Steenberg Hotel in the Constantia Valley recently welcomed two adorable new members to a family of Cape Eagle-Owls (Bubo capensis) that reside in the oak trees outside its famed restaurant, Catharina’s.
The beautiful Cape Eagle-Owl couple that took up residence here some five years ago, have continually delighted guests and staff with their antics, giving birth for the second consecutive year, to two fluffy chicks in late October. Clearly visible from the restaurant terrace, guests and hotel staff alike are keeping a close watch on the new arrivals, along with their doting parents.
Good news for guests is that after hatching, juvenile Cape Eagle-Owls stay dependent on their parents for two to three months, before leaving the nest - mostly never to return. This means that visitors to Steenberg and Catharina’s may have the pleasure of meeting these young feathery friends throughout the festive season.
While Steenberg offers a world-class hospitality experience voted Top Hotel in Africa and the Middle East in the 2011 Condé Nast Traveler US Readers’ Choice Award, the rare opportunity for owl encounters is high on its list of attractions. Guests witnessing this are among a fortunate few, as it is very uncommon to find the Cape Eagle-Owl in metropolitan areas, preferring as they do rocky, mountainous terrain.
Avid ‘twitchers’ at the Steenberg Hotel may also visit some of the country’s best birding sites in the area, making this the perfect base from which to explore Cape Town’s wonderful birding opportunities. The popular Peninsula Birding Route, right on Steenberg Estate’s doorstep, is a birding and wildlife hotspot, and is home to 70% of Southern Africa’s endemic birds and pelagic birds (seabirds).
Famous tourism sites that also attract many bird species, such as the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Robben Island (world-renowned for its breeding population of African penguin and the feral Chukar partridge), are all within easy travelling distance from Steenberg. Bird-loving guests are also spoiled for choice with the surrounding Constantia Greenbelts, as well as the Wetland Reserve at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, which provides sanctuary to nearly 3000 pairs of African Penguins.
When visiting Steenberg guests may book a birding tour as part of their Cape Town itinerary, while hotel staff are well informed and will gladly recommend the ideal birding excursion. For more information visit The Steenburg Hotel or their page on Facebook