Wednesday, 27 September 2017

St Lucia estuary, KwaZulu-Natal

Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima
On 13th September I arrived at Durban Airport, KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa.  Tommy met four of us to begin a safari trip organised by Ina Turner. Tommy's expertise as driver and guide ensured a great trip. After a couple of hours we arrived at Umkhumbi Lodge, 300km north of Durban. Ina and husband Graham met us with the Lodge staff. The hospitality, facilities and food at Umkhumbi Lodge were excellent. 
 We set off on Thursday 14th for the St Lucia estuary. We enjoyed a walk by the shore, then boarded a boat where many hippos were seen plus a Giant Kingfisher, a Fish Eagle and other animals and birds. Afterwards we visited the Eastern shores.
African Jacana, Actophilornis africanus

Natal Lightfoot Crab, Grapsus tenuicrustatus

Eastern shores


St Lucia estuary

Warthog, Phacochoerus africanus

Warthog

White-faced Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna viduata

Woolly-necked Stork, Ciconia episcopus
Yellow-throated Longclaw, Macronyx croceus

Fork-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis

Samango Monkey, Cercopithecus mitus
The Samango Monkey is rare and only found in a few places in this area

Samango Monkey

Vervet Monkey, Chlorocebus pygerythrus


Cape Buffalo, Syncerus caffer


Black-winged Pratincole, Glareola nordmanni

Burchell's Zebra, Equus quagga burchellii

Citrus Swallowtail, Papilio demodocus

Citrus Swallowtail

Eastern shores



Vervet Monkey, Chlorocebus pygerythrus

Vervet Monkeys

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

Yellow-billed Kite

Yellow-billed Kite

Yellow-billed Kite

African Striped Skink, Trachylepsis striata

African Striped Skink

African Striped Skink

African Striped Skink

Banded Mongoose, Mungos mungo

Banded Mongoose

Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus

Burchell's Zebra, Equus quagga burchellii

Burchell's Zebra

Greater Kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros and Waterbuck, Kobus ellipsiprymnus

African Fish Eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer

Caspian Tern, Hydroprogne caspia

Egyptian Goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus

Hippos, Hippopotamus amphibius




baby Hippo







Nile Crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus

Nile Crocodile

Reed Cormorant, Phalacrocorax africanus, aka Long-tailed Cormorant

Reed Cormorant


Weaver Bird nest

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

Yellow-billed Kite

Yellow-billed Kite

African Fish Eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer

African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagle

Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima

Giant Kingfisher






baby Hippo




baby hitches ride on Mum



baby hippos frolicking





Big Daddy yawning


Some local lads did an energetic dance for the tourists coming off the boat and Vanessa joined them

Woolly-necked Stork, Ciconia episcopus

Yellow-billed Egret, Egretta intermedia

Yellow-billed Egrets, Egretta intermedia

Yellow-billed Egrets
Many moths and other insects were attracted to the lights at our lodge and I'm going to have a fun time identifying them! I never saw the bushbabies (Galagos) that scampered over some of the lodge roofs.
Night visitors:
Antlion, Cueta species

Large Brown Longhorn Beetle

Madagascan Marbled Mantis, Polyspilota aeruginosa
wasp, Belonogaster species

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