What is an Alpaca?

An alpaca is a domesticated species of the South American camel family. They originate from the Andes of Southern Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Northern Chile where they were kept in herds that grazed on the plains. An adult alpaca is around 90 cm in height at the shoulder and weighs 60-84 kgs. Alpacas are beautiful and are bred specifically for their soft luxurious fibre. There are two breeds; the Huacaya and the Suri. Huacaya alpacas produce a dense, soft crimpy sheep like fibre, and the Suri produces silky pencil-like locks, resembling dread-locks.

After the intrusion of Spanish conquistadors around 1530 sheep and other European livestock were brought into South America, and the Andean people with their Alpacas were pushed high up into Andes... where they have predominantly remained to this day. The 'push' to higher altitudes was the result of mass slaughter of not only thousands upon thousands of alpacas but of the Inca people as well as their king. The introduction of these animals brought diseases hitherto unknown to the South American continent. Peru's Quecha peoples are custodians of a vast alpaca population where a pastoral life exists above the tree line at around 3,000 m above sea level. Interestingly Huacaya is a Quecha word for "Sacred Soul". Alpacas were very special to the Andean people, they provided all the fibre for their clothing as well as being used for weaving their stories into tapestries that still exist today.

History shows that the extreme fineness of alpaca fibre pre the Spanish invasion has to this day still to be replicated, and that is our aim, to breed beautiful alpacas with heaps of lovely soft fleece, assisting them to attain their original magnificence.

Alpacas are bred specifically for their soft luxurious fibre that can be crafted into wool, felt, duvets and fashion garments. The beautiful fibre from an Alpaca comes in a variety of over 52 natural colours and can be dyed.


Registered alpacas


SAABS Members


Alpaca Farms

Why farm with Alpacas?

Besides the beautiful cuddly appearance and kind loving nature of Alpacas they are also a dream to farm, Let us explain.

  • The Agribusiness of Alpacas is linked to breeding of the animal and production of luxury fleece.
  • Alpacas are kind to the soil and use efficient amounts of land allowing a few hectares to be a viable farm.
  • As members of the Camelid family, alpacas are hardy and can adapt to harsh conditions.
  • Alpacas are easy to handle and can become very friendly pets.
  • The gentle nature of alpacas allow them to easily co-inhabit existing infrastructure with other animals.
  • Alpaca fibre is a sought after natural fibre therefore one does not slaughter the animal.
  • The protective nature and wisdom of male alpacas provide the perfect herd guards for sheep.
  • Taxation advantages: their standard value is the same as sheep, creating a significant deferment of other farming profits and income. As a true farming enterprise, breeding alpacas can also retain the agriculture zoning of land challenged by the municipalities.

Gavin - My journey began when I toured South America and was introduced to alpacas in Peru ...

Janina - My alpaca adventure started when I acquired my beautiful ostentatious alpacas...

Mukuti Stud Alpacas - Our Alpaca journey started, like most things in life, with a … ‘by the way’...

Our Society

The SA Alpaca breeders' Club was inaugurated in 2001, and was promulgated to a Society in late 2007. The Society is registered under SA Stud Book and Livestock Improvement Association. Alpacas are therefore a registered breed in South Africa.

The Society promoted the breed in SA, and is the controlling body for maintaining minimum breed standards and genetic improvement. One has to be a member of the Society to register stud alpacas. The Society is also a forum for the dissemination of information, arranging seminars and in the future, a show circuit.

Our Objectives

  • Encourage and promote the breeding of Alpacas in the territory.
  • Improvement of their genetic production.
  • Promote the interests of the breed and their fibre-related products
  • Encourage the preservation and the development of the breed by sound selection in accordance with the acceptance of "Minimum Breed Standard"
  • Maintain a Code of conduct for members on the sale and marketing of their animals
  • Safeguard and advance the common interests of breeders in the Territory, and generally to give effect to the objectives contemplated by the Act


South African Alpaca Breeders Society

President: Alison Notley alpacas@helderstroom.co.za

Secretary: Di Kruger dikruger@gmail.com

Meet our Members

Alison Notley

Helderstroom Alpacas | Western Cape




Verena and Manfred Hinsch

Mukuti Stud Alpacas | Western Cape




Terence Watkins

Endeavour Alpacas | KZN




Di Kruger

Drumblade Alpacas | Gauteng




Corlia Boschoff

Estancia Alpacas | Freestate




Dr Gavin Lindhorst

African Alpacas | Western Cape




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