Umgeni River Bird Park
Umgeni River Bird Park © Anya Klaassen
The Umgeni River Bird Park has had a dramatic history in recent years, closed down very reluctantly by its owners due to unprofitability, then rescued by the municipality after an uproar from the community. The park, tucked away near an industrial section of Durban North and the Umgeni River, houses an ever-growing collection of more than 800 birds and over 200 species of birds, all displayed along shady winding paths. The park is situated in lush tropical garden in what used to be an old quarry site; it was opened in 1984 after extensive landscaping. The park's free-flight bird show, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday at 11am and 2pm, has been entertaining families and school groups for over a decade, featuring vultures, owls, cranes, and other impressive fowl. The free-flight shows are also available on Mondays during South African school holidays but not outside of these dates. The birds included in the show change frequently and a visit to the park is hardly complete without seeing the free-flight show. There is also an undercover cafe in the heart of the park that offers refreshments and light meals. The park is accessible by bus, but the route is not in constant use.
Address: 490 Riverside Road, Durban