South Africa 2020 – St. Lucia and Salt Rock

29th-31st January 2020

We left Mpila Tented Camp in Imfolozi Game Reserve and headed towards St. Lucia. Rather than exit the park and take the quick route we decided to stay in Imfolozi and Hluhluwe Game Reserves and do a game drive, visit Hilltop again for a coffee and then exit at Memorial gate and drive to St. Lucia



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Elephant

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/640 s. f/6.3 iso400 EF500mm f/4L IS USM



We stopped at the Fig Tree Cafe and Deli in Hluhluwe for lunch as it had been recommended to us. We weren’t disappointed as it was very nice.



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Lunch at the Fig Tree Cafe and Deli

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Fig Tree Cafe and Deli

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Mckenzie Street, the main street in St. Lucia

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We were staying at Ocean View Lodge (was called Lai La Log Cabins last year) again as we enjoyed it so much last year.



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Pool and Ocean View

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Whilst in St. Lucia we wanted to walk along the boardwalk onto the beach, go to Cape Vidal and do the river trip again as we enjoyed all three last year.



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The boardwalk to the beach

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Following the Hippo tracks

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As I was walking along the estuary looking for birds I completely missed the crocodile behind this little wader and didn’t see it until I got the photograph on to the computer at home. It’s a good job it was a fair distance away but it did remind me that there were dangers here and you should be vigilant.



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Completely missed the crocodile in the background 😮

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/2000 s. f/8 iso400 EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x

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The wild coast at St. Lucia

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Swift Tern, Sterna bergii

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/1250 s. f/8 iso200 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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The wild coast at St. Lucia

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We went with Shaka Barker for the river cruise as they were very good last time and they didn’t disappoint this time either



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Guide and guests for the river trip

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Sandra with Hippos

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Yellow Weaver, Ploceus subaureus

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/800 s. f/5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Cape Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius capensis

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/200 s. f/9 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM



The drive to Cape Vidal was a game drive in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park and we saw various Antelopes and Cape Buffalo.



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Cape Vidal

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Cape Vidal

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There were other people there 😉

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Cape Vidal

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Our bird list for St. Lucia was

African Pied Wagtail, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Bronze Mannikin, Common Tern, Dark-capped Bulbul, Elephant, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Goliath Heron, Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Grey-headed Gull, Hadada, Lesser Crested Tern, Little Tern, Pied Kingfisher, Purple-crested Turaco, Red-Billed Firefinch, Sandwich Tern, Spotted Flycatcher, Steppe Buzzard, Swift Tern, Thick-billed Weaver, Trumpeter Hornbill, Village Weaver, Water Thicknee, White-eared Barbet, White-faced Whistling Duck, White-fronted Plover, Yellow Weaver, Yellow-billed Duck, Yellow-billed Kite

To see all bird photographs then please visit Birds of South Africa

Our other wildlife list for the trip to and including St. Lucia included the following

Cape Baboon, Cape Buffalo, Cape Hippopotamus, Citrus Swallowtail, Crab, Giant African Snail, Nile Crocodile

To see all photographs then please visit Wildlife of South Africa



1st-5th February 2020



Next it was to Salt Rock on the Dolphin Coast. This is the only other place we have returned to this year although we stayed in a different accommodation to last time. This was so Sandra could do some snorkelling again and we could also visit some places that we particularly enjoyed.



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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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Shaka's Rock Tidal Pool

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We enjoyed the eating out here as well and can recommend going to

Salt Cafe opposite Shaka’s Rock Beach for breakfast

Burnedale Cafe Umhlali for afternoon tea

Mozambik Restaurant for dinner



Another favourite haunt was Sheffield beach. It was very quiet and used mainly by the locals. This time there was someone fishing from the rocks and he managed to hook something. This kept us entertained for over 30 minutes as he struggled to reel his catch in.



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Wonder what he's caught?

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The struggle

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After a long battle he finally pulled it onto the sloping rocks and quickly grabbed it.

It turned out to be a black-tipped Reef Shark which he picked up and dropped into one of the tidal pools.



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Transfering shark to tidal pool

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Sandra with Black-tipped Reef Shark

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Black-tipped Reef Shark

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We had no idea what he was going to do with it now, but he quickly went to his gear and returned with a tag which he promptly attached to the shark, he then measured it and recorded all the details.



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Tagging the shark

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After removing the hook he took the shark into deeper water and held it gently until it had recovered from it’s ordeal and finally swam off. What a great experience.



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Releasing the shark

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After all the excitement it was time to relax in a tidal pool with the waves crashing over the rocks and creating a waterfall



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Tidal pool waterfall

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Tidal pool waterfall

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Just as we were leaving the beach another angler hooked something. After a short battle it finally escaped but not before it was seen as a large ray.



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The one that got away

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Next it’s on to Mimi’s Retreat, Ramsgate

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