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While Curacao is most well-known for the iconic Dutch architecture of its UNESCO World Heritage downtown, turquoise palm-lined beaches, and world-class diving, there are also opportunities for adventures like… feeding birds.
What? Bird-feeding doesn’t sound very exciting, you say? Well this is no ordinary bird-watching expedition! The Curacao Ostrich Farm tour is conducted safari-style from a ruggedly outfitted and totally open-air jeep-like vehicle. As you drive along the dusty, bumpy dirt road, a very well-informed, multilingual guide will regale you with the history of one of the largest ostrich farms outside of Africa complete with amusing facts and anecdotes about these most unusual creatures.
For example, did you know that:
The tour provides plenty of opportunities to get out of the truck for up-close-and-personal encounters if you are brave enough to stick your own neck out. From letting the birds peck at your hand, to allowing a flock of the biggest birds in the world to surround you and feed out of your own bucket, to even riding one, there are many ways to bond with the birds.
Or, you can simply sit by and allow yourself to be entertained by the semi-Serengeti scene. From fuzzy, newborn ostrich chicks to the full grown, non-flying and reptile-footed, the 45-minute expedition is a good diversion from a typical day of beach bathing or shopping.
Another curiosity surrounds the two large crocodiles on the farm. The entire farm is a balanced, eco-friendly society with nothing going to waste, so the crocodiles fulfill their role as living garbage-disposal units for ostrich waste that cannot be utilized elsewhere.
You will find that the end of the tour is also the beginning: the egg. At five pounds, an ostrich egg is not only dense and heavy, but is nearly unbreakable – a fact I proved for myself as I stepped on it with my full weight without consequence. In keeping with the premise of the farm, the non-fertilized ostrich eggs are also recycled, beautifully hand-painted and sold as art.
After the tour, head for the Restaurant Zambezi located right in the complex, where you can sample local ostrich specialties and other African dishes. The ostrich burgers are healthy and tasty – no, nothing like chicken, more like a slightly salty cut of high quality, lean beef.
Also within the confines, the Art of Africa Shop sells a good variety of unique goods imported from Zimbabwe and South Africa or made locally. Here you can find the painted ostrich eggs as well as other handmade crafts, sculpture, jewelry, and paintings.
The Curacao Ostrich Farm is the place to get a bird’s eye view of the island – or perhaps a man-to-bird view would be a more appropriate description.
If You Go:
Read More Travel Tips by Patti Morrow:
Patti Morrow was born with incurable wanderlust, eventually leading her to a career as a freelance travel writer and photographer. She specializes in women’s adventure travel and has traveled throughout most of the United States and 35 countries abroad.
Patti has been published in numerous media, including International Living, Women’s Home Journal, Travel Post Monthly, MORE magazine, WAVEJourney.com, and Diva Toolbox and was featured on Tori Johnson (of Good Morning America) Spark and Hustle.
She is the editor of Luggage, Lipstick and Laptop, an online resource for women’s adventure travel, and is a member of ITWPA, AWAI, Intrepid Travel, Media Kitty, and TravelWriters.com.