Enjoy a leisurely hour's walk through the Cape Fynbos bushveld with majestic hawks swooping overhead!
- (Cape Town)
- Gift Voucher valid for 1 Participant
For millennia, resourceful humans have made birds of prey their formidable hunting companions. In the Far East, records of falconry date to well beyond 1000 BC, and the practice is recognised by UNESCO as a ‘living human heritage’. Today, hunting no longer takes precedence, but birds are still kept and displayed for the purposes of rehabilitation, conservation and education.
This unique experience, in Stellenbosch, promotes these key modern objectives, while offering a truly timeless natural encounter. After a brief introduction at the eco-tourism centre, you’ll embark on an hour’s guided walk through the region’s stunning native bushveld, accompanied by two majestic Harris Hawks. These charismatic birds have become increasingly popular among contemporary falconers, who favour their aerial prowess and social disposition. Throughout the gentle hike, your new feathered friends will follow the group freely – periodically swooping to and from your gloved arms!
The One Hour Falconry Hawk Walk, in Cape Town, is a great chance to interact with some remarkable birds of prey. An Experience Days voucher makes a memorable gift for the animal-lover in your family.
Hawk walks can be booked on weekday and weekend dates throughout the year, subject to availability.
Bookings must be made at least 48 hours in advance.
The one hour hike is fairly physically demanding, so participants who are unfit or unsteady on their feet will not be suitable. The walk is also not suitable for those with poor eyesight.
Experience Duration: 01:00
Time at Venue: 01:30
The hawk walk will take approximately one hour, departing at 17:00.
Participants: The One Hour Falconry Hawk Walk in Cape Town is for 1 participant.
Max Group Size: 10
Spectators Allowed on Site: Yes
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Entrance to the centre costs R75 for non-voucher holders.
Please wear comfortable walking clothes and shoes, with long pants (there are ticks in the long grass). It is advised to bring sun block, a hat and water.
In particularly adverse weather conditions the walk may be cancelled, in which case you can reschedule for an alternative date.
If you have an interest in Birds of Prey, we suggest you have a read through this fantastic expert interview with Tracy at Eagle Encounters. Find out about the creation of the business, favourite moments and learn a little bit about the owners and the reasons why they have such a passion for these spectacular birds.
Hank owned a drum reconditioning factory and I (Tracy) come from the corporate world. The birth of our first son caused us to re-evaluate our lives with respect to what’s really important to us. The conclusion we reached was that we wanted our life’s work to be worthwhile and meaningful in a larger sense than just financial security. We decided that, if we were going to spend our time working, it may as well be towards the benefit of our community, our environment, our planet and ultimately our children’s heritage. In our small way, we believe that we are achieving this.
I have always loved animals. At one point I even considered going into the veterinary field, however my father reminded me that my incredibly soft spot for animals would be more of a hindrance than a help, so I decided to scrap the idea. Hank, on the other hand, grew up with a father who was one of the first falconers in South Africa. It would seem that Falconry is in his blood, as he has been practising since the tender age of 7 and his passion for birds of prey has never waned. Hank is now a Master Falconer, which means that he is able to train and fly pretty much any bird of prey on the planet!
When Hank and I made the decision to leave our respective fields to start Eagle Encounters, we approached Spier as a possible location because, even way back then, they were the pioneers in organic farming. To our great fortune, Spier decided to give our project a home and we have been growing from strength to strength there ever since.
After giving this question considerable thought, we have to say no, we don’t have one particular favourite. You see, all our birds have their own personalities and quirks, which we just love! To give you some examples:
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. They are all unique individuals who bring their own brand of joy to the centre.
You would think that something like winning the Caltex / Cape Times Award would be this moment for us, but actually it’s not. For us it’s about a desperately ill / injured animal turning the corner to recovery under our care; about nursing a raptor back to health, putting it through falconry fitness and hunting training, then setting it free; having organisations like Cape Nature, the SPCA, etc. consult with us because they recognise our input; when visitors to Eagle Encounters overcome phobias and we see the absolute joy in their first real encounter with an animal that they previously feared. These are the moments that continually humble us and keep us going.
Thank you Tracy for finding the time to complete this expert interview.
If you are interested in the experiences with Eagle Encounters that we offer, click the links below to find them.