Love Knysna Projects, as a group of 32 people, experienced 3 of the Garden Route’s biggest attractions. As an additional educational quotient, 3 of the teenagers were asked to write a blog about 1 of the attractions. The following is the first of those and is composed by Julie Jacobs, a Grade 11 learner at Concordia High. She chose Birds of Eden.
Relaxing and preparing for the following week is the normal Sunday routine – making sure that our school uniforms are clean and that homework is completed. But not last Sunday. All the children from our Judah Square community in Knysna were invited to enjoy Birds of Eden, the free-flight aviary and sanctuary in The Crags, just past Plettenberg Bay. It is the largest in the world!
Our arrival was greeted by luxurious green plants and colourful flowers at the entrance to the park. Into the store where there were all kinds of bird and wildlife goodies. On the other side was a wooden balcony which gave a view of a valley fill of broccoli-like trees which was covered by a massive net which kept the birds safe. All 3500 of them! And 208 originated from the wet, Tsitsikamma Forest.
The tour was along a wooden pathway and soon we came across loeries and bats. Our lovely tour guide, Charleen, introduced the whole clan to a golden pheasant which raced by with stripes of feathers in yellow, red and orange. She told us that they could live up to 55 years old.
Throughout, the scenery was beautiful. It was gorgeous spotting African Grey Parrots and West African Violet Loeries (Tauracos). At certain spots in the sanctuary, warm lights provided heat for massive bats.
Did you know that the speckled white-fringed loeries, with white over their eyes, are called heart-love loeries and are originally from Zambia? And that ducks lay their eggs alongside the stream that runs under a bridge in the sanctuary? The Grey Loerie is also referred to as the Go-Away Bird. And there’s a parrot called Carlos who could live as long as 27 years (like one of his friends did). He can sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and Shozaloza’. He said “goodbye” when we moved on:)
On the far side of Birds of Eden was a pool with bright red flamingos and swans that can weigh up to 13kg. There was even a water bath in the shape of a heart that was quenching the thirst of a little bird when we were leaving.
But it wasn’t over because, in the parking lot, beautiful black and brown horses captivated us and left us with no choice but to take more photographs.
The outing was exceptionally fun. I enjoyed every bit of it! Everyone else did too!