Eagle Encounters, Spier
Imagine having a partner who sends you images of what looks like either a black bag or a tiny bird with captions, “It’s an eagle!” *excited emoji*. Now one can only imagine how happy I was to find a place dedicated to eagles so that Courtney could see one up close.
Don’t ask me where his obsession came from but the last year and a half, Courtney’s fixation on eagles started to get out of hand; pointing at flying birds telling me it’s an eagle when clearly it wasn’t. Then during the December holidays at a Quick shop pitstop, stood a rack filled with outdoor activity brochures and behold, Eagle Encounters stared right at me; secretly staring me in the eye as my hand grabbed the pamphlet in delight.
Eagle Encounters is a wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism centre based at the historic Spier Wine Farm. It’s situated at the end of Spier Farm where you most likely not to go. Once we paid our R75.00 fee, we were welcomed by pigs who were clearly entertaining themselves and not bothered by our appearance at all. Note that you are allowed into their space and play with them.
Around the corner from the pigs, you’re startled by the size of the Black Eagle who death stared us as well as the Wahlberg’s Eagle. To our right, there’s a touching gallery where you allowed to cuddle and feel these beautiful owls who perch at your every touch. These golden owls feathers were so soft, it felt as though you were feeling absolutely nothing.
We walked around and viewed every single eagle: big or small. They either just glared at us or simply didn’t bother to say hello. At 11:00, a live show was held where the facilitator educates you about the various vultures and their eating habits. I really enjoyed this part because it was interactive , having vultures fly in between the audiences and allowing kids to feed and participate in the show.
After the show, Courtney and I had a personal encounter with Willy, the Wahlberg Eagle. Let me tell you now how petrified I was when I saw the wings begin to flap. I literally pushed Courtney into the lions nest to go first.
The instructor handed over this hardened glove you put on your hand while he calms the eagle down. Then, he gentle hands the eagle over and yes, it’s actually a heavy creature in strength. You can feel how it’s claws are on you. Courtney seemed fearless; masterfully touching it with his hand while I was terrified to the core, using only my finger to stroke it.
I definitely recommend this place for anyone wanting to face their fears for eagles or just big birds. It’s really kid friendly and a great place to take your kids for an interactive session. Visit their site for more information regarding the times and prices here.
Until the next adventure.