Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary was established in 2007 after Johan and Annemarie van Zijl, retired residents of McGregor, gave a permanent home to two rescued donkeys. The need for a facility to care for destitute, abused and retired donkeys became evident. Donkeys generally belong to poor people who cannot care for an animal that is not earning its keep; so many donkeys are abandoned when unable to work for reasons of age or illness. Such donkeys deserve care and dignity in their twilight years after toiling patiently for their owners. Other donkeys that have been family pets may need a home when their owners’ circumstances change.
At Eseltjiesrus the resident donkeys receive daily care, extra feed when needed, hoof and dental treatments and regular health checks. They live out their lives in a natural environment with company of their own kind: an essential requisite for a happy donkey. These donkeys act as the “shop window” for their less fortunate colleagues elsewhere by raising awareness of the needs and special qualities of these often misunderstood animals. Outreach actions such as support for donkey owners and workshops about welfare form a major part of the Sanctuary’s work, as does collaboration with related organisations. Visits by schools and groups further promote the status of donkeys.
You are welcome to visit the Sanctuary, where you may meet the donkeys with a trained Guide. You will hear the story of each donkey, its special needs and characteristics, and may support the work of the Sanctuary by adopting one. No, it does not accompany you home, but you will receive reports and photos of your chosen donkey and become a Donkey Ambassador! Adoption makes a unique gift for a loved one, providing a living link and an anchor in the countryside. Finish off your visit with a gentle stroll around the farm and refreshments at the restaurant overlooking the tranquil dam, then take home a memento from the Donkey Shop and perhaps purchase some of our unique wines.
Situated just outside McGregor – 15 km from Robertson on the tarred road to McGregor
Opening hours: Thursdays to Sundays, 10am to 4pm
Hiking is very popular in Montagu – the village is surrounded by mountains! Hikers have 4 “official” routes to choose from, from easy walking to serious hiking.
Routes include Bloupunt, Kogmans and Aasvoelkrans, and also a walk through to the Avalon Springs from Montagu West.