The Owl Orphanage - St Helena Bay

About us

The Owl Orphanage is the brainchild of Jacques Nel.

Having spent most of his live in nature, he realized the need for this Orphanage to protect Owls and the local bird species.

As an Artist and Landscaper, He finds his inspiration in nature.
As a lifelong conservationist, he always tries to bring awareness, to the community surrounding him, of the importance of looking after our fauna and flora.
Even in travels his interests are in nature, from diving the Barrier Reef, hiking across Africa to walking forests in Brazil and many more.  Jacques` love for nature was nurtured from a young age through his father whom also, was a nature addict. Through having worked on game farms, game lodges and sanctuaries, Jacques` knowledge, experience and passion for nature, grew from strength to strength.

The Owl Orphanage is not only a dream come true for Jacques, but it is also an ideal place from where he can share his knowledge and experience with the community to nurture love, understanding and the importance of looking after the environment, as his father did for him.

Gallery pics of animals saved by us

The Need

Because of change in climate, increase in population, construction, more wire fencing, electrical overhead cables, usage of poison, increased traffic, destruction of habitat, more domestic dogs and cats, misunderstanding and superstition, the need for bringing awareness and places of refuge for our indigenous birds and wildlife, becomes more important by the day.

Our Mission

Is to create a safe haven for owls, orphaned and injured. Where they can be looked after, rehabilitated and when ready, be released back into nature.

Because the summers gets very hot and dry with little food and water available, we also aim using the property as an open Oasis, adding to the indigenous vegetation, by planting trees, flowering,  fruit bearing, seeding, and edible shrubs.

A watering hole will also be build with extra feeding stations.

A beautiful 2000 sq. property has been donated for the purpose of creating a safe haven for the bird life in St Helena Bay.

The property is situated against the hillside with a green belt running along two sides, where no  construction is allowed.

This allows the local Dassie family, Porcupines, Duikers and wild birds to have an 
untouched area where they can roam freely.

Fencing of the property is limited to allow these indigenous friends to run wild.

This page will be up dated on a regular basis.

Donations required for:

Our immediate fundraising target is R 500 000 for the purchase of materials for expansion due to an increase of injured-, poisoned owls and taking on additional species like Kestrels, Buzzards and Kites.
We are in desperate need of more aviary space, staff salaries and extra vehicles for rescues.

Thank you to our Sponsors….

- The property was donated anonymously
- George Botten @ GAB Computers for the website (Cape Town)
- TG de Villiers (Paarl)
- Malgas Lions Club (Saldahna Bay)
- Political Animal Lobby
- Things Galore (St Helena Bay)

What to do with an injured owl / bird:

* Before assuming a baby owl or any bird on the ground is in distress, make sure that the parents aren't there. Parents are usually not far away and not all babies can fly yet.

* On finding an injured bird, place in a dark container with air holes, or cover with a towel or soft material. This would bring a calming affect and reduce stress. Contact your local vet, sanctuary or SPCA. Handle with care.

* Do not chase an injured bird or animal, stress is the biggest killer and they will bite. Rather contact someone with experience.

* Remember that a distressed wild bird or animal will see you as an enemy and will act accordingly. Rather wait for someone with the right gear to assist. Keep an eye, but keep some distance.

West Coast Enviromental Project


The WCEPF was founded, to find solutions for the issues in our Environment and Local Communities.

By starting Educational , Awareness and Community Projects, we believe that by finding solutions, we can live in harmony with Nature. 

Our Aim

To build a network , consisting of compassionate people, in our Communities, Governmental Departments, Local Authorities, Environmental institutions, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Nature Lovers.

Together we aim to bring change, for a better future for us and a healthier Environment, to protect our Wildlife on land and off shore.

Enviromental Projects

The West Coast Seal Project

Known as Dogs of the Ocean. The Cape Fur Seal is found along the coast line of South Africa, with numbers between 1.5million and 2 million, from Algoa Bay in the south to the north of Namibia. These Inquisitive and playful animals needs our attention.  

Their numbers are slowly in decline. Namibia is the only country where the culling of Seals are legal, for their fur and genitalia.  This is used for the Far East Fashion and Aphrodisiac Market. The yearly culling quota in Namibia is, 85 000 pups and 8000 adult males. 

In South Africa Seals are a protected species by law, under the 1973 Marine Bird and Mammal Act. Beside natural causes, many of the Seals along our coast line are Killed by Human hand.  

During breading season, many pups and dead seals ends up on our shores. Many of the pups and juveniles are orphaned during this time  and are unable to fend for themselves.

