Friday, May 10, 2013

Back to South Africa! Trip segment 4...

Hello again everyone!

So, after Swaziland we ventured back into South Africa. We headed up to the most northern coast of the Indian Ocean where South Africa borders Mozambique. This area is characterized by large sand dunes, and beautiful ocean scenery. We began at the Kosi Mouth Bay - an estuary and lake system that feeds into the Indian Ocean. The Kosi Mouth Bay is a place that is known as "the aquarium" and so you can 4x4 down to the mouth, wade across it with your stuff on your head and then swim the snorkel channel and see amazing tropical fish of all sorts of morphology and color! We had an underwater 1x use camera that we used to take photos (thanks mom!) but we sent it back with my dad to be developed stateside - so sorry no photos of the actual fish.

The native people of this area are called the Tsonga people and one of the most remarkable things that we got to see were their fish traps. The fish traps funnel large fish into a corral (of sticks) where the fisherman can come and spear the fish he has caught as he is ready to eat them (helps when there is no refrigerator). The fish traps have been passed down from father to son for generations and are still a really prominent part of this area.

We did a boat tour of the several lake system that eventually feeds into Kosi Mouth and that was very fun and informative. Passing between the lakes we went through channels of reeds and even saw local women collecting the reeds for their house repairs.

Unfortunately, the page that these photos are on is acting funny, so I wasn't able to organize them well or add captions - sorry for that but hopefully you enjoy the photos anyway!

Kosi Bay and the lake system form the northern part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. When we left there, we went south and stayed in the town of Hluhluwe, which we used as a base for exploring the southern and central part of the park and also Hluhluwe National Game Reserve. The photos I just put up are from Kosi Bay, our False Bay hike, Cape Vidal beach, St Lucia estuary, and a boat cruise up the Lake St Lucia channel where we saw lots of hippos, crocs and birds, including a magnificent African Fish Eagle! We enjoyed Isimangaliso a lot and I really loved the idea of it because it is actually protecting 5 ecosystems: Coral Reef, Costal Forest, Beach/Dunes, Savanna and the lake/swamp/wetlands. It was great to experience these ecosystems during our visit there.

There's a bit on that segment of the trip. I'll try to wrap it up next time with Hluhluwe Game Reserve, the Dlinza Forest ariel board walk, and Durban!

We hope you are all doing well, and I'm really looking forward to the post after next where we can talk about all of our latest update - so stay tuned!

Lots of love from Lesotho,

Carol and Shane 

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