“Explore the beautiful indigenous forest that the sanctuary encompasses, taking in the incredible wildlife and enjoying close-up encounters with the birds. The mission of Birds of Eden is to educate the public about the birds and the dangers of keeping both indigenous and exotic birds as pets.
The award-winning bird sanctuary provides a forever home where previously caged birds can live a life of free-flight in a habitat as large and natural as is possible, as well as providing an extraordinary experience for their guests, who can walk through the beautiful grounds at their own leisure.
Discover the tranquility and beauty of the world’s largest bird sanctuary and all that it has to offer. Birds of Eden opened in December 2005 and is the largest free-flight single dome aviary in the world. The sanctuary encompasses 2.3ha of partly forested land, covered by a 3.2ha mesh and criss-crossed by a 1.2km walkway, which visitors may explore at their own pace.
The aviary’s highest point is approximately 55m since the terrain includes a deep gorge with a waterfall, thus allowing ample flying space for its winged inhabitants. The sanctuary is home to over 3,500 birds of around 280 species, as well as many other animals such as golden-handed tamarins, bush babies, giant bats and the indigenous blou duiker bush buck.
The feathered inhabitants of the aviary are comprised of a mixture of exotic, as well as African birds. This includes previously caged pets, hand reared and imprinted individuals, which in turn explains why some of our inhabitants, mainly being the parrots, (of which we have 60 different species) are unafraid of human beings and seemingly tame. All new arrivals at Birds of Eden go through a process of rehabilitation before their final release into the main aviary. Most of the birds that arrive at Birds of Eden have a history of being caged in small environments.
Many of the birds we home have never encountered other birds. Therefore the main rehabilitation process involves socialization with other birds in large outdoor pre-release aviaries. Here they are given the chance to build up flight muscles, flight control (i.e. practicing landings, change of direction etc.) The rest of the release process is based on instinct and it is rather remarkable – all the birds instinctively know which area of the aviary suits their needs, how and where to look for, and find food, water and shelter from the weather. Species recognition is generally immediate. Releasing new birds into the main aviary immediately without them going through rehabilitation would be tantamount to running a marathon without any training.
Birds of Eden is totally self-sustaining because of its visitors. Every paying guest that enters the bird sanctuary directly sustains Birds of Eden. The funds that Birds of Eden manage to save, after expenses, enable them to develop further wildlife sanctuaries.”