St Lucia day tour 11th June 2015
I met my client from Durban where we would begin our 2.5 hour drive up to St Lucia the Isimangeliso Wetland park. This area is full off Hippo and Crocodiles and is the largest lake/estuarine system in Southern Africa.
St Lucia named after St Lucy and founded in 1554 by Portuguese sailors who were ship wrecked there and named the river “Rio de Areias de Ouro” meaning River of the sands of Gold.
It is an amazing place full of ecological beauty and South Africas first proclaimed world heritage site is a must visit on either a Day tour from Durban or on an overnight safari from Durban.
After covering some of the interesting history of the area and the scenes on route we arrived and settled into a 2 hour boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary. The cruise in St Lucia is really relaxing and very beautiful. I have traveled with my wife to Zimbabwe and the the great Zambezi river which is in my opinion nothing near as good as St Lucia for viewing of Hippos and Crocodiles!
St Lucia day tour; Raft of Hippo
One of our first sights was the above picture of a massive pod or raft of Hippo which were just resting after a long night of feeding on grass. Hippos can consume 15 -90 KGs of grass in a night and return to the water as they do not have sweat glands to cool themselves down so have to keep cool using the water.
We also spotted a fair number of Crocodiles and lots of Bird Life.
St Lucia day tour; Crocodile in Estuary
These amazing creatures have anything between 66 – 72 teeth in there mouth and can have up to 45 changes of teeth if they break in a fight of eating of food. They are cold blooded hence we can see them basking on the sand banks warming up their body temperature.
We managed to see a African fish eagle on the St Lucia day tour as well as Kingfishers and Herons.
St Lucia day tour; African Fish eagle in flight
The best was the above picture of the African fish eagle on this estuary boat tour at St Lucia were it flew right above us and I some how managed to capture it in a photo.
After we had nearly completed the 2 hour St Lucia boat cruise we spotted some Hippos standing outside the water and 2 young babies. This was an amazing scene for my clients!
St Lucia day tour; Hippos on shore
We then heading of to the Crocodile park and I showed my clients some of the Historical things about the area and of course the Crocodile breeding program. St Lucia is a lovely quaint little town and after enjoying looking at the ancient Cycads, Crocodiles, Alligators, Snakes and a few other things we stopped for some lunch in the town.
The food was great and we relaxed before heading down to the board walk to the Estuary mouth where at times you can see Hippos and Crocodiles right on or next to the beech.
On route you always spot a few interesting signs like this one warning us of what is one the beach!
St Lucia day tour; Estuary board walk warning sign
Believe it or not the Bull sharks are found in the estuary and can be aggressive so even they feature with the Hippo and Crocodile on the warning board. The board walk on the St Lucia tour is very enjoyable and it leads you onto the Estuary beach we you can see Maphelane, the second largest vegetated sand dune in the world at about 187 meters above sea level.
St Lucia day tour; Indian ocean and Maphelane
The Indian ocean with is the one we find in on this eastern part of South Africa is a warm ocean and is lovely to dip you feet into to at least say you have done it!
After a good walk on the beach we made our way back to the vehicle and slowly made our way back to Durban were I would be returning my clients after a very good St Lucia day tour.