This morning we are leaving St Lucia to return to Johannesburg and the 3 nights spent in this small coastal town were fun packed days, St Lucia is a small town situated on the east coast of South Africa surrounded by an UNESCO World Heritage site and the town is at the heart of magnificent natural coastal forests, wild animals, majestic bird life, breathtaking beaches.
Our first stop was Cape Vidal where we were able to snorkel in the warm waters of the India Ocean and watch the humpback whales far out to see as they moved south. To reach the Cape we travelled along the Eastern Shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park which is home to elephants, leopards, buffalo, rhino and many plains animals along with a spectacular bird life and during the drive we saw impala, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest plus fish eagles, kingfishers and the southern banded snake eagle which is quite rare. We finished off the day with a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia where we got our first glimpse of the Hippos that called this area home.. Our wonderful guide informed us that there were approximately 800 Hippos in the area and around 500 permanent residents and that the Hippos have free rein within the town. The first pod of Hippos we encounter are known as the “townies” because they graze throughout the town after sunset and can be found on the front lawns of the locals. This seemed like a bit of a story but proved to be true as we came across two very large hippos chomping away on the front lawns of a neighbouring property around nine o’clock that night. We also saw crocodiles, Bushbucks and a wide variety of birds during the 90 minute cruise.
The following day was spent at the Hluhluwe/Umfolzi Game park which is the oldest proclaimed game park in South Africa. The day started with the rare sighting of 5 wild dogs on the hunt. We followed these very endangered animals for 15 minutes until they disappeared into deep bush, it really could not have got much better. During the rest of the rest of the day we spotted lots of white rhinos, a lion in very thick bush, elephants drinking at the river, buffalos, zebras, giraffes and lots of other small game. The bird life in the morning was also exceptional good with lots of eagles, vultures and kites and many of the more colourful smaller birds of South Africa. After a very long and hot day a few beers were in order.