Get Your Gumboots, It’s a Day at the Duck Races!

Spring is here and now is the perfect time to head out into the defrosting countryside before the tourism craze starts in Cape Town. If you feel like a road trip that includes a fun, family-centric quirky activity, then I’m happy to introduce to you, the Day at the Duck Race!

Day at the Duck Race 2019

This fun, family day takes place at Essere Lodge in Tulbagh and involves adopting toy rubber ducks that will then be raced down the Little Berg River.

The foster parent of the winning duck will receive R5000 in prize money stakes for the race. Proceeds from the money raised will go to CHAIN, an Animal rescue organisation that services the Witzenberg Valley, for the sterilization of 100 animals.

This inaugural event for Tulbagh is a quirky day out for visitors to spend a weekend in the historic town while dressing in their best for the races…but with a twist! Wear your frock but pair it with Wellies! Gum Boots are essential as there may be lots of walking around the river’s edge and muddy ground!

What is the Duck Race?

This September sees the sleepy hollow town come alive with numerous things to do in Tulbagh that showcase the cultural diversity of this historic past. It is also the month that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the famous earthquake that rocked Tulbagh in 1969.

The list of events kicks off with the “Day at the Duck Race”, a brilliant family day out where toy rubber ducks race down a river to raise funds for the local animal welfare CHAIN Boland.

What is CHAIN?

CHAIN is an NPO (NPO 77158) active in the 5 towns of the Witzenberg Municipal district – Ceres, Tulbagh, Prince Alfred Hamlet, Wolseley and Op die Berg. It is a pro-life organization, with a focus on rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing animals.

While visiting Tulbagh, our team visited CHAIN where we met the organisers and learnt about their invaluable work. Taking care of animals is a tough job, let alone one without a lot of funding and support. This is why CHAIN has been selected as the beneficiary of the Day at the Duck Race.


Day the Duck Race Location

The event takes place at the rustic Essere Lodge in Tulbagh. With its large steel framed windows that allow guests to feel connected with nature, the boutique hotel offers a homely and rustic experience of the valley.

Expect lemon trees in full bloom, fresh aromas of herbs growing in the garden and a beautiful daisy filled field as the setting. Featured will be a food market, wine offerings, a full bar in Essere Lodge, live music from Newton & Co, kids entertainment and, of course, the massive toy Rubber Duck race!

In the evening, snuggle up at the indoor fireplace with a G&T in hand at the homely boutique hotel.


Visitors are able to enquire about accommodation at Essere Lodge, however, it is likely that they are already booked out due to its popularity.

Day at the Duck Race 2019 Event Details

Dress Code: Day at the races with Gum Boots. Prizes for best dressed!

Race Times: Kiddies Race: 12:00 | Main Race: 13:00


The cost is R100 for entrance and one duck. Additional ducks cost R50 per duck – the more ducks you have the better chance of winning R5000! Kids under 8 – free, but each adopted duck costs R50.

We had a mock race with even smaller ducks than what will be used on the day and it was a lot of fun. This is the perfect event to relax in the beautiful Essere Lodge with the whole family. Book your tickets now and enjoy a wonderful spring day out in Tulbagh.




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