Driving along the countryside allowed me to see the raw beauty of South Africa’s eastern coast.
From verdant, rolling hills with antelopes grazing by the roadside, I heard the sound of waves crashing, and the landscape transformed once again.
From hereon, we stepped into the region called the Wild Coast.
Stretching from Port Edward to the north to East London in the south, is this beautiful stretch of golden coastline.
Rugged, untamed and unexplored, I was very intrigued by this part of South Africa.
In this region, many rivers empty into the sea, where sandy bays and open beaches can be found.
I made my way to Port St. Johns and found myself in such a tranquil setting.
We stayed at the Umngazi River Bungalows, a peaceful retreat located at the mouth of a river.
I settled into my cozy, thatch-roofed bungalow, with an amazing view of the water.
I then made my way to the dock where I was to meet Kevin, who will take me on a river cruise that morning.
Kevin, I learned, was a man of many talents.
First, he loved to sing. And on his boat, everyone is expected to be able to carry a tune. We sang and sailed across the serene river, enjoying the scenic views.
Amidst the quiet atmosphere, it was clear that this place teemed with birdlife.
And apparently, there were creatures out there listening out for Kevin’s song. With buckets of fish, he calls out to the African Fish Eagles to feed them.
Resembling the bald eagle in North America, the African fish eagles are large birds, with the females having wingspans of up to 8 feet. Its shrill cry is a recognizable sound in the African bush.
Swooping over the water, its talons quickly grips the fish Kevin prepared that morning. They are amazing creatures, and I was very happy to see them up close, even with my tone-deaf singing!
This hidden place, is indeed paradise found.