Browsing the internet a few weeks ago, I discovered a blog site belonging to the Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide. http://vulturehide.blogspot.co.za/
Having always wanted to spend time photographing these amazing and endangered birds I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org Soon thereafter I received a reply confirming that there was space for myself in a 08:30 to 10:30 timeslot.
On the day of my booking the weather didn’t look great at all. There were occasional showers on route from Durban to Port Shepstone . On arrival at the meeting spot (you need to be escorted there as the site is located on a private farm) I was met by Andy Ruffle, the Chairman and coordinator of the Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide. I then followed Andy for a few kilomteres along a dirt road through the sugar cane to the viewing site.
Immediately upon arrival at the viewing site we could see the Cape Vultures using the wind to graciously glide around us. Andy pointed out a large cliff face across a gully which was home to several breeding pairs, at a quick count I could see over 20 nests.. All nests were also occupied by a chick, approximately two and a half months old. Several vantage points were also indicated.
Although the weather was still very dull and reasonably hazy we were close enough to the vultures to allow some great photos to be captured. If anything, the wind against the cliff, on top of which we were standing, was a blessing in that the vultures were using the wind to fly from below us up to over our heads.
It was an absolute pleasure to see the vultures in their natural habitat, caring for their chicks, taking off and landing from their nesting sites. An awesome experience indeed. I plan to make my next visit on a day when the there is a carcass available to feed the vultures and we can then use the hide to observe the feeding frenzy.
Here are a few photos that were taken on the day.