27th October to 1st November 2022
Mkuze is a short 130 kms drive from Sugarloaf in St. Lucia. We stopped for diesel on the way and went through Mkuzi town to do some shopping. We arrived early. As the campsite is next to the entrance, we immediately set up camp before checking in at reception some 6 kms further into the park.
Like Sugarloaf the campsite was virtually empty, so we chose a site sheltered from the wind but out in the open so that if there was any sun it would warm up our Cheetah and our solar panels could charge our batteries. We were told that there was no power available anymore when we booked and the staff at the entrance confirmed this. But that was not the case. We had power every evening from 17h00 to 22h00.
Again, the weather was overcast and rainy on most days.
Kumasinga Hide is usually bustling with birds, however it was very quiet whenever we visited. That does not mean we saw nothing interesting. We watched Red-billed Oxpeckers bathing, a green snake crawling along nearby branches as well as a large leguaan stalking along the bank.
Red-billed Oxpeckers having a bath:
The Leguaan crawling up the bank:
And the Green Snake slithering along the dried branches by the hide:
Malibala Hide was also quiet but we did enjoy the Terrapin castles and the ever resident Three-banded Plover.
The swimming pool looked good for a swim – alas a tad wet and cold.
Camp birds were not too shy despite the need for shelter.
At the picnic site by Nsumo Pan we did observe a distant Squacco Heron.
A few other creatures caught our attention:
And finally, a few bird shots as we circled the Park numerous times.
And that sums up the time we spent at Mkuzi. Our bird list will be available to see in our final Zululand Report on Bonamanzi.
Hoping for better weather we headed for Nyalazi Campsite close to the entrance of Umfolozi. Part 3 follows.
Paul and Sally Bartho