Teenage

Celebrating Jamaica50 - Black River Safari

Tuesday, October 02, 2012    

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WHILE Jamaica is predominantly known for its luxurious north coast and white sand beaches, another much beloved attraction of the island is the Black River Safari.

It is the longest navigable river in Jamaica and acquired its name 'Black River' as a result of the black peat that covers the riverbed. The peat is a by-product of the extensive vegetation decomposition in the area, leaving the water with a very dark look.

Located along the south coast in the parish St Elizabeth, the Black River Safari is a natural habitat that provides locals and tourists alike an opportunity to explore and interact with some of the country's more captivating wildlife.

A boat tour of the three-mile snake-like river provides a great learning experience for those interested in seeing an eco-system at work and for nature lovers, the serenity of the ride always leaves them yearning for more. The tour guides, who are generally natives of the area, are able to provide extensive information on the river and its inhabitants.

It is widely documented that the region contains over 100 different species of birds, a phenomenon which still leaves many in awe, particularly because the relatively small concentration of the area. The mangroves that line the area are also integral to the preservation of the region and at certain sections persons get a chance to leave the boat and tour the swampy region.

Learning about water lilies and their mechanisms are also a great pick-up but what really pulls persons to the area are the crocodiles that call the safari home. The river has crocodiles of many different sizes which can provide a great photo catalogue but what persons are most excited about is the opportunity to touch the roughly-scaled reptiles.

Rightly so, this is upon instructions or the 'go ahead' of the tour guides, but persons enjoy the thrill of going beyond simply looking and admiring to a physical interaction with one of nature's most feared creatures.

— Devaro Bolton

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