Tag Archives: Makakatana

Gem of a cottage For Sale R4.8million

Gem of a cottage for sale situated in a truly unique place, the Western Shores Game Reserve of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park) in an area called ‘Makakatana.’

Regular visitors on the lawn around the homestead are Warthogs, Bushbuck, Nyala and Red Duiker. The variety of birdlife in the area is phenomenal. When the Night jar calls it’s last in the early morning the Fish Eagle gives his wake up call!
Self-drive game drives in the park are most rewarding and are only a minute away.
The sounds of Hyenas, Hippo’s, Buck barking/whistling, Bush babies, Water Thick-knees, Nightjars and Owls at night add to the magic of the area.
On those extra quiet nights or mornings, you can hear the waves breaking on the shores of ‘Mission Rocks’. You can also hear the throb of a distant ship in the Indian Ocean

For more on the park where you will find this gem click on this link: http://isimangaliso.com/tourism-information/10-jewels/western-shores-and-charters-creek/

A family homestead on the Western shores of Lake St. Lucia in iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Makakatana Lot 7 approximately 8000 m2  (2 acres) in extent with a house 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, rondavel 5th bedroom, workshop, garage and caretakers quarters. The property and house has Eskom power with an extensive rain water harvesting system. There is an unobtrusive communal electric fence to keep elephant at bay. Homestead is 35 minutes away from St. Lucia, Mtubatuba or Hluhluwe and 6km from Charters Creek (launch site). Full access to game reserve – T&C’s apply.

Please Contact Neil if you are interested. Email Neilandmichelene(at)gmail.com or cell +27 83 417 0045

A few of the many pictures of this awesome piece of paradise.

See my other posts on the history of Makakatana and some awesome fishing memories

Fishing Trip to Charters Creek

At the end of June beginning of July 2014 we had a family holiday at Makakatana, my mission was to do some fishing, bait, lure and Fly fishing. It has been many years since I have been to St Lucia Lake for some fishing and a lot has changed. We arrived and the weather was very warm. We had already been in Durban for the week so it was not a shock to the system. Just hard to imagine being in shorts and t-shirts after the freezing cold in JHB. There is a short road down to the lake edge from the house, this comes out in the Makakatana bay. We are not allowed any more to launch from this place but I can also see why. With the lake not having water for many years the grass had grown and the wind had blown the sand up between the point of the bay and Mitchell’s Island. With the water coming back this is now just full of reeds and grass. So it has formed a barrier to get access to the main lake from Makakatana bay. It would be a very interesting place to explore with a fishing SUP. I do worry about the crocodiles, I think you might also get into trouble.

The fishing was very relaxed. You are not allowed on the lake at night. The gate opens at charters at 6 am and closes 6pm. Gone are the days of night fishing for the big salmon. You are also not allowed to keep the salmon. It is catch and release for salmon. You are allowed to keep other species as long as you stick to bag limits and catch sizes. So we got to the charters creek launch site just after 9 and finished fishing between 12am and 1pm every day. It costs you R10 to launch the boat and often we where the only people to launch the boat. The gate entrance is run by SANParks EKZNwildlife inside iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The gate entrance is very run down with big holes in the thatch. You are no longer allowed to stay at Charters Creek or Eastern shores. Very sad to see this once amazing part of the lake going to ruin. The office where you could get bait and curious is all locked up and the thatch is also full of holes and the stuff inside covered in dust. The launch site is still in good shape with toilets. The jetty is still there and a great place to fish if you don’t have a boat. I believe there was a big crocodile that would stay behind the fish cleaning spot and it sound like the one that was there from many years ago. It has been relocated. Lets see how long it takes for him to come back.

The North Easter wind blew the whole time we where there and the water temp was 18 degrees. I would love to come back in the warmer months. The lake is very alive with fish, birds and animals, the seagulls still come and see if they can get some scraps from you. I also managed to get the fish eagle to come and take a nondi that I had thrown out for it. We saw buffalo at the lake edge grazing.

I made up a hand-line for the kids as this is fun and quick way to see what is biting. It could be some live bait for a big salmon. The kids and myself managed to catch some glassies. They where the biggest glassies I have ever seen. I also had some chum out the side of the boat and I could see lots of swirls out the back of the boat. It was very exciting to see so much life and action in the water. I did try throw a fly but had no takes. Due to the wind blowing non stop the water was not very clean. You still need to look for the water that is not chocolate but rather a weak tea colour with a drop of milk, maybe earl grey. We fished on anchor as I do not enjoy drifting, I have been told and shown that drifting works very well. My lines get so twisted I don’t want to even go there. There is a spot just South of the launch site that has some scattered rocks. There is a pole marking the rocks, we anchored around this spot just not to close, as the rocks will keep cutting you off. We did get hocked up a few times on the rocks and I had to replace some traces. We managed to catch a few size grunter for the braai. They where very yummy. The kids had lots of fun catching nondies. On one trip my dad took us up to Fanieseiland which is about a 14km boat ride. My son enjoyed it a lot as he just wants to go fast in the boat. It is surreal to see fanieseiland as it also was once an awesome campsite and huts for people to stay in. There is a hut on stilts in the water abandon and run down, I could live there. The Campsite is right on the waters edge and I can just imagine the fishing would be awesome and lots of fun. We did not catch anything size here but again lots of action in the water with the chum. I did manage to catch a mullet on light tackle that my dad put out live. He had no luck and we let it go when we finished fishing.

