There was a great deal to be anxious about during the cruise.
For starters, we would be cruising down the Mary River, one of the eight top end rivers as well as is understood for having the world’s greatest concentration of saltwater crocodiles. “There are two major types of crocs right here in Kakadu: Saltwater crocodiles or salties, as well as freshwater crocodiles or freshies,” shares our guide Ray. “There are lots of both in the wild.”
“How can you tell the difference?” somebody from our group asked.
“Well, if it sees you as well as starts moving away from you, that’s a freshie. If it runs toward you, that’s a saltie.”
Our extremely knowledgeable guide Reuben!
A freshwater crocodile or “freshie.” See the narrow snout?
That’s one method to put it, although not extremely comforting. Freshwater crocodiles are timid around humans. While there are incidents of nasty bites, they don’t usually see people as prey. Salties on the other hand are extremely territorial as well as frighteningly aggressive. They understand they are quicker as well as stronger than you, as well as you are most likely on his menu. however there are other methods of telling which is which: freshies have longer as well as narrower snouts, as well as smaller heads; salties have unequal jawlines as well as powerful snouts. great news is, salties’ attacks on humans are extremely rare. Australia records only one to two incidents a year.
When we reached the jump off point, our driver-guide Ray turned us over to our boatman-guide Reuben, who provided us a warm welcome. Reuben appeared like he had been doing this tour for years. I might tell from exactly how dearly he talked about every types right here (even salties) as well as exactly how he confidently responded to every curious concern thrown at him. He understood every nook as well as cranny of this part of the river, the name of every plant as well as tree rising from the banks, as well as every bird swooshing overhead. He even had a name for a few of them.
Just a minute into the tour, Reuben already directed at a female saltwater crocodile hiding behind a rich sea of lotus lilies. He plucked a dry lotus flower as well as broke it apart. “Its seeds are a delicacy,” he provided us one each. “Some people state it tastes like almond.” It did taste like almond.
Two freshwater crocodiles later, we moved on to birds, which appeared to be showing off at the time. I had never seen that many types of our avian buddies in one location before. An Australian darter spread its wings, a couple of Jesus birds walked on water, as well as egrets just kept flying around, while a wedge-tailed eagle soared above us.
An Australian darter hunting.
An Australian Darter showing his wings.
I’m not sure if this is a fantastic Egret or an Intermediate Egret.
The Comb-crested Jacana is understood by many names. Some phone call it Lotusbird for it is frequently seen walking on lotus leaves. Some phone call it Lilytrotter, for it is frequently seen hopping from one lily to another. however my preferred is most likely Jesus Bird, for it appears to walk on water.
Radjah shelducks are usually in pairs, developing long-lasting bonds.
Some blue birds whose name skipped my mind. Help, anyone?
Farther downstream we discovered a huge saltie resting on the shore. It was by far the biggest crocodile I had seen in the wild ever. Reuben carefully maneuvered our boat to get better to the giant reptile without disturbing it. It was as well huge it might most likely topple our boat down, or I may just be as well paranoid.
Whoa there, saltie! You’re huge!
Our boat parting a sea of lotus lilies.
Ten minutes later, as we approached the last few moments of the cruise, Reuben moored the boat, parting the bed of lotus lilies along the way. “It’s been a wonderful afternoon; say thanks to you for costs it with me,” he stated before exposing a bottle of champagne. Reuben increased his cup.
I was still anxious as hell. An picture of that enormous croc jumping as well as biting my head off kept popping in my head, however my mind might never reject exactly how enjoyable this tour had been. I increased my cup, smiled, as well as look at the canopy. somewhere behind the trees as well as the overground bush, the sun was making its preliminary descent. “Cheers.”
Where to stay: Darwin is the closest major city. Darwin YHA Hostel offers inexpensive accommodations right at the heart of the city center as well as with quick Web connection. Day tours are likewise available.
Check rates as well as availability here
Where to book tours: I was booked with AAT Kings, a leading tour operator in Australia as well as new Zealand. inspect out their guided tours at: www.aatkings.com.
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