How it all began…
Eagle Encounters was founded in 2001 by Hank and Tracy Chalmers. The land, generously donated by Spier Wine Farm, provides the perfect location for our rehabilitation, release, conservation, education and eco-tourism programmes. Eagle Encounters is a self-funded Non-Profit Organization.
Hank Chalmers met his first falcon when he was about 5 – his father was one of the first falconers in South Africa, trained by an American. By the time he was 8, Hank was in love with raptors (and a certain beautiful black eagle). Many years later, he and Tracy decided to become active players in the conservation arena and preserve South Africa’s raptors for their children and future generations. Tracy left the corporate world to administrate and market Eagle Encounters, and Hank is hands on with rescue, rehabilitation and the conservation programmes. Their home is filled with animals of all sorts, and their three children thrive in an environment where porcupines, meerkats and raptors are welcome day and night.
Today Eagle Encounters is a much-loved centre, visited by both locals and tourists from around the world.
A tripadvisor winner for two years running, Eagle Encounters is proud of the Certificates of Excellence received in 2014 and 2015
Time and Place is 19h00 for 19:30 at Kristo Pienaar Environmental Education Centre , Tygerberg Nature Reserve.
Friends of Tygerberg Hills membership card is a free entry. Non-members = R20 donation.
Friends of Tygerberg Hills are persons who are concerned about the environment.
We work for the conservation of the nature reserve. We also encourage greater public awareness of the value of the areas for the benefit of present and future generations.
The Tygerberg Hills are part of our natural heritage and home to a wide variety of plants, animals and birds. The main aim of the Friends group is to support and assist the local authorities by volunteering time and effort to assist in the maintenance of this natural asset. All the Friends activities are done in partnership with the local conservation officer.
Our Friends group was founded end of November 2002 starting with 15 members.
On the 29th of August 2005 we were registered as a Non-profit organization with the department of social development. We have also received tax exemption from SARS.
We are affiliated to Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, registered with City of Cape Town to participate in the newly established ward forums, represented on the Advisory board of Tygerberg, Durbanville and Bracken nature reserves.
Activities of the Friends ?
FoTH help the management of the reserve in every possible way. Friends can do their bit for the reserve and surroundings by raising funds to finance approved projects, organise hikes, share their knowledge with other friends and visitors, educate, train, provide technical skills and labour.
We use our skills and manual labour to maintain hiking paths, fire breaks, making sign boards, construct bridges, steps and paths.
We cut down and removed alien vegetation such as Pine, Port Jackson, Bluegum and Rooikrans and other alien vegetation in the reserve.
Enviro Talks and presentations
Every first Tuesday of the month we present an interesting talk or presentation with an environmental flavour. These talks are advertised on our website, on Facebook, in the local press as well as in our notices. The venue is the Kristo Pienaar Environmental Education Centre in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve.
Enviro Talk start at 19h00 for 19h30
Non-members: R20 donation. Friends of Tygerberg Hills membership card is Free entry .
The Friends have regular hikes in the reserve. These hikes are advertised on our website, in our notices, in the local press as well. Our hikes include the very popular sunset or full moon rise hikes for our members and paying visitors.
From 1st September 2016 we will be walking at 06h30 on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
We also organize special hikes, such as our ‘wine hikes’, where we walk from the Welgemoed entrance, through the reserve to Altydgedacht wine farm for a cellar tour followed by wine tasting, cheese and bread.
The hacking team assists the management of the Reserve, taking out mostly alien plants, pine trees, Port Jackson and Rooikrans in and around the reserve. You must be prepared to get sweaty, scratched and sometimes even wet, but that is all part of the fun!
CREW program (Custodians for Rare and Endangered Wildflowers)
We participate in the Crew program, coordinated by the National Botanical Institute at Kirstenbosch. The main aim is to promote awareness of our floral kingdom in our immediate environment. We also monitor the rare and endangered plant species that occur in our surroundings. CREW holds regular field trips.
Firing the muzzle loading cannon
On various public holidays our fully qualified gunners fire the 12 pounder muzzle loading cannon next to the Sentech mast in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve.
The cannon can also be fired for special private occasions, such as weddings, birthdays etc for an affordable fee to cover the gun powder used.
For more info, contact Jürg Zimmermann 083 7018496 or Neville Potgieter 021 913 4618.
Few times a year we invite the youngsters from the ULWAZI project for the physically challenged to the Tygerberg or Durbanville reserves. It is always an eye opener for us volunteers to see the smile on the faces of these youngsters confined to their wheel-chairs, when we took them to the picnic site for sightseeing. Afterwards we wheeled them down hill to the centre where they learned about the birds and animals of the reserve, or helped decorating greeting cards and enjoyed some snacks and cool drinks.
After intensive lobbying by the Friends, the new wheel chair ramp was opened last year. Now they also have access through the main entrance to the Kristo Pienaar centre and need no more to be wheeled in through the back door.
Contact Evelyn Koopma 082 824 8281
For more information:
contact persons = Diane Johnson 0832708546 ,
Dan e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sjaak e-mail email@example.com ,
Friends of Tygerberg Hills, PO Box 2522 Durbanville , 7551