Birds of Eden

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Birds of Eden Bird Sanctuary
Birds of Eden-001.jpg
The aviary
Date opening2005-12-15
LocationWestern Cape, South Africa
Coordinates33°57′47″S 23°29′01″E / 33.963°S 23.4835°E / -33.963; 23.4835Coordinates: 33°57′47″S 23°29′01″E / 33.963°S 23.4835°E / -33.963; 23.4835
Land area2.3 hectares (5.7 acres)[1]
No. of animals3000+[1]
No. of species280+[1]

Birds of Eden is the world's largest free flight aviary and bird sanctuary, located near Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, South Africa. The mesh dome of the sanctuary was built over 2.3 hectares (5.7 acres) of indigenous forest, and is up to 55 metres (180 ft) above ground level. 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) of walkways, about 75% of which are elevated, let visitors see the birds at all levels of the aviary.

Birds of Eden is one of the three Sanctuaries under The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA). As a member of SAASA Birds of Eden was honoured with four major Tourism awards in 2014. The four awards are namely the Lilizela Tourism Visitor Experience of the Year Award at a 'Wildlife Encounters',[2] the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award,[3] Overall winner of the World Responsible Tourism Award as well as the Gold Award in World Responsible Tourism in the category of 'Best Animal Welfare Initiative' [4]


Masts and mesh

The 2.3-hectare (5.7-acre) enclosure is covered 3.2 hectares (7.9 acres) of wire mesh resting on cables strung between 28 masts. The masts vary in length between 2 and 34 metres (6 ft 7 in and 111 ft 7 in) and at its highest point the mesh is 55 metres (180 ft) above the ground. The total weight of the wire mesh is about 80 tonnes, and it encloses a total volume of 375,372 cubic metres (13,256,100 cu ft).[5][6]

Visitors can access the aviary through about 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) of walkways, about 75% of which are elevated to let them see the birds in all areas of the aviary. Visitors can tour the facility on their own, or take a guided tour.[7]

The enclosure was built over indigenous forest and includes a natural gorge with a waterfall, and a 200-seat amphitheater.[1]


A beautiful macaw
Inside the aviary
Pink flamingo
Birds of Eden toucan


In 2014 the sanctuary was home to about 3500 birds representing more than 200 species.[1]

List of animals

Scarlet ibis Knysna Lourie


  1. ^ a b c d e "About Birds of Eden". Birds of Eden. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  2. ^ "The 2nd Lilizela Tourism Awards". Lilizela Tourism Awards. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  3. ^ "Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards by Diversey Care 2014". Skal International. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  4. ^ "World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014". World Responsible Travel. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  5. ^ Birds of Eden Information Booklet. 2008.
  6. ^ "Sneak Preview – Birds of Eden Sanctuary". First Flight Birds and Rehabilitation Centre. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
  7. ^ "Bird Watching". Nectar Cottage. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
  8. ^ "Frequently asked Questions". Birds of Eden. Retrieved 3 July 2011.

External links[edit]