Sitting on a sand dune one morning this past weekend, we found ourselves watching curious crocodiles poke their heads above a river channel in search of breakfast, while sharks thrashed about in the nearby surf, as hippos lurked around in the reeds no more than a hundred meters away. It turns out that this is a corner of the country where you want to keep a careful eye on your toddlers.
Our route planning has needed to be somewhat fluid recently; firstly avoiding international border crossings, then malaria areas, and most recently the path of cyclone Eloise (which thankfully missed us by some margin). The latest re-routing ultimately delivered us to St Lucia and on this occasion route flexibility turned out to be rather serendipitous.
St Lucia sits to the south of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and in addition to being an overwhelmingly pleasant place to unwind, there is also an awful lot to keep the carefree visitor busy. Not many places we know of can provide a morning at a beach quite like Cape Vidal, followed by a lunchtime game drive through the grasslands of the park, and capped off with sundowners while hippos graze on the back lawn.
Our time in St Lucia was bookended with rainfall of an almost biblical proportion which if nothing else, made us quite pleased that circumstance had dictated that we hadn’t spent this leg of the journey under canvas.