We love all things ‘Quirky’ and ‘alternative’ – and the Llama Karma Kafe based in the UK is certainly that. The Cumbrian Tourism answer to the misery of the credit crunch, this place also syncs with our very own infatuation with Llamas.
A bit of background….
Kafe owners are Graham and Mary Walker, their daughter Caroline and her husband Daniel Austin.
The kafe is a family run business that has been developed by popular request by local ‘trekkers’. Having been up close and personal for an afternoon on a Llama trek with the wonderful llamas, many people find the are permenantly enamoured by everything ‘llama’ so are keen to visit them again and again.
Llama trekking is in fact a fast growing and popular activity worldwide combining fresh air, healthy exercise and an enchanting experience getting to know your friendly, hairy and pack carrying tour guide that spots wildlife in a flash for you. This venue is representing the UK and offers half day picnic llama treks in the Lake District for nearly 5 years now and also provide treks close to the Kafe and at nearby Center Parcs twice a week.
The idea of the Llama Karma Kafe (and blame Caroline, one of the partners for the quirky name!) was to provide an opportunity for everyone to meet llamas in the flesh..so to speak.. and also to provide the nosy llamas with an opportunity for a spot of people watching. The llamas daytime paddock is right alongside the kafe and conservatory windows and it’s often not quite clear as to who is watching who!
The family also ran a special needs education centre for the last 18 years in Lancashire and so it became a natural development to extend the work done in the past with disabled and disadvantaged children to Cumbria. So the Kafe is now able to offer equine and animal assisted therapeutic learning at the rear of the site. This area is not open to the public but pre-booked guided tours are offered at the weekends and also midweek by arrangement.
The care of the animals is undertaken by Caroline Walker who has a degree in zoo animal management (and is also a qualified teacher specializing in people with disabilities) and their health and welfare is paramount to the team.
“All the animals you will see on site generally have other sleeping quarters and therefore have lots of habitat enrichment time as well as privacy.” Caroline tells us.
Caroline’s husband Dan is also a partner in the Kafe and he is also a qualified state registered nurse and avid llama trekker so can talk the hind legs off a donkey when it comes to extolling the attributes of llamas!
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