World of Birds in Hout Bay, Cape Town is a rescue centre and sanctuary to many creatures and has been in operation for almost 40 years. Specialising in avian rehabilitation, World of Birds has come to house a great number of species with over 3000 birds (and small animals) of 400 different species. It’s the largest bird park in Africa and one of the only large bird parks in the world.
Covering four hectares of land with 100 spacious walk-through aviaries, it costs between R500,000 and R650,000 per month to maintain. While the park’s visitors remain at just over 100,000 per year, the sanctuary is in financial crisis. They have been caring for birds and animals for more than three decades without any official or corporate structure. The bird park relies on donations, membership fees and sponsors.
The wildlife experience is rich, being able to walk among the birds and get an up close encounter with some of the most unusual and exotic species. One of Cape Town’s favourite tourist attractions and a regular stop for school outings, it continues to keep its gates open, despite financial challenges and setbacks such as robbery. It’s not enough to just keep the park running, it will require continual improvements and some renovation.
It’s a paradise for photographers and nature lovers, who can capture great snaps of everything from alpacas to owls. Kids love being able to see their favourite birds, have the chance to visit the playful squirrel monkeys or see the penguins during feeding time.
How to Support Them
World of Birds is open every day of the year from 9am to 5pm. The admission fees cost R120 per adult, R45 per child, R75 for pensioners and students (with a valid student card). You could start by scheduling more regular visits with friends and family. Or how about liking their Facebook fan page to help stay mindful of them and sharing their content with your community.
Annual memberships start from R350 per year, entitling members and a friend access year-round, expert advice and sanctuary to injured wild birds or animals. Otherwise, consider a corporate 10 year sponsorship of an aviary or making them a charitable cause at your workplace.