Richards Bay…Dec. 2/17

Richards Bay is a new port, opening in 1976…. to export the minerals. Durban couldn’t handle anymore I gather.

There has been a drought here for the last 3 years so they are looking forward to rain. Not exactly what what we want today though.

They employ people to clear non-native vegetation so that they don’t poach to make money. They can take the wood that they cut and make handicrafts to sell that they can make more money from.

KwaZulu-Natal state (this state)… has a king with no political rights.

3 official language in this area…. that are compulsory ….required in school. Could be more depending on the number of black languages in each area. Up to grade 8 is compulsory.

There are 2 kinds of makaria. The one that attacks the brain….. can reoccur.

Forestry of eucalyptus planted and harvested. Also good for draining wetlands because they consume a lot of water. They also plant pine for harvest. Up to 170,000 hectare tracts … largest forestry belts in world.

Jacarandas are the beautiful blooming trees we see, also African Flamboyance (beautiful orange/red) tree.. national tree of Mozambique. African tulip tree … are brighter … blooms opposite time of the year.

Up to 3000 mm rain per year in this area.

If you install solar….half of the cost of it is born by government. RDP homes for the poor have solar included.

Automated unmanned weigh stations on the highway for all vehicles….. not just commercial trucks.

South Africa runs a point system for drivers like Canada.

Successive speed bumps on highways to slow traffic in area of school.

The St. Lucia Nature Park is 500,000 hectares. As we near the waterway, it’s pointed out that the

fences are put up to keep elephants in. Once they have come up against a fence they will never go near that fence again. Apparently they have excellent memory. Tree damage (also pointed out) caused by elephants trying to dig for food.

We are warned to not put hands in water cuz you may have a surprise…. you may lose your hand. Hippos cause more deaths than any other animals.

Wood artifacts (lots being sold along the road) should be purchased from tourist facility cause they can provide certificate saying that it has been treated.

There are 1000 crocs & 800 hippos in these St Luca Wetlands.

It was predominantly salt water but it’s becoming more fresh water. Quite a number of rivers feed into this St. Lucia Lake

Did you know that hippos can’t float so if you see them, they are walking on the bottom? They can travel up to 40 km/hr. They go on shore at night and into the water during day. They stay in the water because they have no sweat glands so have to to keep cool.

Average weight 1500 kgs. but 2000-3000 kgs have been recorded.

“Yellow Weavers” are the yellow birds with upside down nests.

Our guide on the boat showed us a hippo tooth that weight 1.5-2 kg and is one of ten teeth.

Marsh harrier—- diving bird.

These “white” mangroves don’t look like any mangroves I’ve ever seen…. look just like any deciduous tree except they grow in the water.

The 180 metre high sand dunes off in the distance are on the edge of the ocean.

This excursion was excellent. We saw so many hippos. At one place there were young ones on the shore and a couple of juvenile males play fighting. They were totally unconcerned that we were close by. So cool!

Here you swim at your own risk…… because there’s no nets off the shore to protect you from the Zambezi or Bull Sharks. They are low water sharks, can be in fresh or salt water.

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1 thought on “Richards Bay…Dec. 2/17

  1. Rae

    OMG did anyone go in the water. How can the hippos know that the water isn’t to deep and they won’t drown. Very cool though.

    Like

    Reply

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