Eagle Encounters – Spier Wine Estate – Stellenbosch, do it just do it if you ever are in the area and get the opportunity.
Now like APSS Eagle Encounters is first and foremost a rehabilitation centre for mainly birds of prey. (Though other birds do get admitted.) Like APSS it has its birds that unfortunately can not be released back into the wild. Unlike APSS it trains some of these birds for flight displays & handling experiences… Imagine us putting on a flying display with a few penguins, would be rubbish ay? They use these birds to raised awareness and educate people in what we call EcoTourism. I have wanted to visit since last year and finally got the opportunity yesterday.
The place is wonderful. The birds are well taken care of, have clean enviroments and are exercised. Ideally the people there would love to be able to release every bird that was admitted but that is not the case. Some of the birds they raised themselves like “Leo”, others have injuries which means they would not last in the wild like “Legs” the Secretarybird. It is these birds that they use in the displays (though a wild Yellow Billed Kite was included in the one i was lucky enough to watch).
I was lucky to get to experience a flight display, the handling of “Leo” and also the Secretarybird hunting display. The staff are so friendly and knowledgable, they do truly care for the birds that they have in their care. Please go and support them if you are in the area.
(Photos copyright of Kayleigh Hawkins 2017)