With rain varying from drizzle to tropical downpours we headed off to Cape Vidal from St Lucia. It’s a 35km drive on mainly tar but dirt loop roads allow you to explore and see a little more of this section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. There was also a slim chance that by the time we reached our destination the sun would be shining.

The rain may have restricted our views, along with steamy windows and windscreen wipers working over time. But the rain did not deter the wildlife. Within a few kilometres of entering the park a herd of around 50 buffalo could be seen making their way across open grassland to our left. As we drove on we also came across several loan buffalo bulls.

As our eyes adjusted to the conditions we were being rewarded with sightings of many species of antelope. It seemed that on every ridge and bank there were waterbuck. These are a large antelope with distinctive white ring around their tail. It looks very much like they have sat on a freshly painted toilet seat.

We passed bushbuck and reedbuck. A bachelor herd of five large male kudu’s was an impressive sight. Their distinctive spiralled horns standing out against the stormy back drop.

Vervet monkeys took what shelter they could against the rain in trees overhanging the road. Some sat alone others huddled together. All though looked soaked and a little fed up with the constant rain.

On the Dune loop road we were confronted by the very large and the very small. A huge solitary male white rhino grazed along the verge. He was neither fussed by us or the rain. Then exiting back onto the tar a dung beetle was rolling an immaculate shiny dung ball across the road.

There was a first for me to. I had never seen a Jacana until now. Although far from rare it was a bird I had just never encountered.

On reaching Cape Vidal the hope of sunshine was dashed. To our amazement though there were people both on the beach and swimming in the Indian Ocean surf.


About Author

People say that Africa has an effect on your soul and Mark Henson the ‘author’ of this site is no exception. He first travelled to South Africa and the province of KwaZulu-Natal in 1993 and has been coming and going every year since. Twice now most years!

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