Hippos Roaming the Streets of South Africa?

As South African’s we’re often asked some sometimes strange, sometimes amusing and sometimes downright WEIRD questions!  One frequently asked question is whether or not we have wildlife strolling around on our streets.  And while this is mostly a simple, ‘no’, there ARE a few rare occasions when even WE can get contradicted!

Seen recently in St Lucia… A hippopotamus taking a casual stroll into the local fuel station!


Actually, St Lucia is one of the few places in South Africa where seeing wildlife roaming the streets is fairly common place.  Locals and visitors know about the hippos and keep a safe distance.  Its estimated that there are around 800 hippos in the area and seeing them in the streets or even in your back yard is not uncommon.

In the past few years, the town of St Lucia has developed into a centre of action and adventure. Visitors set out to sea to watch the dolphins at play, they brave the surf with jet-boats, go snorkelling, scuba-diving, horse-riding or quad-biking. Near at hand is the sub-continent’s only breeding ground for the giant leatherback turtles, which can be seen at night.

If you have guests who would prefer a more ‘traditional’ means of viewing hippos, book them on our St Lucia Boat Cruise day tour experience.

Herd of hippos sleeping, Isimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa


Departs Daily from St Lucia  •  Duration 2 Hours

All aboard the comfortable Santa Lucia, a spacious double-decker boat on St Lucia Estuary, with ample room for everybody to have the best view possible. We’re off on a two-hour relaxed interpretative cruise from the smartest vantage point – the water.  We’ll get up close to the sight and sounds of hippo, crocodiles and other game species, and if we’re lucky, we’ll be serenaded by the haunting cry of the fish eagle…perhaps even watch one catch a fish. The boat has a coffee, snack and full bar on board, so relaxation is the order of the day.

Your experience highlights:

  • Boat Cruise on St Lucia Estuary
  • 2 hour interpretative cruise
  • Animal and bird sightings
  • Coffee, snack and full bar (own account)

And while you’re there, you absolutely HAVE to take advantage the opportunity for this once in a lifetime experience!  A St Lucia Turtle Tour (only operates between November and February during the egg laying and hatching season).

Leatherback turtle_7127584


Departs Daily from St Lucia on request from 17h30

Duration 6-7 Hours  (Operates Nov – Feb only)

In all likelihood, it’s once in a lifetime, so don’t even consider missing it. As the evening begins to fall, we set out on a quiet night drive on the beach to seek out, but never disturb, the leatherback and loggerhead turtles returning to their birthplace to lay their eggs; later in the season, we’re able to see the hatchlings making their desperate and dangerous dash for the ocean. Our evening expedition includes a night drive through the Eastern Shores Game Reserve, on to the beach, and – if all possible – a stealthy walk on the sand. We’ve packed our own refreshments and snacks, so it promises to be as convivial an evening as it’s likely to be thrilling.

Your experience highlights:

  • Evening beach drive and walk
  • Leatherback and Loggerhead viewing
  • Evening game drive through Eastern Shores Game Reserve
  • Snacks and refreshments

As experts in our field, we are here to guide and advise.  A consultant is just a call or email away.

Contact a Thompsons Africa consultant today.

Email: info@thompsonsafrica.co.za

Tel: +27 31 275 3500



Main image credit: St Lucia South Africa Facebook page

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