DSC00361
Cuba in front of a Spotted Grunter about to get cleaned for the braai

We did do a trip to eastern shores and found some clean water in the sand. We had lots of action here but all undersize grunter. The wind was screaming and made it very uncomfortable for fishing. I did do some drop shot and popper fishing but had no luck. The handline was snapped off, I can only thing it was a grunter as we where in very shallow water and we did have a lot of hook ups of them. I did see a big garfish make a jump at the back of the boat in the chum.

Very sad heart to see the run down places but I assume it is a park and they want to make it go back to nature. I think it would be a good idea to just break the places down, then let them slowly decay.

In closing I am very excited to see that the lake is full of water and it has lots of fish in it. I feel in summer it will be a awesome fishing destination. I am sure the fly and lure fishing will be lots of fun then.

Some stories from Makakatana

This is not about fishing but what happened on some of my fishing trips to Makakatana (Lake St Lucia)

Julian Britz loses his glasses

So we are anchored on the lake and busy fishing. I am not sure what Julian is doing, but the next thing he turns around and tells us he has lost his glasses.  They had fallen over board. He says he has to get them back otherwise he will be unable to see. So off come the clothes and into the water he dives. The thing is that when the boat is on anchor is swings a bit like a pendulum, so to find the correct spot, where the glasses dropped was not possible for us. Lucky the lake is only about 2 meters deep. But it is rather cold and zero visibility. After a few dives and feeling his way along the bottom he manages to get his glasses. He was rather cold after that but very happy.

Crocodile scares the hell out of me.

Again we are in the lake busy fishing we notice a croc out in the lake. We think nothing of it and carry on fishing as it seems to be keeping its distance. When we are fighting one fish and it gets close to the boat we notice that there is a lot of muddy water swirling up from under the boat. We think this might be just the fish churning up the water, as it is fighting hard, so we carry on as normal. I while later I am busy scaling a bream over the side of the boat. I am getting it ready to make some fillets to catch me a big salmon.  The croc surfaces just under my hands, I get such a fright that I throw the bream at it and jump back into the boat. I am sure I screamed like a girl but my ears would never hear that. After the heart settled down we decided to move away from that spot. That also explained the muddy water getting churned up under the boat. The crocodile was trying to eat our fish.

Collecting Prawns

In the old days it was not uncommon to stand on prawns while you were pushing the boat out into deeper water. The shallows was mud and grass so it was perfect for prawns.  So we would just walk around in the shallows and collect lots of prawns. Sometimes to eat and sometimes for bait.

The Crab that got its revenge

During the fishing trips we would sometimes catch a crab or two.  You were not allowed to keep them as far as I remember but my Goco would make such a yummy crab curry. So some went into the sack. My Oupa’s boat had bench seats, it just so happened that the crab was in the sack under the seat I was sitting on. Next thing I feel this very deep pain in my calf. I was a bit close to the sack and the crab had got hold of my calf through the sack with its huge nippers. No blood was drawn and the crab was turned into a very yummy curry.

Louis doesn’t flinch

As I mentioned in the prawn story you would need to push the boat out to deeper water. This would be about 100 meters or more. Then you could jump on the boat and drop the motors and start them up. During this walk it would be in mud and sometimes you would step on a crab. Jump like crazy then find you place at the side of the boat and carry on. My uncle Louis would be at the front side of the boat and I would be at the back. He would feel a crab and not react at all, the crab would be ready for war with its nippers up in the air. I behind Louis would have no idea what was coming and I would step on this angry crab, jump and scream and my Uncle would just laugh. Bastard!  You get one hell of a fright.

Getting stuck in the mud

So one time my girlfriend (my wife now) and I decided to go to the Makakatana on our own. I had my landy and we towed the boat up.  Launching the boat required you to drive out into the lake, to deeper water so that you could at least float the boat after you got it off the trailer.  It was muddy and you never know if you might get stuck. Well we managed to get the boat off no problem. It was driving on the side of the lake that I suddenly got stuck. I tried reversing and going forward but all I ended up doing was making the Landy sink deeper into the mud. We decided to go back to the house and get some staff to help us dig. I managed to get 3 staff members so loaded with spades and stuff, back down to the lake we went. My wife said it looked like a picture from snow white and the seven dwarfs. Well we failed to make any headway. I spoke to a neighbour but he was too afraid that he might also get stuck. So as a last resort I phoned my dad to come help. Lucky he was working at Mtunzini so it was not that far away. He pulled my Landy out no problem. He just stayed on the hard ground and soon I was out.

More to come as I think of them. I know I have some mates that have some stories so please send them dudes.