Wild Weekend


Here be crocs and hippo

Here be crocs and hippo

Here be elephants

Here be elephants

The pictures in my previous post were, in fact, taken at St Lucia Estuary and Mfolozi Game Reserve respectively.  We had an opportunity to spend a couple of nights at St Lucia village, and travelled there on Friday.  St Lucia Park is Africa’s oldest Reserve (1897) and the estuary is Africa’s major prawn and fish breeding ground – I’ll give you good rhyme or reason below!

St Lucia Estuary View from Cabanas

After very secure gateless fences, trees.

After arrival at one of the many cabana complexes lining the shores, I was disappointed to find that ours – and, in fact, most – only gave limited glimpses of the water. 

 

St Lucia up to the reeds

Then reeds.

I set off to find (a) an opening somewhere along the stretch where one can reach the forest area between the dwellings and the reeds, and (b) a route through the forest which would take me to the edge of the lake.  After a great deal of scrambling – being careful to look out for any local inhabitants who might want to use teeth or claws on me – I finally found my way to the edge for that top photo.  That water is home to some 1200 hippo, over 2000 crocodiles and – believe it or not – numerous sharks.  

The following day we booked an excursion on a crowded boat where the open top deck part was all that was available.  Great – except that rain was threatening and in due course carried out the threat.  The kids and ladies all found space below, but Sn-i-L and I stuck it out.  Getting a bit soggy was worth it.  We had great views of some waterbuck, fish eagles, a distant croc, and a giant kingfisher.

Banded Mongoose near our cabana.

Banded Mongoose near our cabana.

St Lucia Giant Kingfisher

Giant Kingfisher

St Lucia Fish Eagle

Fish Eagle

The diversity of flora and fauna is nothing short of astonishing.

We also came across two really good pods of hippo.

Hippo poo
Is good for you
It comes in tons and tons,
Though, eat poo, few
Would want to do
The fish and prawns are ones,
When hippos do a number two,
Arrive to be the creatures who
Will go at it great guns!
So though the lake is one great loo,
The humans get their food there, too,
From hippo with the runs.

Weighing up to two tons, they can graze up to 68Kgs in a night, and move up to 10 Kms to do it.  When changing grazing grounds, they have been known to travel up to 30 Kms at a time. 

Tooth is stronger than friction - hippo teeth are denser than elephant ivory and are really heavy to hold.  No wonder hippo are such killers.

Tooth is stronger than friction – hippo teeth are denser than elephant ivory and are really heavy to hold. No wonder hippo are such killers.

St Lucia Hippo 2

What a hippopotamus will lake more than a river bed for his day’s sleep.

 St Lucia Hippo 1

  St Lucia Hippo 3

We paid a visit to a cheese farm that afternoon with goats and moos and geese and chickens to delight the kids.

Mfolozi ImpalaThen, the following day, we drove back via a visit to Mfolozi Game Reserve.  We saw impala, distant giraffes and rhino, vultures, the rump of an elephant (‘He’s got big privates!’ remarked young 2 ½ -yr-old J) and then came across this gentleman feeding his face right next to the road.

 

Mfolozi elephant 2

Even two excited children being subdued didn’t make him miss a single beat in his chomping.

Mfolozi elephant - trunk in mouth

     That was the final bonus of the excursion.

© Colonialist October 2013 (WordPress)

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About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Birds, Boating, Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., Grandchildren, Humour, Personal Journal, Photography, Really Awful Rhyme, Roving, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Wild Weekend

  1. Pingback: “I’m Not Shittin’ You!” | Spirit Lights The Way

  2. Pingback: “I’m Not Shittin’ You!” | Spirit Lights The Way

  3. bluebee says:

    Chomping to stomping in 0-1 seconds!

    Like

  4. 68ghia says:

    A great outing Col!
    And such stunning scenery!

    Like

  5. Pingback: 13 Unpolished Gems . . . One Stone | Spirit Lights The Way

  6. linda says:

    Every time I see a hippo now, I will be thinking of your poem……….and hippo poo lol .Love the photos they are great.

    Like

  7. What a wonderful experience. I hope my daughter and family are seeing something like this in Kenya this week. And that they stay clear of hippos behinds.

    Like

  8. Wow, amazing – and you are very brave to go down to the lake! Loved your funny poem 🙂

    Like

  9. Gobetween says:

    Beautiful animals, hippos & elephants, but that does not mean I want to be very close to them. Both are heavy, fast moving and unpredicatable.

    Like

  10. aqgreenfairy says:

    Amazing! And that wee one is so cute!

    Like

  11. TBM says:

    How fantastic and makes me want to go back to Africa.

    Like

  12. Kathleen says:

    I love elephants and those pics are awesome. 🙂 Glad you had fun.

    Like

  13. galan12 says:

    while visiting a animal park one day, we came upon a hippo and the keeper warned us to not stand behind a hippo. Our timing was perfect, this hippo showed why… not a sight to shout or smell about..

    Like

  14. melouisef says:

    Have not been for ages so I appreciate this!

    Like

  15. Colline says:

    A beautiful collection of photos. I really liked the ones with the Hippos.

    Like

  16. nrhatch says:

    Fantastic outing, Col. Thanks for snapping some fab shots for us. The fact that fish swim around in Hippo Poo does not make me want to go out for seafood. Or lakefood. 😉

    Like

  17. The Asian says:

    I thought the semi-dried up riverbed in the second picture looked s

    Like

  18. bulldog says:

    Love the poem.. and of course all the photos… specially the last two…

    Like

  19. adinparadise says:

    LOL @ little J’s remark, and your Hippo poo poem. 😀 I’ll stay far away from those hungry hippos. They could have me for breakfast. What a sweet pic of little R with that huge tooth.

    Like

  20. disperser says:

    OK . . . better than seeing horses.

    Like

  21. newsferret says:

    I won’t complain about such a bonus.

    Like

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