The World of Birds in Hout Bay, Cape Town is a wildlife sanctuary that focuses on preservation, breeding, education and research. It is a fantastic place to visit whether you love nature, are a keen photographer or simply someone looking for a great day out. There are such a vast amount of animals to see besides all the beautiful birds some of which include reptiles, foxes, racoons, porcupines and monkeys.
I have fond memories of going there as a child and loved walking along the path through their large aviaries and admiring all there was to see. I have been more recently with my parents since I moved back to South Africa and I still felt the same excitement as I did back then.
The sanctuary is divided up into sections, housing different types of birds. The predator area has always been my favourite and the variety of different owls on display is phenomenal. When walking through each section you find yourself trying so hard to spot every type of bird not realising that if you wander through at a leisurely pace you may not have enough time to return to see your favourites on display for yet another glimpse.
After a tasty bite to eat at the World Of Birds Cafe, I continued though the maze of aviaries, coming across birds I never knew existed and some of the most beautiful and colourful species I have ever seen, amongst the turkeys, owls, flamingos, parrots, penguins, hawks, vultures and many more.
Over the years, The World Of Birds has grown bigger and better and I was very pleased to come across the section with marmoset, vervet and other monkeys. Just when I thought I had seen it all, I discovered another cage door. I walked through only to discover a large area filled with squirrel monkeys, running from tree to tree, scurrying around on the pathways and interacting with people. I watched them getting up to mischief where they could and admired the mothers clambering around with new born babies clinging to their backs as they journeyed along the branches.
I scooped up some seeds on the floor that hadn’t been eaten and stood patiently by a tree. Within seconds I had monkeys all over me, crawling on my shoulders, sitting on my head and climbing up my arm to play with my beaded bracelet that must have appeared to be a string of seeds to chew on.
Turning around with a huge grin on my face to show my mom the monkey madness, I saw that she too was getting attention, with the very cheeky monkeys trying to get what they could from her bag. Looking over to my dad, he was laughing at one sitting on his hand with its head in his shirt pocket. I was so amazed at how tame they were and how used to people they had become.
I certainly didn’t expect to come across so many wonderful creatures when visiting the world of birds but was pleasantly surprised and couldn’t have been happier to have had such a great experience and worthwhile day out.
I would definitely suggest getting there early in order to see everything there is, have the chance to appreciate the many species around you and to make the most out of your visit.