Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Day in the life of - Deiric Walsh

St Lucia Boat Cruise
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

Fish Eagle - (Haliaeetus vocifer)

Getting close and personal with many animals Deiric embarks on daily adventures along the Estuary aboard Fannas. The Spirit of St. Lucia. What we call fun in the sun is what he calls work. His office is the deck and he captains the vessel along the water ways past the mangroves, reeds and marsh hibiscus along the banks of The Estuary.

In this photo a Fish Eagle is feasting on a Cormorant else where in Europe they are also called a Shag.

African Fish Eagle
The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)[2] or – to distinguish it from the true fish eagles (Ichthyophaga), the African Sea Eagle – is a large species of eagle that is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water occur that have an abundant food supply. As a result of its large range, it is known in many languages.[3] Examples of names include Visarend in Afrikaans and Aigle PĂȘcheur in French.[4] It is the national bird of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The African Fish Eagle is a species placed in the genus
Haliaeetus (sea eagles) which gets both its common and scientific names from the distinctive appearance of the adult's head. The African Fish Eagle's closest relative appears to be the critically endangered Madagascar Fish Eagle (H. vociferoides). Like all sea eagle species pairs, this one consists of a white-headed species (the African Fish Eagle) and a tan-headed one. These are an ancient lineage of sea eagles, and as such have dark talons, beaks, and eyes.[5] Both species have at least partially white tails even as juveniles. The scientific name is derived from Haliaeetus, New Latin for "sea eagle" (from the Ancient Greek haliaetos), and vocifer is derived from its original genus name, so named by the French naturalist Francois Levaillant, who called it 'the vociferous one'.[6]

The African Fish Eagle is a large bird, and the female, at 3.2-3.6 kg (7-8 lbs) is larger than the male, at 2-2.5 kg (4.4-5.5 lbs). This is typical of sexual dimorphism in birds of prey. Males usually have a wingspan of about 2 m (6 feet), while females have wingspans of 2.4 m (8 feet). The body length is 63–75 cm (25–30 in). The adult is very distinctive in appearance with a mostly brown body and large, powerful, black wings. The head, breast, and tail of African Fish Eagles are snow white, with the exception of the featherless face, which is yellow. The eyes are dark brown in colour. The hook-shaped beak, ideal for a carnivorous lifestyle, is yellow with a black tip. The plumage of the juvenile is brown in colour, and the eyes are paler compared to the adult. The feet have rough soles and are equipped with powerful talons in order to enable the eagle to grasp slippery aquatic prey. While this species mainly subsists on fish, it is opportunistic and may take a wider variety of prey such as waterbirds. Its distinctive cry is, for many, evocative of the spirit or essence of Africa.[7][8][9] The call, shriller when uttered by males, is a weee-ah, hyo-hyo or a heee-ah, heeah-heeah.[10]

For Bookings on Fannas:
081 342 7371

Deiric on Facebook

Ndiza Lodge & Self Catering Accommodation
You will find Ndiza Lodge & Cabanas nestled onto the verge of the Wetlands. With easy access to the restaurants, supermarkets and rest of the town yet private and quiet. This ideal location makes Ndiza your best choice for exclusive accommodation. Lovely views from our deck of the Indian Ocean and famous Lake St. Lucia. Children under 12 – half price and children under 5 yrs stay free. Secure parking on our premises. The Lodge with a lovely wooden deck offers beautiful views over the Ocean and part of Famous Lake St. Lucia. (From here Ndiza’s guests are privileged to be the first to see the whales on their way to the warm Mozambican’s waters.)
Amanda de Gaspary
083 442 1896


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hippo viewing with Deirick

What have you planned for this weekend. I strongly recommend for families to take a mid month break to St. Lucia and embark on a lovely Estuary Cruise with Deirick on Fannas, The Spirit of St. Lucia. Do not delay book now and we can sort accommodation for children under 12 for half price and children under the age of 5 for free. Boat trips are 2 hours and we can sort bookings for you including a game drive on the Eastern Shores or The Big5 iMfolozi Game Reserve.
081 342 7371

Ndiza Lodge and Self Catering Cabanas St. Lucia - Ndiza Self ...
- Cached

You will find Ndiza Lodge and Self Catering Cabanas nestled on the verge of the wetlands. Self Catering Accommodation. St. Lucia Wetlands iSimangaliso.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Deep Sea fishing going green?

