Ride an ostrich: Check.
Watch meerkats hug each other: Check.
Witness Juan’s mom embarrass him in front of gritty South Africans: Check.
Our day began at 5:30am in Oudtshoorn when we met up with Devey Glinister for a tour of a local meerkat colony. Helen lost no time at all in announcing loudly to the rest of the group that she was Juan’s “ mommy.” I’ve never seen a stern Rwandan laugh so hard.
As the sun began to heat the meerkat’s sleeping mound, they starting popping out one-by-one to soak up the rays with their impeccable posture. It was a particularly eventful morning too – we were lucky to witness the shaming of the family slut, Molly. After returning from a three-day love romp with a bachelor meerkat, she had to endure being peed on by her younger siblings and triple-teamed in her fights to resume her rank. Seeing meerkats hug each other and then take turns as sentries while the others forage, though, is definitely a top ten wildlife experience!
Next up, the Cango Ostrich Farm. Apart from learning all the facts (their eyes are bigger than their brains), meeting a dwarf ostrich (only one is born every 20 years), and holding a newly-hatched baby, you can hug , kiss, get a neck massage or ride an ostrich. I opted for three of the four (Betsie only kisses boys – a fact for which Juan did not appear particularly grateful as he held the ostrich food pellet between his lips and cowardly covered his eyes). Riding an ostrich wasn’t as easy as it looked on Swiss Family Robinson but certainly just as fun.
Next up on the bucket list: learn to throw knives, read The Brothers Karamazov in the original Russian and study Kung Fu in China with a Shaolin monk…