Derwent graphite pencil sketch in my Moleskine 200gsm Nature Journal
Croc Valley in Ballito (on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa), offers crocodile and snake feedings, bird watching and a swamp forest incorporating a nature walk across the swamp on a wooden board walk. The area is now a nature reserve where crocodiles and other reptiles used to roam freely in this area. Every time I go to the Ballito, I take a drive out to Croc Valley for a cup of tea and a hike through the swamp forest, which takes approximately three-quarters of an hour to complete.
It’s only when you’re up close and personal to these magnificent animals, that their power, strength and size is VERY apparent! Although this chap looks half asleep, the guide assured me that he was fully alert and aware of his surroundings!
This is a Nile Crocodile and they feed mostly on vertebrates like fish, reptiles, and mammals, sometimes on invertebrates like molluscs and crustaceans, depending on species. They are an ancient lineage, and are believed to have changed little since the time of the dinosaurs. They are believed to be 200 million years old whereas dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago; crocodiles survived great extinction events.
The swamp forest walk
The croc enclosure