Monkeybirds is an attraction near Nabana Lodge not to be missed

Posted by Magda on Fri May 1, 2015 in Tourism.

Relocating from the Free State 3 years ago, Winnie and Basie Human brought their exotic birds and monkeys, establishing Monkeybirds, to Hazyview to delight young and old. Mischevious and vocal, fun and entertaining, these creatures will keep visitors entranced.

Dreams are seldom realised with a bang, often developing over many seasons, yet with great satisfaction. For Winnie and Basie Human, owners of Monkeybirds in Hazyview, this is certainly the case. What started as a pet project, breeding canaries, has over a period of 20 years blossomed into a business, with 100 spacious enclosures keeping more than 50 pairs of rare and exquisite birds and over 120 exotic monkeys. Winnie originally comes from the Free State, but relocated to Hazyview in March 2012 as the tropical climate here suits these birds and monkeys, many originating from the rain forests of the Amazon.

The care and dedication offered the birds and monkeys are vital in ensuring the survival of some rare and endangered species, such as the black and white Geoffrey’s Marmosets from Brazil, Crown Pigeons from Niue Guinea in Indonesia, the Major Mitchell Cockatoo from Australia and the Scarlet Macaw from South America. Breeding season for the birds is from September through to March, with the African Gray parrot breeding throughout the year. Winnie uses incubators to hatch parrot eggs, having a better success rate this way in raising hatchlings than in leaving them with the parents. This truly takes dedication as the fledgelings need feeding every two hours! A special formula, high in energy content, is used. It is an intensive process as the incubator’s temperature also needs adjusting daily from the initial 37 degrees Celsius.

Fortunately the birds and monkeys are not prone to disease. Cleanliness and nutrition is paramount in maintaining their wellbeing and to feed the birds and monkeys is very costly. Monkeys enjoy a varied diet with different fruit, vegetables, cooked chicken and boiled eggs. The daily menu demands 10kg chicken, 12kg apples, 5kg bananas, 3 kg grapes, 6 loaves of bread, 8 dozen eggs and other fruits in season. On top of that they are fed a cereal mixture twice a day, and of course special treats such as Marie Biscuits and marshmallows.  The birds are fed a variety of nuts and seeds, delivered from Natal.

Monkeys are adorable and very entertaining, especially Bobby and Katryn, a pair of Cappuchin, who loves the visitors. Bobby will hold your hand, but being very mischievous, once sneaked a visitor’s car keys from his hand, raced to the top of the enclosure and proceeded to dismantle the remote control! He absolutely refused to relinquish his new toy, forcing the poor visitor to have a new set delivered from Nelspruit.

Entrance fee to the park is R100.00 per adult, R60.00 for children between seven and twelve, R30.00 for kids between four and six and for kiddies younger than four, entry is free. Guided tours are given to groups on request. Monkeybirds is open 7 days a week. The restaurant on site overlooks a dam with a resident swan family, whilst kids can play to their heart’s content in the children’s entertainments area. It certainly is not an attraction to be missed when visiting the Lowveld!