Time to wrap up the photographic trip report of our recent visit to the Eastern Shores of Lakes St. Lucia, with a gallery of some of the larger animals we encountered on land and sea in the place of miracles and wonders – the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
On the Eastern Shores of Lake St. Lucia, the amazing diversity of life forms comes in all sizes. The star of this collection of photos showcasing some of the smaller creatures that crossed our path on our recent visit must be the tiny frog that somehow got into my mug while we were enjoying coffee and rusks one morning at Mziki viewpoint near Mission Rocks. Exactly when it got into my coffee is unclear – I had put my mug down a few times to take pictures – and I have no idea how much of my coffee I had shared with the little guy. Joubert only noticed it sitting in the cup when I took my last swig as we started packing up to leave. Lucky for it, I drink a lot of milk in my coffee so it wouldn’t have been scalded.
Unidentified Acraea species
This juvenile Painted Reed Frog climbed into my coffee cup at Mziki viewpoint one morning – at which stage during the drinking process I don’t know…
During the few days we recently spent on the Eastern Shores of Lake St. Lucia, we managed to tick 109 kinds of birds, and had we been better at identifying the “Little Brown Jobs” our list would undoubtedly have been quite a bit longer still.
This incredible diversity is surely due to the Park’s rich variety of habitats, and our “success” in connecting with so many kinds of birds can only be ascribed to the terrific collection of roads, hides, picnic sites and other localities so easily accessible to visitors.
We hope you enjoy this sample of iSimangaliso’s birdlife!
We’re fresh back from a terrific holiday in two very special wild places in northern Kwazulu-Natal. Our first destination was the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and specifically the Eastern Shores of Lake St. Lucia, where we spent one night at Manzini Chalets in the holiday town of St. Lucia, and four nights in a log cabin at Cape Vidal.
Manzini Chalets #9, St. Lucia Town, July 2017
Cape Vidal Chalet 9, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, July 2017
I can’t think of a better way to start off the report back on our trip than with a few landscape photos that illustrates why iSimangaliso is a land of “miracles and wonders”, and one of our favourite destinations!
Today a very popular picnic and fishing spot north of St. Lucia Town in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Mission Rocks is named for a Catholic mission station established in the area in 1888. The path leading from the parking area to the beach opens onto a scene of rugged, rocky beauty, revealing rock pools teeming with life at low tide and impressing with the thundering of crashing waves at high tide. There’s a sandy, open beach 500m northwards of the rocks, with a sea-cave where thousands of bats roost.
Mission Rocks picnic spot
de Wet family shadows at Mission Rocks
Keep an eye open for the vervet monkeys while having a picnic at Mission Rocks
Crab at Mission Rocks
On the way to Mission Rocks, the uMziki viewpoints and picnic site, set right in the coastal forest, is a worthwhile stop. From atop the dune there’s views over Lake Saint Lucia to the west and the Indian Ocean to the east, and down below in the forested picnic site there’s an astounding variety of birds that would normally be very shy but here seems quite habituated to having humans around. There’s also usually a couple of red duiker to be seen.