Visiting a Crocodile Feeding and Breeding Farm in South Africa.
There are many crocodile farms in South Africa and I have been to a couple over the years. Some I really liked and others were not that great. We have been told that the St. Lucia Crocodile Farm is pretty good so I was curious to see what it would be like. It was also the first time that Andrey would visit a crocodile farm so we were eager to show him what it was like.
Crocodiles are almost as old as time.
Crocodiles are almost as old as time and very intriguing. I won´t go swimming with one but they are fascinating to watch. This farm is home to a lot of different species of crocodiles and they also breed with them. It is a very informative farm and they have a lot of information about the different types of crocodiles, what they feed them, how they breed with them and what they do with the problem children. Yes apparently there are also problem children amongst the crocodiles. They do not kill the problem crocodiles but capture and relocate them.
We spoke to an old man who had been working there for many years and he told us that they name all the big crocodiles. One of them was known for escaping but they always used to get him back. There are even grumpy crocodiles!
Crocodiles are protected species in Natal. I was very happy to hear that.
There are a lot of ponds with different types of crocodiles: Nile crocodiles, Dwarf crocodiles and Long-snouted crocodiles. The Nile crocodiles are my favourite and also the biggest of them all. Those are the guys you do not mess with!
Feeding time at the Crocodile Farm is an experience.
Feeding time was very interesting and definitely one of the highlights. It takes place at 15h00 in the afternoon and later in the evening. They feed them really nice meat but feeding time was a little smelly. I am not sure if it was the crocodiles, meat or the water. But something was smelly. It was very interesting to watch them. There were hundreds of small crocodiles who came out to eat. We stood there for a long time watching them and had a couple of good laughs!
Crocodiles breed during the summer months. The females lay their eggs in November and December and can be seen lying near or on the nest which they guard aggressively. It takes the eggs 90 days to hatch. The females open the nests and carry the little ones to the water in their mouths.
There is an interesting walking trail between the ponds with many different bird species, trees and unusual signs.
At the entrance is a curio shop that sells books and souvenirs. Foreigners love the curio shop because here you can find traditional Zulu crafts and many gifts that will appeal to the people back home. We had a delicious lunch at the restaurant afterwards, reflecting on the day and what we have seen.
This crocodile park did not disappoint and we all loved the outing!
Where: St.Lucia, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa
When: 14 December 2007