Umgeni River Bird Park
The Umgeni River Bird Park boosts spectacular waterfalls and lush vegetation, with birds out on perches, in walk-through aviaries and open paddocks, this little jewel is one of the finest bird parks in the world!
Free flight Bird Show – the first in Africa, with critically endangered species like the Wattled Crane, as well as owls, storks, hornbills and a Cape Vulture in free unrestricted flight – HIGHLY educational and loads of fun. Bird show at 11am and 2pm every day.You’ve never seen anything like it…
About The Umgeni River Bird Park
The Umgeni River Bird Park was designed and built by Dr. Alan Abrey. The Bird Park is situated in an old quarry site which used to contain water and was visited by Alan Abrey as a young boy growing up in Durban. When looking for a Bird Park site he remembered it as a perfect option and after a year of extensive land filling, landscaping and aviary construction the Umgeni River Bird Park was opened in April 1984 by the then Mayor of Durban, Sibil Hotz.
The Bird Park was privately owned by a group of men who were primarily bird lovers and driven by the desire to educate and create an empathy for birds with people who would not in the ordinary course of their lives encounter different bird species from all over the world. The Bird Park was well supported by local residents, SA holiday makers and tourists alike. The Bird Park enjoyed the reputation of being the finest Bird Park in the Southern Hemisphere by maintaining the Park in a world class pristine and aesthetically attractive standard and continuously adding new exhibits ensuring the return of visitors for the next addition.
The devastating floods of 1987 which washed away Riverside Road in front of the Park, threatened to flood the entire Park resulting in the bird collection being evacuated to the Abrey’s home on top of the hill overlooking the Park. By 1989 the Umgeni River Bird Park was awarded the “Premier Durban Attraction” by the Durban Tourism Board and was home to over 4,500 birds of 400 different species.
In 1995 construction commenced on the Free Flight Bird Show arena and an American Bird Trainer was employed to train the Bird Park staff in show production and bird training. One year later the arena was complete and the first show was staged.
In early 1997 ownership of the Umgeni River Bird Park changed hands with the new owners upholding the philosophy of “INSPIRE TO CONSERVE”
The Cockatoo Café
The Cockatoo Café is a beautiful little teagarden situated in the heart of the Umgeni River Bird Park. One can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast or light lunch while enjoying the peace and tranquility of this “jewel of a bird park”.
The Cockatoo Café caters for Children’s Birthday Parties.Call the Café’s direct line 031 579 3377 to get all the information. We also cater for pensioners groups that wish to have tea and cream scones or light lunches.
Feel free to call anytime and speak to Neetu at the Cockatoo Café on 031 579 3377.
The Bird Show
10 years old and still going strong, the show celebrated its’ 10th anniversary in December 2006 and continues to entertain and inspire thousands of people every year. Featuring a cast of birds from North and South America, Africa, Indonesia and Australia, the emphasis is on conservation and education. There are big changes planned for the show this year with a host of new stars being trained to amaze and delight audiences. You will be able to get up close and personal with owls, cranes, hornbills, macaws, kookaburras, toucans, vultures and many other species as they demonstrate what they would normally do in the wild in totally unrestricted free flight. Shows are at 11:00am and 2:00pm every day – weather permitting. No visit to the park is complete without watching the show.
The park is on Riverside Road, on the bank of the Umgeni River. From Durban, head north toward Umhlanga, and you'll find the park just 10 minutes drive from the city centre. Follow the signs off the N2 or M4 Highways
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