In Rehab

No, not me...a bunch of Raptors.

Lappet-faced Vulture up close

You know those things that you should have done long ago, but just didn't get around to. Right, well for me a visit to NARREC was a bit like that. I have been meaning to go for a while. NARREC had come up in a couple discussions and I just felt like I have to go and visit it. It's kind of silly, but I sort of thought of it with a bit of a sense of obligation more than anything. I had also not been feeling to good (all the green giving me hay fever, which really gets me badly when there has been good rains.) Anyway, I put out the word that I was going and a few friends said that they would join me. All of us had kids (six and down) and NARREC is really happy to take young kids.

NARREC is just a short drive out of Windhoek to the north. When we phoned to make arrangements, Liz from NARREC gave us really good directions. If you are planning to visit I would advise you to do the same. Make sure you call them before hand anyway.

We got there before it was to hot. After meeting Liz she gave us some basic guidelines and then let us walk around on our own. Some of the raptors in the cages are unable to be released in the wild again. The cages are vary spacious and full of perches and plants. They are also well spaced out, making a walk around really fun. You can see the place is set up for birders, there are nest boxes and feeders around. There was a lot of bird activity, but between managing a bunch of kids, my camera, bins and bird book, I didn't manage to watch birds out of the cages much. But it was wonderful to get such close up views of a number of raptors.

I didn't make notes (unusual for me) but these are the species I remember seeing:
Lappet Faced Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Brown Snake-eagle, Black-chested Snake-eagle,
Tawny Eagle, a number of Verreaux's Eagle (special birds!), African Hawk-eagle, Augar Buzzard, Pygmy Falcon, Gabar Goshawk (I think), a Lanner Falcon (I have seen one close up years ago, but they are special!), Greater and Rock Kestrel, Spotted Eagle Owl and my favorite of the day, Verreaux's Eagle-owl (what was the Giant Eagle-owl.) There were also some exotic parrots.

Our whole time there we were the only visitors.  Afterwards we had a look at all the info they have up on display and had our picnic on their benches.  The kids had a great time.  All of the kids have had some exposure to the bush, and so, despite not knowing each other before we went, they had a great time.  We found a couple tortoises, looked at all the bones on display, and just had fun.

If you plan to visit, make sure that you take along a donation. It is most certainly a worth while place. Often visitors to Windhoek might find little to do of interest in town. I would recommend a trip out there for sure.

I had gone out of a sense of obligation, but ended up having such a good time.
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Shem Compion said...

Sounds like a great day out- esp for the children. Sounds like you were as excited as them!

Vernon said...

It certainly was better than I expected. And it is amazing to see large raptors up close. Wonderful birds.

Meiring Borcherds said...

Yip they have their place in the world, same as zoos... As long as they are kept in check by the people...