Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crocodile !

The peaceful setting of the Mooi River belies the danger lurking below

A large Nile crocodile glides silently by as we watch from the riverbank

The severed head of a catfish which fell prey to the crocodile

Last weekend we attended a family wedding in Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal. (You can read about this here) En route home, we slept over at a friend’s guest house in the midlands. This beautiful home is built against a rocky koppie (little mountain) and situated on the Mooi River.

The arrangement for the Saturday afternoon was that the locals from the area would come and view two very important rugby matches on the big screen television. When the first visitors arrived in a helicopter, (this is Africa and in Africa people do strange things, like fly to the next door farm in a helicopter!), the pilot and his girlfriend jumped out and called to us to drive down to the bottom of the property where the river made a bend. They’d seen a huge crocodile taking something big there. We jumped into a pick-up and hared down. Sure enough, when we arrived there, we found the severed head of a very large catfish wallowing in the shallows.

As we watched from the river bank, what looked like a long tree trunk, drifted past. It was a Nile crocodile, the only species of crocodile found in Southern Africa. It is a heavily-armoured reptile with a fearsome reputation as a man-eater. According to my Essential illustrated guide to South African wildlife by Readers Digest, crocodiles can vary in size from 3, 6 – 3, 9 m; and weigh 400 – 600 kg. Apparently the five crocodiles spotted often in this area, far exceed this, one being estimated at approximately 5m long.

I wanted to wait on the bank with my camera at the ready in case this leviathan made its appearance on land, but my darling hubby firmly guided me back into the safety of the vehicle once I had taken the photographs above!


  1. I don't blame your hubby for guiding you safely back to your vehicle .... ewwwww .... that looked like a large & nasty croc !

  2. It was a rather large croc, Lynda. As young people, my hubby, I and the friend who owns the guest house,(and whose childhood home it was) used to SWIM in this exact spot. The crocs have only just begun to show themselves recently! Hugs Jo xxx

  3. Wow! The crocs we see in Nigeria are way smaller, but I would not like to meet them face-to-face either!

    Loved this link tip!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo