Tag Archives: Kariega River

Great egret

The great egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, large egret or (in the Old World) great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world. It builds tree nests in colonies close to water and commonly seen on the banks of the Kariega River on the Sibuya Game Reserve.


The great egret is a large heron with all-white plumage.  Apart from size, the great egret can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet, though the bill may become darker and the lower legs lighter in the breeding season.  It has a slow flight, with its neck retracted. The great egret walks with its neck extended and wings held close. The great egret is not normally a vocal bird; it gives a low hoarse croak when disturbed, and at breeding colonies, it often gives a loud croaking cuk cuk cuk and higher-pitched squawks.

Distribution and conservation

The great egret is generally a very successful species with a large and expanding range, occurring worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. The species adapts well to human habitation and can be readily seen near wetlands and bodies of water in urban and suburban areas.


The great egret feeds in shallow water or drier habitats, feeding mainly on fish, frogs, small mammals, and occasionally small reptiles and insects, spearing them with its long, sharp bill most of the time by standing still and allowing the prey to come within its striking distance of its bill which it uses as a spear. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk its victim.


The Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) and Sibuya Clean up Project

We had an amazing day yesterday on a project with The Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) Kenton on Sea. 20 children from a local school, their teacher as well as members from SST did a big clean up on various sections of the Kariega River.

The day started with a boat cruise to Forest Camp, a talk by both SST and Sibuya about the effects of plastic and littering to our environment, followed by a hot dogs and juice for everyone.

22 bags of plastic and rubbish were collected in an hour and a half. Thank you to everyone involved for making a difference to our precious environment!


Cape Clawless Otter


The Cape Clawless Otter measures 1,3 m in length and weighs about 13 kg. Except for the belly, throat, cheeks and upper lip, which are all white, the rest of the body is covered with dense dark brown fur. Almost no webbing between the toes of the front feet, but hind feet are webbed for half their length. There are five clawless digits on each foot. They have thick but shortish tails.

Cape Clawless Otter cavorting in the Kariega River


Diets mainly on crabs, but will also take fish, frogs, lobsters, birds, insects, reptiles, molluscs and small mammals.


Breeds throughout the year, and one to three young are born per litter, after a gestation period of 60-65 days.

Social Behaviour

Since otters are intelligent and playful by nature, they are charming to watch. Extremely elusive in the wilds, and are usually solitary. Females are often accompanied by their offspring, thus co-existing in groups of up to eight. Males play no part in rearing the young and seldom associate with females.


Inhabits both fresh water sources as well as the sea, but in the latter case appears to require fresh water to wash the salt from its fur.

Where they are found

The Cape clawless otter has an easterly distribution along the coastline and drainage systems of the higher rainfall regions of South Africa including the Kariega River running through Sibuya Game Reserve, but is nowhere common. Absent from the arid western parts of the country. Coastal density is estimated at one per two km, and along rivers one per three to ten km.

Kariega River Clean Up

On Saturday 20 September 2014 Sibuya Game Reserve participated in the Kariega River Clean up by transporting all chosen participants from the SST schools programme and Ikamvalesizwe Rotary Interact group and the 5 adult volunteers up river.


With 21 full bags of rubbish weighing 80 kg and totalling 1124 items cleared from the river banks of the Kariega River, the clean-up hosted by the Environmental Conservation Group (ESG) was a huge success.

The ESG based in Kenton-on-Sea includes the Sustainable Seas Trust, Ndlambe Municipality Environmental Office, Bushmans Kariega Estuary Care Forum, WESSA, the Kariega Project, the Rotary conservation Wing and other conservation activists based in the area.

Before the River Clean commenced all partakers were briefed on the importance of river clean-ups and coastal and estuary care.

The following items found their way to the official dumpsite:  26 paper bags, 225 plastic bags, 245 plastic beverage bottles, 97 glass beverage bottles, 23 beverage cans, 75 bottle caps/lids, 20 items of clothing/shoes, 31 items such as cups, plates, and cutlery.

After the long and tiring; yet effective; hard day’s work Kenton Rotary hosted a pleasant lunch braai which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

A river bank clean-up is so appropriate and of great importance as marine debris does not necessarily come from the ocean, but is dumped further inland and washed down rivers into the oceans.

Statistics from the 1999 ICC showed that 59 % of debris collected was from land sources. Each year there is a vast increase in the number of marine animals injured or entangled in marine debris.

Senior Environmental Conservationist at Ndalmbe Municipality, William Bode, believes that this should definitely become an annual event, as not only did the children do a brilliant job in cleaning up the estuary/river, but it was a great experience for them which he is sure most of them will treasure for a very long time.

Thanks again to everyone for making it such a huge success.

Sibuya Game Reserve

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Visit Sibuya’s Forest Camp, River Camp or Bush Lodge for the ultimate African Safari adventure.

Sibuya offers team-building & conferencing programmes for companies or conference groups.

Recipe: Crab and Prawn Curry on the riverside


  • One Kariega River (Accessible from Sibuya Game Reserve)
  • 2  freshly caught Mud Crab. Boil in lightly salted water (15 mins). Remove meat from shell (Or pieces can be added still in shell)
  • 24 Swimming Prawns (Optional delicious extra but seasonal in theKariega River)
  • 2 onions diced fine
  • 3 large tomatoes diced
  • 1 small tin tomato puree
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 Tbls  freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Tbls fresh diced coriander (Dhania)
  • 2 fresh red chilies
  • 2 Tbls red curry paste
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 can coconut milk

Heat pan with olive oil and fry onions, add ginger, chili and garlic.  Add curry paste, tomatoes & tomato puree once onions start browning.  Add coconut milk bring to the boil and then reduce heat. Add prawns and cook for 5min on medium heat. Add already cooked crab meat (or chunks in the shell) & lemon juice. Mix in coriander & serve with basmati rice.

This feast is best enjoyed with friends, a glass or two of wine on thebanks of the river as the sun sets.

Sibuya Game Reserve

Sibuya has recently started team-building & conferencing programmes for companies or conference groups.

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve