After a nice drive through Swasiland we re-entered South Africa again. Passing the Border took no longer than 30minutes and was very easy and relaxed. Special the Swasi Customs did not want to check anything. The SA Customs wanted to open the trunk and that’s it….
After another 200km on a very good highway we arrived at Saint Lucia in the Rhino Guest House. A very nice Guesthouse with a good atmosphere. (as always klick on the links to see the pictures…)
It showed up that it was possible to join a night game drive to a very close nature reserve. And we were totally lucky.. we saw a Leopard in the night crossing the street in front of us and marking his territory at a tree by rubbing his chin at it… With 25k ISO and a good spotlight I got him…. Ok blurry and with artifacts but better than no pictures at all…
The next day in the morning we went on a boat tour to see the Hippos at St. Lucia Lake. About 800 Hippos and 1200 Crocodiles are living in this wide nature reserve. Just check out the pictures. When you see them with their mouth open you realize why these lazy looking animals are so dangerous. They even come to St. Lucia town in the night time. So the warning we saw are not only a tourist attraction. After the Boat Tour we drove to Cape Vidal through the iSmangaliso Wetland Park spotting again Zebras, Hippos, Rhinos and a lot of other animals. The Cape Vidal has a big dune and awesome Beach with a lot of leisure activities like Sports Fishing from the Beach…Surfing and Snorkelling and there are even some Huts to rent and a Campground. The 50km way (direct) took us nearly 5h as we went all gravel roads you could find to see some animals and we made a lot of stops… In the evening we had a nice seafood lunch at St. Lucia……
The next Morning we had to get up at 5:00a.m. in order to picked up at 06:00 for the full game drive in the Hluhluwe – Umfolozi Nature reserve.
Except the Leopard we saw also here the big five and a lot other animals… A nice lunch at a rest area made he day perfect. On the way we even encountered a big herd of elephants with some young ones. While we were passing by one of the young got afraid and started to run away with panic… and the herd rushed to it for assistance.. so bad luck for us that we were in between. One mother elephant was in front of us on the road and focusing us.. so we had to rolling back very slowly with the engine off and all being quiet in the car. Then she passed us and we immediately started the engine and gave speed… it was a really tricky situation. But with the good reaction of the ranger we made it safe home…
In the evening we fell asleep very soon and tomorrow we will head to a one night stop to Salt Rock. Then the part part of our Holiday is over and we will fly to Port Elizabeth following the garden route….
Lutz & Corinna
P.s. All pictures can be found at: http://lbroemel.de/pictures/southafrica/06_st_Lucia/index.html