Easter in the Cape, Cape Times 31/03/2009
MEETING THE BIRDS IN HOUT BAY
A birder’s paradise can be found at The World of Birds in Hout Bay just twenty kilometres from the centre of town. The largest bird park in Africa and one of only a few large bird sanctuaries in the world, this well established attraction and tourist favourite consists of a series of interlocking aviaries covering four hectares, housing over four hundred species of birds, reptiles and small mammals. It is a unique setting that allows visitors to come within touching distance, and lock eyes with, and photograph rare and endangered species that could only be seen through zoom lens till now.
The World of Birds offers and experienced guides and staff are on hand to educate visitors on the breeding, mating and feeding habits of their charges. The unique ways in which each species socialises, sings, feed their chicks and build their nests are sure to fascinate young and old alike, providing an unforgettable educational experience.
The World of Birds is instrumental in breeding programs for birds on the brink of extinction and provides what might be the only realistic chance of ever encountering many rare species. The avian residents include Turacos, Hornbills, several species of Owl and Eagle, Vultures, Cockatiels, Softbills, Peafowl, Swans, Buzzards, Crowned Crane, Ostrich, Goshawks, Spoonbills, Secretarybirds and literally hundreds more.
The mammal enclosures are not to be missed either and children and adults alike will delight in being able to finally come face-to-face with creatures that used to exist only on the television. The family of cheeky Spider Monkeys will compete for your attention with the famous Meerkats, who breed well in captivity. Feeding time is not to be missed if you want some unforgettable photos of your time in South Africa. Also waiting to be seen are Mongooses, Baboons and Foxes among others. Our reptilian friends also make an appearance, represented by the Green Iguana, Tortoises and the Blue-Tongued Skink.
Facilities include a lovely grass picnic area next to swan-filled ponds and visitors can enjoy lunch as graceful Peacocks and Indian Blue Peafowl stride along the footpaths. The park has run a highly successful breeding program for some species and is proud to host one of the largest flocks of the South African National bird, the Blue Crane as well as programs for endangered Bald Ibis and Great Horned Owl.
For opening times and directions log into www.worldofbirds.org.za or telephone 021 790 2730.