KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Umgeni River Bird Park
Designed and built in an old quarry site on the banks of the Umgeni River, just 10 minutes outside Durban, the Umgeni River Bird Park is one of the greatest attractions of the city.
Where? 490 Riverside Road, Durban North, Durban, KwaZulu Natal
When? Please enquire
Who? +27 (0)31 579-4600
Walk-through aviaries, birds out on perches, wonderful green vegetation, some amazing waterfalls and rock faces all combine to make this a very special place to visit.
The Umgeni River Bird Parkís main feature is a free-flight show that has as its focus a conservation theme to inspire visitors, as birds glide past them in full and unrestricted flight. To appreciate the beauty of the natural world around them. Macaws, a Cape Vulture, the critically endangered wattled crane and others take part in the first show of its kind in Africa. This show is scheduled at certain times during the day and is really worth seeing.
Conservation is high on the parkís list of priorities. They breed 17 of the 23 endangered bird species that are kept in the park, and young chicks are fed hourly around the clock, avidly watched from a viewing window by visitors.
Together with the SA Crane Working Group, they are involved in a Wattled Crane breeding and release programme to try and counter the fact that there are just 250 of these beautiful birds left in the country. They are hand-reared using a glove puppet, lest they think they are human, and then released near Dullstroom.
Other birds you can look forward to seeing include the Palm Cockatoo, Caribbean Flamingo and the Plalawan Peacock pheasant; and the park tries to do without caging wherever they can, so that one has the feeling that the birds are in their natural habitat. A pair of Fish Eagles nest just outside the park, away from view, but if you are lucky you might hear them call.