The Wonderful World of Birds in Hout Bay
With more than 3,000 birds and small animals, representing over 400 different species, housed in more than 100 spacious beautifully landscaped walk-through aviaries, World of Birds in Hout Bay, South Africa, offers visitors an exceptional up-close encounter with nature. Visitors are invited to enjoy the fascinating private lives of birds as they sing, feed, display, socialize, build their nests, incubate their eggs and raise their young in this tranquil tropical haven.
Visitors can expect to see an incredible variety of birds as they stroll through the aviaries. The resident South African and East African Crowned Cranes use any excuse to show off, and a keeper cleaning their enclosure may be rewarded with a leaping, prancing extravaganza that could give Baryshnikov a run for his money. The Blue Crane is South Africa’s national bird which is considered to be a vulnerable species in the wild, chiefly due to loss of grassland habitat, overhead power lines and poisoning. Fortunately this elegant bird is breeding very successfully at World of Birds and the flock currently numbers around 40 birds.
The Bald Ibis, which was once plentiful around South Africa, is also the subject of a successful breeding program at World of Birds. Once the flock has reached 50, a decision will be taken whether to release them back into the wild. In the meantime, quite a number of these curious and comical birds have become so tame that they mingle with visitors. Seemingly they have a foot fetish as they peck away at passing shoelaces – possibly hoping they are worms in disguise!
Keen photographers will not want to miss a photo-shoot with the stunningly beautiful iridescent-feathered Indian Blue Peafowl. Wandering around on the public pathways at World of Birds these birds are at their most beautiful in their mating season in spring, as they lose their exquisite tail feathers in summer. Nonetheless, they are worth seeing all year round. As the National Bird of India they are seen as protectors of the innocent because of their deft and accurate way of killing snakes, which are plentiful in India’s rural areas.
In addition to the extensive collection of birds, World of Birds is home to baboons, meerkats, monkeys, marmosets, tamarins, squirrels, mongooses, foxes, genets, raccoons, guineapigs, porcupines, bushpigs and pot-bellied pigs. Reptiles that may be seen include terrapins, green iguana, blue-tongued skinks, tortoises and rock monitors.
It is clear that the feathered, furry and scaly residents of World of Birds are content in their environment, which the landscapers have gone to great lengths to make as similar to their natural habitats as possible. With Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, Constantiaberg, Little Lion’s Head and Chapman’s Peak as a backdrop, World of Birds is one of Cape Town’s prime tourist attractions that should be included in everyone’s holiday itinerary. More than 100,000 visitors enjoy the wonders of this nature lover’s paradise each year – make sure that you are one of them, you won’t regret it.