Justin's sister lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband and two kids. Whenever we're traveling long-haul from London to Sydney, or Bali to London, we try to organize a stopover in KL for a couple of days so we can all hang out.
On this latest trip, we visited the impressive Kuala Lumpur Bird Park which is home to more than 3,000 birds representing over 200 species. Set in nearly 21 acres of verdant parkland, this is the world's largest free-flight walk-in aviary and, amazingly, it's located just a few minutes from the city center.
The bird park is actually part of the larger, 150 acre, Lake Gardens, which were established in 1888. These gardens also comprise a deer park, orchid and hibiscus garden, and butterfly park.
Around 90% of the birds in the park are local, and the vast majority roam free. This free-flight concept allows the birds to live in an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat, and it allows visitors the unique experience of watching a wide variety of colorful and melodic birds in a tropical rainforest.
The park has an active breeding program, but the real evidence of how well so many of the birds have adapted to the aviary is that they are breeding naturally. The highlight for me was looking up into the trees to see so many nests, proof that this sanctuary is a highly conducive environment for breeding.