Published: July 8th 2006July 8th 2006
Near full moon over the estuary
Every night we were treated to amazing sunsets and big, bright moons.
Another short trip with Bazza, this one our second last, and another place that came highly recommended by Dani. St. Lucia and The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands. Set in the midst of a number of eco systems including marine, with coral reefs and beaches; swamps; sand forests and bush velds; and the largest estuary in Africa, St. Lucia seemed like the perfect place to spend our last few days in S.A. and also to start seeing some animals. We camped at Bibs BP which was one our favourite places so far due to the several daily activities they organised, most of which were free. Every morning there was a guided walk in which we saw lots of zebra, wildebeast and different species of antelope, not to mention dung beetles, leopard poo and the carcass of a recently devoured something that reminded us exactly where we were walking. Luckily or unluckily we didn't come across any elephants, rhinos, buffalos or leopards on these walks but they were supposed to be lurking somewhere. In the afternoons we'd go to different spots around the estuary for sundowners whilst crocs lurked and hippos snorted close by. There were nightly braais and on two occasions we
Enter at your own risk
This part was quite light on for animals compared to where else we walked!
had Zulu dancers and local singers perform for us. Our hosts Clinton and his trusty Jack Russell, Nicholson went out of their way to make sure we were always entertained which involved not only taking us on the day adventures, but the night ones too. Whether it was a game walk or drive, sundowner session at a restaurant or bar or even post sundowner in the nightclub, if Clinton was there so was Nicholson, prancing around like he owned the place. If Nicholson was around it meant there were usually a heap of tourists too so the business owners of St. Lucia never had a problem with his presence. Bibs had a great vibe and we met lots of other cool travellers including Sam from Scotland who upon leaving donated a bottle of vodka to our cause and also Claire and Andy from Nth of London who were in the last stages of year long travels and dreading the imminent prospect of returning home to the U.K. We spent five days in St. Lucia and the best part of four hanging out with Claire and Andy, sharing lots of laughs and drinks, many self catered meals and also an awesome
Smell no evil, see no evil
Wildebeast and zebra hang out together. Zebras have poor eysight and wildebeast have poor smell. They work as a team.
day trip to Cape Vidal for some snorkelling and beach time. It was on the way back from Cape Vidal that whilst cruising along the highway we saw two rhinos casually grazing not far off in the bushveld, but far enough away for us to get out and have a look. My first wild rhino! I was particularly pleased in seeing them as I'd paid a heap of money on a previous trip to Botswana to stay in a rhino sanctuary and saw lots of animals bar a bloody rhino! Unfortunately it took place on a day when we decided to go camera free, but with the best part of eight months remaining in Africa we weren't too distressed. So many times during our trip so far Dani and I have laughed at the every day occurences that take place in Africa that would send the "rule makers" back home into a furore. Things like barefoot construction workers, building scaffolding, washing with Omo in the river, ten people riding on top of an already overcrowded public bus, not to mention the people eating chicken feet and transporting farm animals inside it! One of these occurences will forever stay in my
They bopped literally until they dropped!
memoirs of St. Lucia. We decided it was responsible tourism at its finest. After a general conversation about travel with one of the tourist office attendants we asked her to mark on our town map some walks we could do around the area. She marked out two walks for us, one at each end of town and said that they were pleasant walks, were easy to follow and would only take a couple of hours each. We packed a picnic lunch and set out along the path at the end of town closest to the estuary. The path, although still clearly marked began to narrow and the forest around us thickened dramatically. All of a sudden there where birds whistleing and singing to each other and frantic screaches from the tops of the trees that were undoubtedly monkeys and or baboons warning each other of our presence. It was kind of spooky but also kind of cool. After a while the path emptied out onto a large grassy area in front of the estuary . The first thing we noticed was a large plaque commemorating a young girl who had been taken by a crocodile on that spot two years
They'll stay under the water and then just pop their heads out to make sure you aren't too close
back. We certainly didn't need further encouragement and scurried off back the way we came. This time the birds and primates were singing and squealing with laughter and saying "we told you so!" There was still plenty of daylight left so we walked the length of town to the other walk the lady marked for us. This one was along a grass land track where we saw more antelope, wart hogs and lots of Old Mans Balls. An hour or so along the path we passed a campsite and then came to a big get lost fence in which stairs were mounted to enable one to get over it. Next to the stairs stood a massive indemnity sign saying that you went passed this sign at your own peril as the reserve contained rhinos, hippos, crocs, buffalos, leopards, snakes and wild dogs just to name a few! We double checked on our map and we were definately on the path marked out by the friendly tourist office lady. Maybe she just forgot to mention to us where she was sending us, or was she so blaise about the dangerous animals around that she thought we wouldn't care either? Which ever
Sunset over the estuary
One of the numerous sunset shots we took. Sent the zoom right for this one and got this. Looks kinda cool I think!
it was, we've nominated her for the responsible tour operator of the year award! Back home you'd have to sign more bits of paper than in the constitution just to get into her bloody office! We found the beach and had our picnic there instead, where even the seagulls were big enough to take your arm off. It's definately survival of the fittest in St. Lucia! Just to remind us again that where we were was totally wild in all senses of the word, after a decent session at one of the local pubs, we emerged around midnight to be greeted by a hippo casually strolling down the main street, quite a normal phenomena according to the locals. One of our other fond memories of St. Lucia was coming across good coffee at the Italian run St. Lucia Coffee House. We were in there every day and as a farewell gesture on our departure day, the coffee was on the house. Cafe bellisimo! Ciao St. Lucia.
There are more photos below