• The Hluhluwe River ballet company

    Posted on October 4, 2012 by Gavin in Birding in Hluhluwe, Day Trips, Hiking Trails.

    Greater and Lesser Flamingo at the Hluhluwe River mouth with picnic point in the background.

    A lucky photo opportunity from the shoreline at the Hluhluwe River mouth.

    So many people visiting the area surrounding Lake St Lucia ask where they might see Flamingo? One can”t blame visitor’s who have seen  photographs of  hundred’s of Flamingo’s on Lake St Lucia for being a tad dissapointed when they don”t see a single one. The problem is that Flamingo are shallow water filter feeder”s and Lake St Lucia is 350 square kilometer’s in extent with a current average depth of 2ft . With this ideal feeding depth and hundred’s of square kilometer’s from which  to choose a pristine feeding area far away from human interference, there is little chance if any of seeing Flamingo on Lake St Lucia.  However, with a bit of luck and a willing birding guide to accompany you on a shoreline expedition, there is a very good chance of encountering these birds. Hluhluwe River Lodge which supplies accommodation and birding tours on the western shore of  Lake St Lucia has a distinct advantage over other parts of the Lake simply because the shoreline is more accessible. One can walk and drive up to 50 kilometers of shoreline  compared to the eastern shore which at most offers only about 3 kilometers to day visitors.

    The Hluhluwe river ballet company perform at the river mouth with Picnic point in the background.

    An added attraction on the western shore is the fact that there are three floodplains, the Hluhluwe, Mzinene and the Nyalazi each complete with several kilometers of river to explore. Whether you are a day visitor or staying in Hluhluwe River Lodge’s superb accommodation  there is an excellent chance of seeing Flamingo. Currently there is a small flock of approximately 30 Flamingo resident on the Hluhluwe River and river mouth. Superb close up sightings from 50 yards are possible  as was experienced on Sunday 9th September during a Sunday afternoon birding trip. Like ballerina’s these elegant creatures were leaning into a fresh north easterly breeze and from time to time stretching a wing and doing a perfect ballerina Point.

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