Our Black River Safari
As I mentioned in the previous post, Our Journey to Jamaica’s South coast, we were only able to spend two days in St. Elizabeth. One of the activities we were able to enjoy was the Black River Safari. Truth be told, our “Safari” was really more like a “boat ride” up Black River.
Our hotel arranged for us to do the Black River Safari, with “two men and a boat” (my words). I really thought this little boat/canoe was taking us to the bigger Safari boating outfit we had seen on our way to the hotel. However, we soon learned that this small boat would be doing the Safari! (Much to my husband’s sudden unease and agitation). We were consoled frequently by the boatman that we would be OK. Hubby’s concern was that ”Alligators can jump” and didn’t like the idea of possibly becoming their dinner! He just would have felt safer in a bigger boat. Little did be know he had nothing to worry about.
Black River is quite long, we didn’t even go all the way to Miss Lou’s crab shack, as we understood it was quite a way up the river, and we really didn’t want any crab. I think the ride was about an hour. Along our “Safari” we saw lots of Egrets, marshlands, some very interesting mangroves and a quick glimpse of ONE Alligator, who headed quickly into the water. I have to say I was disappointed! We were expecting to see several alligators (hence Hubby’s apprehension) and other animals all along the ‘Safari’, but we didn’t! I don’t suppose the boatmen can guarantee what we’ll see as there are so many variables. Needless to say, my husband was quite OK with just glimpsing one Alligator, who I might add, was a good distance away from the boat.
We did see another Alligator, on the dock by Charles Swaby Safari. Honestly on our trip out we saw the Alligator but thought it was a fake. It was in the same position, not moving for several minutes. We argued with the boatman as to its status, as we thought he was teasing us that this was real. Lo’ and behol’, on the return leg, what do you know? The Alligator nuh turn ‘roun’ and was walking!!!! We were shocked. We were led to understand that he is tame, nothing to worry about, because his “owner” feed him chicken back!!
Overall, I am glad we did it. We had never been on a boat on the river before, our kids experienced something new, and the scenery was quite beautiful. If you are planning on taking in the Safari, just know beforehand that you may or may not see Alligators. If you see them, consider it your lucky day!