Much-loved Long Street institution makes the move to Greenmarket Square
Rehab is for the Birds
Take the kids to encounter regal eagles at Spier
If you're plucky enough to come face to face with a wide selection of vicious killing machines - pop in at the Eagle Encounters Raptor Rehabilitation Centre. A visit to this non-profit bird hospital is a rousing treat for children and adults alike.
The rehabilitation centre was founded five years ago by Hank and Tracy Chalmers on land donated by Spier.
The centre - situated next to the Cheetah Outreach Programme on the Spier Estate - rehabilitates and releases wounded birds; plays their part in conserving the ecology and also aims to educate and create public awareness through community outreach programs.
Stroll through the centre and meet-and-greet a wide variety of weird- and wonderful-looking feathered friends.
Take a moment to gape in awe at Goliath, the centre's mammoth Martial Eagle: Martial Eagles are the largest hunting birds in South Africa; these winged giants can hunt down an adult impala.
Attend a variety of fun and informative displays: See the kids' excitement as Hank trains hand-raised eagles to fly or observe the hunting styles of various birds of prey.
Take part in a thrilling falconry display: Learn more about the ancient art of falconry; don a falconry glove and watch as Hank flies a selection of kites, buzzards, hawks and falcons around and to you; and stroke a bird as it perches on your glove.
Watch as Hank stimulates a snake hunt for Mary Ann, the Secretary Bird: This long legged seductress isn't as timid as she looks - she's got a black belt in karate - Secretary Birds kill their prey by 'karate chopping' it with their legs.
Look on as Mary Ann kicks Hank's hand with a loud "thump" to get to the tasty morsels of meat enclosed in it. Chuckle as she gets impatient with Hank and gives him a frustrated "I want food now!' kick. It's one of the best things to do with kids in the winelands of Cape Town.
Bird watching has never been this entertaining - But be warned, these stately winged predators are bound to charm their way straight into your heart.
Eagle Encounters Display Times:
11 am - Eagle Training
13 pm - Falconry Display
14 pm - Secretary Bird
16 pm - Built for the Kill
All Day - Up Close and Personal (A personal encounter with an Eagle)
Molo Says: "Spier has a wide array of activities on offer to do with kids on your holiday in Cape Town and Stellenbosch: Visit the Cheetah Outreach programme and the Village Hotel at Spier.
And something for the grown-ups while the kids are being entertained - learn to know your Merlot from your Cabernet at Spier's wine tasting centre; treat your taste buds at Moyo, Toto's Bar or Figaro's; or stay the night in one of the hotel's new art rooms.
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