The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park Authority has dealt another blow to the economy of St Lucia and surrounding areas. The fishing village turn "green" on 15 December 1999 has been struggling to survive and to feed impoverished neighbors as far as Mpokonoyni Noth of Mtubatuba. The legislation the World Heritage act brought to them has increased the power of management to side line current operations and consessionise everything. The newest legal addition in the demise of local entrepreneurs is the restriction on Charter Operations.  Four legal Charter Fishing operations has been granted the right to catch only game fish from boat based fishing operations from St. Lucia's surf launching beaches.

These legal operators are;

  • Advantage (St Lucia Tours and Charters)035 5901259

  • Maverick(Johantjie) N/a on website or google???

  • Wave Dancer(Barend) 084 628 1162

  • Asterix(Maans) 035 590 1229 / 082 463 5864

Veteran Fisherman, Johan Potgieter with Harlekyn Charters, has now relocated to Richards Bay. His number is still 082 924 7842. He now operates from the safety of Richards Bay harbor and has a bigger client base to deal with. Accommodation for Richards Bay is affordable and people can contact me, Petrus Viviers, 081 342 7371 for bookings.

The iMfolozi Mouth was opened mechanically (my personal opinion was to prevent St. Lucia Estuary mouth to open naturally) and this lead to fishing along the beaches to increase. Crocodiles are still very active in the St. Lucia mouth area and anglers that do endeavor the beach walk or cycle ride to First Rocks will enjoy great success. Even fishing spots like the slides along the St. Lucia Beach will produce some nice catches.

Weekend Weather will look like this;

Thursday 8/18/2011
Partly sunny and remaining cool with a shower in places
High Temperature17°C
RealFeel: 18°C

Friday 8/19/2011
Pleasant with plenty of sunshine; breezy in the afternoon
High Temperature22°C
RealFeel: 21°C

Saturday 8/20/2011
Intervals of clouds and sunshine with a shower in the area; breezy in the afternoon
High Temperature21°C
RealFeel: 21°C

Sunday 8/21/2011
Sunny and pleasant
High Temperature24°C
RealFeel: 23°C

With current South Easterly blowing one can not expect to fish rock and surf with out some medium tackle and six ounce grapnel sinker. From Thursday the current would have changed and fishing over the weekend would be great around iMfolozi mouth, just North in a gully almost in front of St. Lucia Estuary's closed mouth. Bait would be preferably be something alive. Wave Garick or Silver Salago. All this are caught on small rod and reel with small hook baited with sardine or squid. Since it is neap tide high and low is not really a concern so the Early bird will catch the worm so to speak. Be there before six and fish until ten. Treat your family the rest of the day and a sunset Estuary Cruise.

by Petrus Viviers

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Hope you’re all doing well, and all beds are full!!!


Throughout September we will again offer 50% OFF a morning(no sunset half price offers) HIPPO/CROC tour aboard ADVANTAGE CRUISER once the passengers have been out WHALE WATCHING onboard ADVANTAGE CHARTER –


Just some feedback for the season so far – we’ve had tremendous sightings – even more spectacular than last year – people enjoy the fact that we offer the money-back-guarantee if they don’t see whales.

We also have huge smiles and loads of happy clientele getting off the ADVANTAGE CHARTER boat, coming back to the office and giving very positive feedback on the knowledge and information they got from the guides and how they were treated – they also just love the trip on the truck to the beach.


These people will most definitely go and tell more friends and family, and we can be assured to have return visitors to our pretty town.


Unfortunately as you know some tours had to be cancelled due to rough seas – but yes, although the clients don’t always understand and some have wee attitudes because we cancel, we do have a safety-first attitude – that is what ADVANTAGE is renowned for – and we won’t harm our reputation – ((( I think someone must start doing whale-dances for extra money if tours are cancelled(JOKE))))


We will always try and accommodate our clients first IN St Lucia whilst they are HERE, but please remember in the past the closest next legal permit holder where we could refer people to if the weather was bad was in Cape Town – now at least we also have the legal permit in Durban and can refer clients that way if indeed they are travelling south and not north.


As for our HIPPO/CROC boat cruise trips – GOOD AS ALWAYS – and the clients particularly enjoy the ADVANTAGE CRUISER boat as our guides do the FULL 2HOUR tour – we do not dock before the time or cut the trips short – they get their monies worth aboard ADVANTAGE CRUISER– onboard they can buy tea/coffee/hot chocolate and then the bar is always fully stocked and fully licensed, and the ‘’tuck shops’’ sells all kinds of goodies onboard. They’ve got more than ample walking space onboard for the best photographic opportunities, we ourselves are keen photographers and will go out of our way to give your client good photo opportunity!


If you have anybody wanting to go DEEPSEA FISHING you can also phone us, we do those trips as well – R700-00p.p – they must only have their own fishing licence, we supply all bait and tackle – and they need to bring own lunch.


