Umgeni Park and River
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 “critically endangered and endangered species like the Wattled Crane, owls, storks, hornbills, and Cape Vulture in glorious free, unrestricted flight doing what they do in the wild”. Umgeni emphasizes conservation and education.
Dr. Alan Abrey
The Park was designed and built by Dr. Alan Abrey. Its location is in a river quarry Abrey visited as a boy growing up in Durban. “Umgeni River Bird Park opened in April 1984, after a year of extensive land filling, landscaping, and aviary construction.”
“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, other birds 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!