Walk on the wild side with llamas in Lanark
While COVID-safe activities are starting to wane as vaccinations increase, one wild activity in Lanark continues to remain popular.
People are travelling from all across Ontario to visit Serendipity Farm and Sanctuary, where they have the chance to go on a guided hike with their very own llama.
"Especially these days with COVID and so on, people have been shut in for a long time," says co-owner Keith Adam. "So it’s an opportunity to come out, walk with a calm, friendly animal, and go out on some trails."
The farm hosts small groups of one to four people between three and four times a week for the walks, and says their service has become extremely popular as of late.
"I think the waiting list for a llama walk on the weekend now is September, October," says Adam. "It’s such a unique thing to do. There aren’t that many llama farms in Canada."
Kim Denesha says she made a trip to Lanark for the weekend solely to visit the llama and alpaca farm.
"We drove from Georgetown (Ontario) to Kingston yesterday, and stayed in Kingston. Then drove here and then we’ll just drive home tonight," says Denesha. "There’s something about them, they’re just so cute."
The walks offer a unique experience not found many other places, with only a handful of llama farms across Canada.
"I love to travel normally, so this is sort of a year where you have to travel in Canada, and looking for options," says Kate Perrie, who travelled from Hamilton to eastern Ontario for the weekend.
"It’s actually really relaxing to walk with them. They’re very chill and they walk along right beside you like a dog, but instead of down low on a leash they look you right in the eye," laughed Perrie, as she walked her llama Tresi along the trail.
"It’s been a long year of being stuck in my condo," said Perrie’s friend Shani Dissanayake, who also made the trip from Toronto. "I live downtown, so it’s just nice to be somewhere that’s green and just be outside for a bit."
The llamas taken out on walks can be as tall as six feet and weigh over 300 pounds, but Adam says the animals are family friendly, with many young children taking part in the walks.
For anyone who’s ever wondered what the difference is between a llama and alpaca, Adam says it’s an easy distinction.
"Llamas are much bigger, they’ve got the banana shaped ears," explains the farm owner. "They’re a bit more intuitive we think than the alpacas. The alpacas are smart and can be taught things but llamas figure things out."