Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monkeyland and Birds of Eden

In Hitgeheim, we spent our time mostly with a family who had two kids. These two kids were Lizzy's companions throughout the entire safari. They came all the way from Cape Town and ending in an Eastern cape safari. We were to do it the other way around. Anyway, they recommended this place near Knysna that is another popular attraction for kids.




Hearing Monkeyland and Birds of Eden at first turned me off. I was swaying Lizzy not to go there anymore, but because her friends back in Hitgeheim told her how amazing it was, she was set to visit the place.


We arrived in Monkeyland less than 2 hours before closing time. We were told we could still make it, so we decided to go in. I was expecting a zoo kind of park, but what we encountered was different. It was a real forest, where the monkeys can freely roam around. And there were different kinds of primates - yes, not just monkeys. The ones above are, of course, the lemur, made popular by the film Madagascar.


The place was amazing indeed. It was a real forest, with dirt paths, wooden bridges and even a hanging rope bridge!




I will not post any more monkey or primate pictures, because there were a lot and of various species. We didn't see a gorilla though. That would have been fun. Anyway, it was already closing time when we got out of Monkeyland, and wondered if we could still make it to Birds of Eden, which was just beside Monekyland.


We asked around and what we got was that it was already closed. It was a good thing I insisted we go to the reception area of Birds of Eden because they allowed us to go in, but without a tour guide anymore. We were to go inside for an hour alone by ourselves.


If Monkeyland was a forest, Birds of Eden was a huge landscaped cage. You will be able to see the net from above, to prevent the birds from escaping.


And there were lots of birds. We got a log book of all the birds in the park. So what we did was, we ticked off the picture of there birds that we saw.


Birds of Eden was more enjoyable, probably because it looked more like a theme park. There was a portion that looked so much like an Indiana Jones film! And there were waterfalls, an amphitheater and another hanging bridge.





We thought we were near the end of the park trail, when we discovered we were only half way. The park was huge! Halfway through, we came upon a lagoon, with stone paths that were filled with flamingos! There were swans and other long necked feathered creatures in the pool.








The bird below blocked our path towards the end of the trail, and it was not bulging. It was around 5 feet tall, so it was quite intimidating. It actually was aggressive when we got near, so we tried throwing stones at the bird. But it still didn't bulge. It was a good thing that a park ranger came.


Well, that was quite an experience, and I wouldn't have thought I would enjoy bird watching. But these birds here were beautiful, intriguing and some entertaining as well. We ended our self guided tour of the park with the two park rangers just waiting for us to go.



So far, Monkeyland and Birds of Eden proved to be a surprising treat for the both of us. It was a good thing we found our way here, even though we spent a short time exploring these parks. Anyway, after that, we continued our drive to Knysna, which was supposed to be just 15 minutes away.

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