This week I discovered one of Durban’s hidden treasures, Umgeni Bird Park. The beautiful park is near the Umgeni River and has open walk-through aviaries with birds on perches, wonderful green vegetation, waterfalls, and rock faces.
The Free Flight Bird Show features “endangered and critically endangered species like the Wattled Crane, owls, storks, hornbills, and a Cape Vulture doing what they do in the wild in glorious free, unrestricted flight”. The park emphasizes conservation and education, and there were several school children visiting.
The Park was designed and built by Dr. Alan Abrey. It’s in a river quarry that he visited as a boy growing up in Durban. “After a year of extensive land filling, landscaping, and aviary construction, the Umgeni River Bird Park opened in April 1984.”
“The park is situated on 9 acres of lush tropical landscaping and houses an ever-increasing collection of more than 800 birds from 200 species. Some species are endemic to South Africa, others are the only representatives of their kind in Africa, and some are common house pets.”
It was an informative afternoon. The birds were fun, very vocal, and cooperative posing for photos. When it’s feeding time, you need ear plugs!