The Umgeni River Bird Park
If you are wanting to get in touch with nature and are looking for something different to do but do not have the patience, time or inclination to plan a big day outâ€¦ then the Umgeni River Bird Park is the place for you. No need to dig out the binoculars, your birds of South Africa book from Christmas 1997 or to trek for several hours to an unnamed location with screaming kids in the back seat.
Opened in 1984 and home to over 800 birds, the park is open 7 days a week from 9am – 5pm and welcomes birthday parties, school groups, private functions as well as the general public. It is situated on the banks of the Umgeni River at an old quarry sight and is surrounded by towering rocks, vines, shrubbery and trees as you walk through you are taken away from the hustle and bustle of city life to a much simpler place where beautifully coloured birds with inquisitive eyes, squawk as you pass by. Each with their own personality and poise, the cheeky cockatoos, pretty parrots, tenacious toucans and fabulous flamingos are some of the birds you will be able to admire on your visit.
Upon paying for entrance (R36 for adults, R17 for pensioners and children between 4 – 12 years old) one can buy feed which you are allowed to feed in certain open areas within the park – an experience to remember (note: if you taking the kids be careful as some of the smaller birds are very boisterous and not shy to land on your head at any given time).
One of the highlights of visiting the park is the free-flight bird show which acts as a platform to educate and entertain the public about birds and their livelihood. These shows are scheduled from Tuesdays to Sundays at both 11am and 2pm and to cure the “blues” during school holidays the park offers additional shows on Mondays, all shows are weather permitted. If during your visit you are feeling peckish, the tea garden cafe fittingly named the Cockatoo Cafe sells refreshments and light meals (so no hassle of pre-packing lunches and refreshments for the kids).
A great day for young and old, with the kids or without and no need for that Birds of South Africa book as each enclosure is clearly marked with all the information you need.
Tel: (031) 579 4600
Fax: (031) 579 4574