The alpaca is a species of South American camelid and are bred specifically for their fiber. It turns out South America is not the only place you'll find them - enter the Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop and Weaving Studio right here in Cape Town. A unique hybrid business, they specialise in farming alpacas, hand weaving and a coffee shop!
Formerly known as Manor House Alpacas, the outfit was established in 2004; fast forward six years later with a herd of over 350 alpacas, they re-branded as The Alpaca Loom. Growing at an exponential rate, the animal's fiber is used for making knitted and woven items similar to sheep's wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, shawls and ponchos. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors and is lustrous and silky.
Visitors not only get to interact with the South American species in the petting zoo, but are also taken through the weaving process which is explained in detail from shearing right until the final luxurious product. Tours of their barns are conducted daily and are split into three segments - you can choose between the 11am, 1pm or 3pm tour and each is roughly 45 minutes long.
Additionally, they also have the Alpaca Walk, which is where visitors get to fully explore the farm accompanied by a tour guide. These walks are conducted everyday at 10am and 4pm and are subject to availability. The farm also caters for kids as well with a jungle gym to entertain them just in case they don't find alpacas interesting enough.
Before or after the educational tour, you can pass through the Alpaca Loom's coffee shop which serves freshly brewed coffee within a decent ambiance. Their coffee shop is the perfect place for a productive morning! Feel free to visit their website for more information and tour bookings.
Images courtesy of The Alpaca Loom