One of our favourite discoveries during our weekend in McGregor was Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary located just outside the town.
This is a forever home for about 30 donkeys whose lives might not have turned out so well were it not for this safe space.
Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary provides a permanent refuge for abused, neglected and elderly donkeys where they are given the opportunity to live out their lives with respect and dignity, surrounded by their own kind, in a protective and natural environment.
Immediately all the kids in our party were enthralled and wanted to pet the donkeys through the fence… little did they realise that we would be going inside the enclosure where we could enjoy interacting with these peaceful animals up close, while always respecting the donkey’s who don’t want to be petted!
We split into two smaller groups and were given a guided tour where we learnt more about the sanctuary, why it started and how it runs. And of course, we met each individually named donkey and learnt more about their background too – quite a lot have endured many years of hard labour that has resulted in issues with their hooves, teeth, jaws and even bodies from being fed too much human food (aka killed with kindness!). Favourites included Beauty, Thabo, Ziggy and a real-life Eeyore!
This was a very special outing – for the children and adults in the group. We loved learning more about these humble creatures who are so often treated so badly and viewed as the “underdogs” of civilization.
One of my favourite donkey discoveries was that each donkey actually has a “cross” shape on their back – and with my personal beliefs as a Christian and the connection they have to many Bible stories (Mary riding into Bethlehem, Jesus riding into Jerusalem etc) this made me appreciate donkeys as a breed just a little bit more.
Visit Eseltjiesrus and enjoy the donkeys plus a restaurant, donkey shop, Adam’s Walk, Memorial Garden and book shop plus the annual McGregor book sale to support this charity is legendary!