the ducks are gathered, there’s a signal of sorts and the waddling begins.

A curious Indian Runner Duck quirk is the way they waddle – leaning forwards with their wings tucked back, giving them more than a passing resemblance to shuffling italic letters. The total flock numbers more than 1200, but they do race past relatively quickly – spurred on, no doubt, by the promise of a fresh bounty of snail snacks nearby.

The ‘waddling workforce’, as they’re known, are a pivotal part of the pest management program, which has been a work in progress since 1984.

The daily duck parade is free of charge, as is the breeding program experience. Wine tasting and cellar tours attract a fee of R85 and R300, respectively, with bookings for those available, online.

T7B Tip

There’s also a breeding program in place, and visitors can extend their stay beyond the 10-minute parade to take a tour of the duck pens and breeding rooms.

Pricing

The daily duck parade is free of charge, as is the breeding program experience.

Website

Visit the official website at
www.vergenoegd.co.za

Location

Baden Powell Drive,
Stellenbosch

Gallery

Trevor Crighton

Trevor Crighton

Trevor splits his time between two fields – working as a specialist Publicist & Media Relations Consultant in film, television, entertainment, sport, travel and FMCG and as a writer and photographer in the travel, lifestyle and social media space. You can connect with him on Instagram @trevorcrighton

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