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Logo ezelskruid.

On the road with the donkeys

  • Ezelwandeling t Hutteke Berlaar

What is “Ezelskruid” actually ?

“Ezelskruid” is also known as “Kattendoorn” (Ononis Spinosa). It looks like a small bush and belongs to the butterfly flower family. The plant grows from May until September and has gorgeous pink and white flowers. It grows in Central Europe, the Mediterranean, West Asia and the North of Africa. It needs lots of sunshine. Therefore you’ll find it on mountains and sunny hillsides. Some time ago one could find it in our own region, but now the plant has become rare over here.

Contact
For the donkey adventure
Joris Vets +32 489 82 13 34
[email protected]

Nature workshops, the workshops natural cosmetics and cooking with wild plants, are only available in the Dutch version. There is also no translation available on this website.

OUR WALKS

We enjoy nature while walking along the river Nete.

We enjoy nature while walking along the river Nete.
This river is the centre of all our donkey walks. We walk across calm tracks surrounded by trees and meadows. Fast or slow? That depends on the donkeys and their rhythm. Sometimes they go fast, sometimes they slow down.
Every now and then they will stop to nibble at a tree along the way. They enjoy the landscape, the birds, the sounds in the environment and walking in your company. There will be short breaks during the walk. You can rest on a bench and enjoy the view of several castles in the region.
At the start of our walk we give the donkeys a good brush and saddle them. After the walk we part and say goodbye. For all of this we provide an extra hour. They will be your companions for a while as you build up a bond with them. Therefore the time we spend with the donkeys is crucial.  
A donkey is a herd animal. This means there will be at least two animals for each walk. I myself will lead the hike, unless you are experienced in handling donkeys.

A Walk Gestel

Basic price : 50 euro per walk with 1 donkey + 20 euro for each extra donkey
Duration : ± 3 hour walk + 1 hour for preparing and parting

Bogaertsheide Ezelwandelingen Berlaar (Lier)

A Walk Bogaertsheide

Basic price : 50 euro per walk with 1 donkey + 20 euro for each extra donkey
Duration : ± 3 hour walk + 1 hour for preparing and parting

D'Elzen Ezelwandelingen Berlaar (Lier)

A D’Elzen Walk

Basic price : 60 euro per walk with 1 donkey + 20 euro for each extra donkey
Duration : ± 4 hour walk + 1 hour for preparing and parting

Ezelskruid korte wandeling

Meeting the donkeys + a short walk

Basic price : 60 euro per walk with  (max.) 3 donkeys and max. 6 children + supervisors
Duration : ± 90 minutes

A Day trip

Basic price : 120 euro per walk with 2 donkeys + 40 euro for each extra donkey
Duration : ± a 6 hour walk + 1 hour for preparing and parting
It is possible to order a lunch: a vegetarian picnic in cooperation with Villa Tulsi. But you can bring your own lunch as well.

More than walking

Do you prefer to just brush or cuddle with the donkeys? This is also possible. Although these are strong animals (a strength they use on land and in forests) they also have a heart for cuddling.
Would you like to experience this? Then look at the following activities.

F’Ezelen

Brushing, cuddling, … or a short walk in the area. This is the moment for you and the donkeys.
Basic price : 40 euro – Max. 4 people.
Duration : ± 90 min.

Testing the strength of a donkey

If you’re interested, we will consider what the participating group is like: school groups, disabled people, scouts etc. You can enjoy sitting in a carriage pulled by a donkey (also possible for wheelchair users) or we can even build an obstacles course.

The Strength of a donkey

The price and length of time can be discussed.
Max. 20 people.

Location – appointments

The summer meadow – Berlaar

The donkeys stay in the summer meadow from mid-June till the end of November.
For our walks we meet near the meadow Liersesteenweg between numbers 132 and 134 at 2590 Berlaar Antwerp-Lier – Belgium,
the gas station is nearby. Be so kind as to park your car somewhere at Liersesteenweg.
By public transport :
• take bus 297 (Lier – Heist op den berg) and get off at Molenlei.
• Take the train Lier-Aarschot and get off  in Berlaar Center.
From there it’s a 10-minute walk.

The winter meadow – Kessel

The donkeys stay here from December till mid-June.
Location: Oude Bevelsesteenweg, corner Hemelweg, 2560 Kessel (Visseneinde) Antwerp-Lier Belgium.
The entrance is 100m from intersection Oude Bevelsesteenweg and Hemelweg. (2560 Kessel).
This walks can be different from the previous one. More info will come soon.

Rules

  • Wear sturdy footwear so as to walk easily and to protect your feet from a donkey’s misstep. Even the smallest donkey weighs about 150 kilos.
  • Children (up to 50 kg) are allowed to sit on a donkey. They have to wear a helmet (available from us) and must be accompanied by a supervisor.
  • See to it that you have enough drinks with you. You can put them in the donkey’s carrying bag.
  • Do not bring food for the donkeys! Dogs aren’t allowed. The donkeys won’t accept them in their herd. They will view your dog as an intruder.
  • If the weather is really bad (heavy rain, wind, thunder etc.) we might have to cancel our walk.
  • Maximum 4 people can accompany a donkey.
  • Consult our diary to make an appointment diary or mail us [email protected].

Our herd

The herd consists of small and big donkeys ( from XS to XL) in a variety of colours:
black, brown, white and grey. And they all have really big ears

  • XS en XL, voor elk wat wils

Personalia

  • Mazette - ♀ - °7/6/2000 - XL

Joris Vets
While walking with my donkeys, people sometimes ask me why I am so fascinated by them.
My love for donkeys goes way back. A photo from when I was seven testifies this: I’m sitting on uncle Achilles’ donkey. I forgot about them until 2004. One day we made a visit with our company to the “Asinerie du pays de collines” in Ath. On the stable wall was written “Asino therapy”. In Google I found a link to a French company called “Médi’ âne” that organises “camps” to work with donkeys. I decided to enroll  in the April 2005 course in Normandy: “L’âne dans un travail de lien social”. To my surprise I was allowed though I had no experience with donkeys (and didn’t work in health care). During a relaxation session I had to lie on the back of a donkey called Causette. With my head on her ass and my arms around her body, I lay there for a solid half hour while Causette was rocking me softly.

“From now on your life will never be the same,” said one of the teachers. He was right. My love for the donkey was reborn. That week was a real relevation. Just like that teacher I’m still connected with the organization.
A donkey session without donkeys is as difficult as keeping donkeys without a pasture. In February 2006 I was able to find a yard and I bought two donkeys: Mazette and Tippex. My donkey adventure continued. Now I own a herd of eight donkeys. All different personalities, breeds, heights and colours. Through the years I learned about their health, how to care for them and organize agricultural activities. Donkeys even connect people. I share my passion with many donkey friends from all over the world.
After 15 years I still wonder about their calmness, their strong personalities and playfulness. They hold up a mirror and reflect how you feel. After a busy day at work, I find peace with my animals. As soon as I arrive they come and cuddle with me. It’s a joy to watch the herd and to listen to the sound of my donkeys nibbling hay.
I’m glad to invite you and discover the world of donkeys. Spend a day or some hours with them and you’ll be surprised about their honesty, personality and unpredictability.