In 2000, from the high-altitude regions in the Andes Mountains of Chile, the first 60 alpacas made their way to South Africa. These camelids formed the first foundational herd. Subsequent imports from Chile, Peru, and Australia allowed the alpaca industry in South Africa to expand to an estimated 10 000 animals in 2019, not all of them registered.
Alpacas are now a registered breed in South Africa with breeders and owners supported by the South African Alpaca Breeders Society - an organisation that was initiated in 2001. Alpacas in South Africa are farmed for their fleece, as breeding stock, they are also sold as pets, and for their highly effective guarding of sheep flocks.
These few articles give a general overview of alpaca farming in South Africa as well as some information on the processing and use of alpaca fleece.
By Marinda Louw