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“A great boat trip”

Shakabarker Tours - Day Tours
Ranked #3 of 17 Tours in St Lucia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Our company specializes in the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. We offer accommodation and a range of personalized tours and packages. Tours include guided bicycle rides and walks to learn about Zulu culture, medicinal plant uses and animals. Join us for ecological tours of the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park and surrounding area. These adventures include Turtle Tours (in season) to view gigantic Leatherback and resident Loggerhead Turtles, Chameleon Night Drives to view hippo, leopard etc., Game Drives, and excellent Bird watching. Options include packages and tailor-made tours.Explore your Heritage with the professionals.
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We joined one of the small boat tours and it was a very interesting trip. The skipper had plenty to tell us about the wildlife and surrounding scenery. We were able to get very close to a herd of hippos who were not at all bothered about our presence. We saw crocodiles and other animals and would recommend this trip to anyone staying in the area.

Thank Margaret J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 87 of 169 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2014

We saw lots of wildlife. The boat had space to move and to see. Our skipper was very knowledgeable and happy to share his knowledge.

Thank GJM_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2014 via mobile

Great morning boat tour spotting hippos & other various wildlife. Very knowledgable staff and perfect sized boat for viewing.

Thank Peta B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

We visited the St Lucia Esturary (Isimangaliso Wetlands Park) earlier in 2013 and was encouraged by Kian Barker, our guide, to go on a turtle walk with him in Kosi Bay. On this walk we would see turtles laying eggs in the sand and the hatchlings heading to the sea. The website did not give us too much more information.
On the ideal date, we met at his premises, Shakabarker Tours St. Lucia at 12:00 to then proceeded to Kosi Bay.
Kian had said all we needed was our g-string and tooth brush everything else would be provided for his rate of R2150 pp for the one night trip.
Kian is a very nice guy and extremely knowledgeable on all things regarding the area and more. The more you ask him the more he gives you, so just soak it up.
I think what Kian needs to do is provide his clients with a short guideline of what to expect and a brief agenda of what will be done when, as well as a short list of the minimum items to take along.
We were not sure of what to expect even after having enquired by email a couple of times.
I suppose the beauty of nature is that you do not want to rush it but a guideline would have been helpful. We thought we would be provided with soap. Luckily we took towels and mosquito spray.
The road trip is a long one of at least three hours from St Lucia, with the last section (30 mins) being very rough through the bush on sandy roads. We were asked if we wanted to go in our own vehicle (given a generous discount for that) as it would be a bit cramped in his long wheel-base Landrover. He could drop the trailer and load the bedding into his vehicle. Thank goodness we did as I think it would have been too tight and too hot for the four of us in his. We had the luxury of our 4x4 Discovery. We did miss out on any talks the rest of the tour had in the main vehicle as well as drinks and snacks which we had not catered for.
On arrival we unpacked into the reed huts which suprised us as he had said we would be staying in tents on the beach. The tents appealed to us as it seemed as though we would spend lots of time on the beach with the turtles. He said we would be cooler in the reed huts.
We were left to our devices until 18:00 when we had a very nice "braai" with wine to drink.
At 19:00 we went hurriedly down to the beach and met the guides for the Reserve. It became apparent to us that there were lots of other groups similar to ours all looking for turtles. The turtles do not come out of the surf until nightfall and especially if they detect a threat, so no lights. Groups moved off looking for tracks of turtles from the sea to the beach. We were the third group off and walked for ages passing the other two leading groups who had come across Loggerhead Turtles laying their eggs.
The guide only allowed us to near the turtle once she had started laying or she would have gone back to the sea. Again only red light is used whilst she lays. Photo opportunities come once she is finished and starts to cover her nest and heads to the sea. Nature is truly amazing.
We then took the long walk back looking for hatchlings which we could not find. Kian tried his best to locate these and more interesting things for us.
The local guide was keen to wrap it up by 22:30.
Kian had repeatedly told us the larger Leatherbacked Turtles only come out later at night.
We were somewhat disapointed that we had only seen one turtle and no hatchlings. Apparently the hatchlings only start coming out later in the month and this had been one of our objectives of the date we chose..
We then went back to our huts and got into bed to sleep.
The next morning we ate breakfast and departed at about 09:00 for the long 7 hour drive back to Durban.
We enjoyed ourselves but some more guidelines and an agenda would have made our expectations more realistic in the light of the long trip.

1  Thank Pabby2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Go for the boat trips that are offered by the owner. He will tell you everything about the area and more about the animals, he has a great sense of humour too. We stayed in his lodge on Hornbill Road in St. Lucia and felt very comfortable. We can just recommend it.

1  Thank Christian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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