Just AGAIN – THANK Y.O.U for your support!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for understanding if we have to cancel whale trips((((we hate cancelling trips, cause obviously we lose money and you lose commission, but……..joys of the ocean))))


Please always keep in touch if there is any problems or issues or anything else whatsoever – we are here to assist and will gladly do so.




Bestest Regards for now





Riëtte Bennett for
St.Lucia Tours & Charters t/a Advantage Cruiser CC
e-mail for St Lucia :

e-mail for Durban:




Tel   : +27 ( 035 ) 5901259

Fax  : +27 ( 035 ) 5901053

Cell for St Lucia : 083 487 2762

Cell for Durban : 082 329 9890

Box 151, St Lucia,South Africa 3936
1 McKenzie Street,  St Lucia 3936, ** corner of St Lucia Supermarket  ,the very first building and  the very first information office as you enter the town of St Lucia after crossing the bridge , at the traffic circle find parking immediately on the right (next to PEP stores) **

our GPS co-ordinates are :: S28 22. 335 E32 24. 773   ....St Lucia Village South Africa - ST LUCIA  - PLACE OF WONDER!

Click here to view Advantage's New Video on YouTube!




WHALE WATCHING ( the legal permit holder currently in St Lucia and Durban ), HIPPO & CROC BOAT CRUISES ( aboard the luxurious ADVANTAGE CRUISER ), DEEPSEA BIG GAME FISHING, iMFOLOZi /HLUHLUWE GAME RESERVE TRIPS, CAPE VIDAL SNORKEL SAFARIS, TURTLE TOURS, OCEAN ADVENTURE for DOLPHINS and other MARINE MAMMALS , HORSE RIDING , KAYAKING , with experienced skipper/guides Danie, Bien and Berno and lady skipper/guides Riëtte Bennett and Natasha.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Another day in the life of - Deiric Welsh (Tourguide, Singer and song writer)

When life trough's  you a lemon make lemonade they say. Well we cannot all do what we want but sure we can share some of the moments with people that have the opportunity to do just that.

This is one of the moments that Deiric has to get up for in the mornings. He has the opportunity to sing at gigs in pubs and venues all along the coast, but he chooses the life of a tour guide on St Lucia Estuary aboard Fanna's (also known as the spirit of St. Lucia) a shallow draft vessel that is very economical to run and fun to entertain groups and functions on.

Lazy Buffalo is not the only  wild life along the banks but surely one to mention. They are on of the five most dangerous animals to hunt in Africa and in an area long forgotten when a one shot kill was only achievable from less than fifty paces, this was a trophy that did separate the men from the boys.

Nitrous powered rifles and scope sights has increased this safe distance a little more and one only needs to be a good shot with a hefty bank account to achieve this now days. Thanks to comercial hunting we can today apretiate the profits in the forms of Game Farms or Game Reserves. A trophy Bull demands a large open space and that alone is expensive. Before eco Tourist where a viable alternative the sports hunter paid many years for the up keep of these magnificent animals.

Corcodilus Noliticus. or better known as the Nile Crocodile has adapted to salt water conditions by secreting the access salt through a gland at the bottom of their tongs. They still need fresh water and the low lying wetlands provide them just that. They migrate between the sweet water of the wetlands and the marine estuary as they feel fit.

Main food source is fish, but will take anything that comes to close to the banks or dare to swim into their hunting territory. The banks are used by breeding females but invading alien plants tend to interfere with the breeding temperature of the nests.

Africa Fish Eagle is monogamous and breeding pairs need a larger hunting area. Tour Guides used to feed them in the past, but this upset the natural nesting  arrangement and the authority stepped in with some hefty fines.  It always made for nice pictures when they sweep in to get the fish, but now days these type of action shots are rare and only the lucky few will get it on camera. Others will live with the memory of being able to see it as it happens.

Giant King Fisher

Goliath Heron.

Another sunset over The Wetlands Park
St Lucia Estuary - iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

To Join Deiric on a boat cruise

Call Petrus Viviers
081 342 7371

Thursday, August 04, 2011

St Lucia Ladies on Wellness - 08 August 2011

St Lucia ladies are not sitting back and waiting for better days to come. This community is vibrant and full of excitement. Their recent funds raising event for CANSA, St. Lucia by Night, was a huge success. To obtain more information about Wellness, A Choice for life ladies can contact: Susan Combrink on 082 940 7194. Keep is posted ladies ... it seems St. Lucia Estuary, the small village in the heart of iSimangaliso Wetlands Park is going places ...