It was one of those lazy days in St Lucia. The sun wasn’t really out, it wasn’t raining. Just an overcast, lazy day. We decided to take a drive through the Western Shores of iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
The Western Shores are on the western side of Lake St Lucia, with the entrance to it, back over the St Lucia bridge and turning right into the Dukuduku Gate.
We haven’t been there in a while. Plus I wanted to see how Charters Creek was doing. As Kwazulu-Natal has been experiencing one of the worst droughts in the history of time, Lake St Lucia was near empty with fish and animals dying. From photos I saw on social media, Charters Creek REALLY was empty and dry.
Anyway, on our way there, we saw loads of animals. Of course we saw giraffe and they had the cutest little “girrafie” babies. We also saw waterbuck, reedbuck, monkeys and warthogs to name a few. Of course we didn’t see the elephants. There are so many elephants in the park and I have never seen an elephant. I will keep my hopes up though.
On the way to Charters Creek, you can see pine plantations. Remnants of plantations are also still visible amongst the grasslands of the area. Forestry is being phased out and the western shores are being rehabilitated at the moment. Quite an achievement in the battle against profits and nature and driving through the western shores always makes me feel optimistic about the human potential to care about the planet.
Turning onto the road to Charters Creek, my friend noticed some butterflies. They were pretty and butterflies always make me feel happy. As we went along, we saw more and more butterflies. To the point where there were butterflies EVERYWHERE. Black ones, blue ones, coloured ones, white ones, yellow ones. Name them, they were there. It was spectacular. I have never seen anything like it. Witnessing something like that and not knowing anything about butterflies was frustrating. Especially after I just bought a butterfly book and I left it at home. But that’s the thing, you never know what you are going to find in the bush.
Charters Creek is on Lake St Lucia, with a spectacular view over the lake. There is a jetty on which people can walk and the water is so so clean and clear. In the distance you can see and hear hippos. Their footprints are visible in the mud next to the water, which suggests that one should always be alert when there. Although I have never seen a crocodile at Charters Creek, I am sure they are lurking in the waters, licking their lips, so please be careful when walking near the water.
Some days, and when conditions are right, flocks of Flamingos can be seen at Charters Creek. Many other birds have made Charters Creek their home as well. Bring your bird book and binoculars, you won’t be disappointed.
I have seen people bring a picnic basket and a blanket and parking off under a tree next to the lake. It always looks sooo serene, but as you would have it, my travel buddy does not like to lounge around. We have places to go and things to see, sooo, off we went to our next stop.
After some research in my new book when we got home, I identified 2 types of butterflies we saw on the road. The Citrus Swallowtail butterfly and Large Striped Swordtails (the blue butterflies).
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