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LOCAL TIME: 05:58 pm | Wednesday, 21 February
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Kalahari Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, Kuruman

The Kalahari Raptor Rehabilitation Centre near Kuruman treats and rehabilitates injured raptors – from vultures to eagles, falcons, hawks and also owls.

The Kalahari region of South Africa is home to 40 out of the total of 67 species of Raptor found in South Africa. In addition 7 owl species are found in the region, and the rehabilitation centre is a part of conservation efforts to save many highly vulnerable species.

Many birds are released after they have been treated, but not all can be, and these birds are kept in huge netted aviaries that are built over the tops of the camelthorn trees so that the birds have the opportunity to do what they do best after flying  – sitting at the tops of these trees where they have a vantage point to spot potential prey with their incredibly sharp eyes for kilometres around.

Visitors are welcome. There is a small entry fee to the centre, but it is essential to make an appointment to view the birds. Species that can be seen include various types of vulture, eagles, buzzards, falcons, goshawks and owls. Notably, the centre has also been successful in breeding Cape vultures. The Cape vulture, though found in other parts of South Africa, has been extinct in its native Northern Cape for over 50 years as a result of conflict with farmers.

The Kalahari Raptor Rehabilitation Centre is also the start of the Kalahari Raptor Route which follows the movement of raptor species through the Kalahari and was developed to aid conservation efforts by increasing awareness of and appreciation of the many beautiful, unique and irreplaceable bird of prey species found in the Kalahari.

This includes various species of vulture, hawks, kytes, eagles and the bizarre looking secretary bird usually seen stalking or running through bush and grassland on its long legs than in flight.

For more info: 053 7123576 (no website)

More info on the quaint town of Kuruman More info on the Kalahari area

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