Journal Entry: Day 268

(Nomad: Day 1496),
St Lucia, South Africa,

I have been in this small town for 3 days now, and because I have a bad connection here I only post now.
Here is a popular place due to its proximity to the National Park Isimangaliso, a wetland zone with many wildlife, crocodiles, and hippos that even roam at night in the street. However, I have been struggling to record the sound of hippo which is my main goal here. In fact, they do not make their sounds when they are grazing grass nearby, they do it mainly when they are in groups often in the water. I did try from a boat, but there was no other option than taking a tour, with many tourists even drinking. I also tried to approach the hippos from the shore, but they are too far. There are some spots that might have been good, indicated by people who have seen them there, but they are not there at the moment. So, just for the recording, I had to book another boat (the tour boat) but to have it private this time, I paid the price of 10 tickets. It will be Tuesday, as the wind will be better, and the local weekend holiday will be finished (which means fewer noises from visitors or other boats). Meanwhile, I have explored a little of this area, I went a few times to the nearby Crocodile center, and I almost got incredible sounds. In fact, I learned about the alligator that can do loud impressive sounds when a thunderstorm is approaching, and Yesterday the weather announced rain, so I thought it could be a good day for the animal to make some sounds, I stayed near the enclosure for 1 or 2 hours, then I left to come back later, as I had some stuff to do, like booking the boat, and eating,… But when I came back I learned from the crocodile keepers that the alligator and a few other special species of crocodiles made the famous sound just a few minutes after I left, I was very disappointed, as I could have stayed longer in the morning or even leave a microphone in place. I will do better next time, I just missed an incredible opportunity.
Tomorrow I am going again to the National Park, I will go early and leave late, I will focus on recording ambiances. There are some beautiful hides there, very quiet and away from the main path.

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