Posted by Kian Barker
St. Lucia village is a great place to take a night safari. Our Eastern Shores night trip starts in town. This may involve the sighting of a bush buck or hippo in town. St. Lucia village is surrounded by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, so our resident animals and game see our unfenced habitat as much their village as the human residents see it as theirs. Every Shakabarker trip starts in town. We then drive into the park that surrounds our and their village.
There is a huge variety of animals, large and small, to be spotted on our tours. Some a little more tricky than others. Leopards are always first and last to be mentioned, and I sometimes think that there is an over emphasis on leopards and carnivores. My philosophy is that we are 'going to experience the night', although this is not what many visitors have in mind. They want to see a big and ferocious CAT. There is never a second that one can get away from the leopard pressure. Visitors imagine that every set of eyes, distant or near, lit in our spotlights could be a cat.
Recently this whole leopard in the bush thing was delivered a mortal blow. The subsequent effect was weird. It was like getting first prize, but never running a grueling race; having cake ingredients, but suddenly -before you - a perfectly baked and iced cake. I have to admit the chase, exertion and competition are often as important as the prize or reward. Yes, you guessed right..... as we left town we had the most perfect leopard sighting on the outskirts of St. Lucia village... A sort of Err... Um moment. Another lesson in life and achievement for all of us!
Hasta la vista!
The Knait Whrydah