Hippos and Crocs

Saint Lucia Estuary Travel Blog

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A long and vicious looking crocodile

Up early today to go for a walk in the local area.  We explored the estuary and walked down to the beach, and had a drink whilst watching the hippos lounge about in the water.  We got rather nervous at one point, because there were some small children fishing right at the water's edge, a tasty bite-sized meal for one of the 2,500 crocs that live in the waters here.  We moved on before we witnessed a scene not unlike one of David Attenborough's documentaries.

This afternoon we had booked a boat trip to see the local crocs and hippos.  Our first sighting was of several crocodiles basking in the sun on the riverbank.  The boatdriver took us to within 6 feet of them, whilst informing us that crocodiles can jump about 3 metres out of the water.

Mother and baby
  A few minutes more and we came across a big group of hippos on the bank with one or two in the water, including a mother with a month old baby.  It was fascinating being so close to them.  Apparently there are about 1,000 hippos in the St. Lucia wetlands; they are considered an endangered species everywhere but here.  They spend most of their day in the water and come onto land at night to search for grass to eat, and it's on land that they are at their most dangerous: more people are killed by hippos in Africa than by any other animal.  Their jaws can exert a pressure equivalent to 6 tonnes, so it is best not to get between them and their route back to the water.

We saw two or three big groups altogether, and one or two solitary males in the water.  We were also treated to a really good sunset on the way back. This evening, in celebration of finally seeing some wildlife, we treated ourselves to a really good Italian meal.

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A long and vicious looking crocodi…
A long and vicious looking crocod…
Mother and baby
Mother and baby
AS IF!!!
AS IF!!!
Those are our shadows!!  We were a…
Those are our shadows!! We were …
Looking for Crocodiles
Looking for Crocodiles
Seafood platter
Seafood platter
Saint Lucia Estuary
photo by: inkie1010