Veronika Darchinger owns the Isartal Alpakas farm near the Starnberger See, where she has been breeding alpacas for 15 years. She also offers hiking, shearing and beginner courses for alpaca enthusiasts. Ever since their visit to the farm to encounter these adorable animals, writers Ramona Nickl and Sarah Krammer and photographer Elina Gathof now know why the 'Alpacas of Instagram' are so successful!

  • Light brown alpaca with fur over its eyes stands in the stable
  • A white alpaca stands in the stable with its baby alpaca
  • A light-coloured alpaca stands in front of its herd on the field in bright sunshine and smiles into the camera
  • Dark brown alpaca lies in the sunshine on the grass and smiles, teeth pointing, into the camera

Alpacas are native to the plateaus of South America, but get along well enough in the European climate that people in Germany are increasingly taking up breeding them. The Darchinger family in Berg-Mörlbach began in 2004, and now have 34 animals on their farm.

But what do alpacas have that other animals don't? What makes them so special? We reveal this in SeeMagazin. An excerpt:

Curious, they stretch their necks upwards, wanting to know exactly what is going on. Alpacas are extremely attentive animals; after all, their survival in the wild depends on it: one of their natural enemies is the puma, which they have to notice faster so that they can flee in time.

Their gentle, calm nature seems to rub off on humans. Darchinger sees this regularly during the hikes that visitors can book with her: "People go home more satisfied. Even complete strangers we meet on the walks are happy to see us. That makes us happy too!"

Five alpacas of different colours stand side by side in the stable

Even if their hairstyle seems to invite a cuddle, alpacas do not like it when you touch their fur. Alpacas are 'distance animals'. If one does allow a cuddle after all, you can consider yourself lucky. "An animal that doesn't go away shows that it has put its trust in people," says Darchinger.

Read the complete story about these fascinating animals in the 2019 issue of SeeMagazin.

Cover of the SeeMagazin 2019 with a drone picture of the Starnberger See
Can you see the whole story? SeeMagazin 2019

We love finding and creating beautiful pictures and stories from the Fünfseenland and presenting them in SeeMagazin. Every year we meet many interesting personalities. In the 2019 issue, with the theme 'Change of Perspective', we explore the lakes from different viewpoints. Whether from the air, the waters or on shore, through our photo galleries, stories, information and tips, we invite readers to discover the region anew.