Our Aim is not only to take record of dead and alive seals, but more a hands-on approach to save as many as we can. We are currently in contact with the respective Authorities to find the best solutions, acquiring permits and sharing different ideas. Besides Awareness Campaigns and Educational Programs, we aim to set up a Seal Station where juveniles and pups can be looked after and moved to the nearest Seal Island once strong enough. We are also currently working on awareness propaganda and information boards than can be erected on our beaches.  

The West Coast Seal Project was founded in April 2018, when we came across a juvenile Seal that was badly injured and we could find  no help anywhere in the West Coast. Since this time, we have grown with experience and knowledge and we still have a long road ahead. 

Many passionate people in different Departments and in the Community has since come on-board, to find solutions. Understanding the  behaviour of Seals after contact with Humans, we have decided that more research and training needs to be done for the safety and welfare of Seal and Human alike. In these Fishing Communities, this is a very sensitive subject. Our Aim is not only to work with Authorities and Researchers, but also with our local Fishermen. Seals can cause a lot of damage ,when it comes to the Fishing Industry.

We believe that through working together, awareness and finding solutions we will find the perfect balance for all.

The West Coast Seal Project is the first of such an operation along the West Coast of South Africa.

Tree Planting Project 

The West Coast of South Africa has very unique indigenous vegetation. After the long, hot and dry summers the veld turns into an array  of green and spectacular colour, with the start of the winter rains. However, with the changes in climate world wide, we believe that one can never plant enough trees.

Our Aim is to plant 10 000 trees in the St Helena Bay area and hopefully carry this initiative over to other Villages along the West Coast. With barren farm lands and strong summer winds, planting trees will create safe havens for our indigenous wildlife amongst other reasons. The idea is to have our local Municipalities allocate appropriate areas where the Communities can get involved in the planting and looking after of these trees. We believe that with a little bit of help, Nature can recover. It is our hope that through initiatives like this, we can bring change and a better outlook for the generations to come.

At the Owl Orphanage we  are running out of tree planting space. The satisfaction of planting trees, drives us to plant as many as we can in the West Coast region.  

Community Projects

Community Vegetable Gardens:

Our Aim with this Project is many fold. With the lack of jobs and addiction problems in some Communities, we believe that this Project  can be a food source, uplift the Community and give the youth something to do. In our poor economical climate every little bit of relieve will make a huge impact. 

This Project will also be a great opportunity for us not only to work with our different Communities, but create a platform for Environmental Awareness Campaigns. Together we can find solutions for pollution and a cleaner environment. With the unfair handing out of fishing quotas, many people have understandably turned to poaching. People need not only to feed their families, but have a reason to live.

This in itself is a large project, but we believe that if we want to make a difference in our environment, we have to look at the bigger picture. For desperate and struggling Communities to help us in environmental affairs, we must help them to be great again, to have a sense of belonging and pride. As this project grows, we would like to introduce skills development initiatives as well. There is no quick fix, but by changing the way we think, look at issues differently and standing together, we can most certainly accomplish great things. 

It is of utmost importance that we install a love of Nature in todays youth, by creating opportunities through environmental education,

Awareness, nature programs, walks and camps. Todays youth are tomorrows Nature Keepers.

Beach Clean-ups:

This is a great and fun platform. With this project we want to involve the youth in our Communities and Schools. The idea is to introduce a programme for team building, competitions and environmental educational outings for our Children. This will not only help our Municipalities, but it will save many marine birds and mammals. With passionate individuals already picking up plastics on their beach walks, this project will help with the way we look at the future use and disposal of plastics in our Communities.

Our Motivation:

As mentioned before, this overall project started with one Seal. We had no idea that to help our Seals, we had to turn back to the drawing board many times, changing our approach and ideas to find solutions. This created a snowball effect growing by the day. We came to realise that to make a lasting difference in our environment, this can not be a one man operation. Through many meetings with people in different departments, institutions and communities, we found that a lack of hands and funding makes it difficult for environmental projects to get off the ground.

We have also discovered that many people have a passion for the environment and would like to get involved in one or anther way. Bringing people of all walks of life together with the same passion for nature, makes us excited to believe that we can and will make a difference. We also know that to wait for our Government to wake up, nothing will change.

Our Environment needs us now and with understanding, respect and passionate people standing together we can find that way to live in harmony with Nature. In respect for the different Government Departments the WCEPF will follow all legal procedures, applications and regulations.

The WCEPF NPO number is 236-007 NPO.


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Donations link for Owl Orphanage

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Don't hesitate to contact us

Donations can be paid into:

The Owl Orphanage
First National Bank
Cheque acc. 62786212771
Branch 200710

Reference: name / organization


Flamingo Rd
Blue Berry Hill
St Helena Bay 
West Coast
South Africa 

Phone Jacques Nel: +27 72 0405 465

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