Experience the majesty of birds of prey at Eagle Encounters. It is humbling to walk amongst these wild animals, not cooped up in cages but allowed relative freedom, and bear witness to their stunning physical characteristics while learning fascinating facts about their habits, threats and natural habitats. Eagle Encounters is situated at Spier in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, as well as on the N2 between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna.
The main goals of Eagle Encounters are the rehabilitation of sick, injured, hand-reared or abused birds as well as the education of the public so that further research and rehabilitation projects are made possible through funding and awareness. This initiative was started in 2001 and has accomplished so much for the wild birds of the Western Cape.
Of utmost importance to Eagle Encounters is to be able to release the birds once rehabilitated. However, some have been badly hurt or hand-reared, making it impossible to release them back into the wild. This is a non-profit organisation, which means that it relies solely on the funds raised by visitors, shows and community initiatives to continue working so hard for these feathered animals.
Walking through the property, visitors will encounter some of the fastest, biggest, smallest and strongest wild birds. Get up close and personal with an exquisite Black Eagle and see how the Barn Owl interacts with young and old alike. Meet hawks, buzzards, kites and falcons and be part of their intriguing world for just a moment. Birds are not kept in cages, but enjoy a fair amount of freedom.
The experienced handler is always available to introduce visitors to the birds and will even allow you to touch and hold some of the species (including the Barn Owl and Wahlberg’s Eagle). Daily shows are interactive and are an absolute must for visitors. In these shows, spectators are able to learn about the training and rehabilitation techniques used, find out more about several different species and how they live in the wild, and even touch and feed these incredible animals.
The animals are released from their private areas and the trainer showcases their hunting skills, acute eyesight and fascinating flight as spectators sit below and observe how beautifully these animals have been created. Spectators can ask questions and have a fair amount of personal interaction with the birds.
Eagle Encounters is ideal for school groups and has interactive sessions designed specifically for schoolchildren. These children are taught to identify different species and to get to know and respect them for their diversity and natural savvy.
Eagle Encounters is open every day from 09h00 to 17h00. The entrance fees and show costs are well worth the experience of interacting with some of nature’s most powerful and spectacular creatures.