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Based in St Lucia - South Africa
From tours on the mild side to living on the wild side, we have something for everyone
St Lucia South Africa
Gateway to the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park
Visitor InformationGeneral Information
Plus a list of links for activities in the St Lucia area
Why visit St Lucia while traveling in South Africa?Wildlife including the largest African animals
Pristine beaches &warm water
Ocean Activities - Whale watching, turtle tours, scuba diving, fishing
Safaris to all nearby reserves and parks
Hiking trails/Walking trails
Easy access on tar/asphalt roads
325 sunshine days a year
Accommodation to suit all budgets
St Lucia is a wildlife lover's paradise with a huge variety of animals, birds and plants in and around the village. Being so close to the ocean, St Lucia is a great destination for a bush and beach holiday with some of the world best game reserves and beautiful beaches with warm water all in one area. St Lucia is situated in a sub tropical climate with hot summers and mild, sunny winters. The coldest temperature ever recorded at St Lucia South Africa is 6'C
St Lucia is located on the north east coast of South Africa, on the route to Swaziland and the Kruger National Park, in the heart of one of the most ecologically diverse parts of Africa, with the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park declared a World Heritage Site because of the huge diversity in different African animals, plants, birds, fish, amphibians and insects all in one area.
St Lucia is the perfect base from which to explore northern KwaZulu Natal, and is within a short drive of places to visit such as the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Sodwana Bay, Mkuze Game Reserve, Tembe Elephant Park, Kosi Bay and Southern Mozambique.
The access routes to St Lucia South Africa are all very good tar/asphalt roads and the village can be reached with any vehicle. St Lucia also has a variety of different accommodation options, including camping sites, self catering accommodation, safari lodges, luxury lodges and a hotel. You will find something to suite your budget and needs in St Lucia.
From St Lucia you can do a large variety of activities and day trips out into the surrounding areas. Activities run from St Lucia include safaris, boat cruises on the St Lucia Estuary, beach and bush horse rides, walking trails, and tours and safaris to all the surrounding game reserves and parks, including the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Mkuze Game Reserve and the Tembe Elephant Park.
Facilities in St Lucia
St Lucia has the following facilities and services available:
Tours and Safaris
Things you have to do while visiting St Lucia in South Africa
While you are visiting St Lucia while traveling in South Africa you have to see the surrounding area, including the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park (previously called the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park) and Cape Vidal, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and the Tembe Elephant Park.
Tours and Activities in St Lucia South Africa
Tours into the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park including Cape Vidal
Tours to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
Boat Cruises on the St Lucia Estuary
Swim with wild dolphins
Visit Mission Rocks
Visit Bat's cave
Common animal sightings in St Lucia and the surrounding area
Interesting birds in the St Lucia Area
Yellow Billed Storks
Southern Banded Snake Eagle
Interesting plants in the St Lucia area
Marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea)
Natal Flat Crown (Albizia adianthifolia)
Coral Tree (Erythrina spp)
Wild Date Palm (Phoenix reclinata)
Ilala Palm (Hyphaene coriacea)
African Flame Tree (Spathodea campanulata)
Tips for travelers visiting St Lucia in South Africa
Make sure you make enough time available to see everything the St Lucia area has to offer.
Be aware of animals walking around the town of St Lucia at night, especially hippos.
Get out of the town and explore the surrounding areas.
Plan snorkeling trips around the tide (tour operators in St Lucia will be able to assist)
Take sunscreen along on the activities you do, even in winter.
More information about St Lucia South Africa and the surrounding areas.
The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park (Formerly the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park)
The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, because of the huge biodiversity of the area. This region of South Africa has wildlife ranging from elephants and rhino, to turtles, whales and dolphins in to sea and hippos and crocodiles in the various lake systems, including Lake St Lucia, South Africa's largest salt water lake.
The reason for the huge variety in different mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects and plants, is the great number of different ecosystems in the area, each with a host of different micro habitats, for example, Lake St Lucia is an ecosystem of it's own, but within that ecosystem, there are mud flats, sand bars, islands and the shoreline.
The 5 main ecosystems in the St Lucia area are:
The ocean and sea shore from St Lucia to Kosi Bay
The eastern shores of Lake St Lucia
Lake St Lucia
The western shores of Lake St Lucia
The Mkuze swamps
The Ocean and Shoreline
The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park stretches 5 km out to sea and includes coral reefs and submarine canyons up to 600m deep. The ancient coeleocanth had been found living in one of these canyons just north of St Lucia near Sodwana Bay. It is believed that there is a healthy population of ceoleocanths in the various canyons along the coast between St Lucia and Kosi Bay.
From November to March, thousands of Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles come from hundreds and even thousands of kilometers away to lay their eggs on the pristine beaches of Maputaland, the area between St Lucia and the Mozambique border. Visitors can view the turtles laying their eggs, then later in the season, watch the babies emerge from their nests and scuttle for the surf. This is a natural phenomenon not to be missed if you are visiting St Lucia between November and March.
Every year, from June until November, Humpback whales pass by St Lucia on their way the the Mozambique Channel, the area of ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar, to give birth to their calves in the warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. For the remainder of the year, the Humpback whales spend their time feeding in the icy waters of the Southern Ocean where krill populations thrive in the nutrient and oxygen rich cold water.
Interesting places along the coast north of St Lucia include Mission Rocks, Bats cave (accessible by foot at low tide only from Mission Rocks), Cape Vidal, Sodwana Bay, Mabibi, Lala Nek, Black Rock, Bhanga Nek and Kosi Mouth.
The snorkeling spots along the coast north of St Lucia include Cape Vidal, Sodwana Bay, Mabibi, Lala Nek and Kosi Mouth. Sodwana Bay is world famous for its coral reefs which attract scuba divers from around the world. Don't forget to bring your scuba diving ticket if you are planning to dive! The scuba operators at Sodwana Bay also offer scuba courses.
The Eastern Shores of Lake St Lucia
The area of land between the ocean and Lake St Lucia is known as the Eastern Shores. It is a low lying area of land which was covered by the ocean until only 25 000 years ago. The coastline north of St Lucia if fringed by sand dunes which are covered with dense sub-tropical coastal dune forest, home to many animals including leopard, black rhino, bushbuck, Red duiker and Kudu.
Inland of the vegetated sand dune line the land is flat and low lying with large areas covered my wetlands and peat swamps including the Mfabeni Swamp, the largest peat swamp in South Africa. The drier parts of the Eastern Shores consist of savanna, coastal lowland forest and swamp forest.
Lake St Lucia and the St Lucia Estuary
Lake St Lucia is Africa's largest salt water lake, usually connected to the Indian Ocean via the St Lucia estuary, a 12km long tidal channel. Lake St Lucia and the St Lucia estuary are home to about 2000 Nile crocodiles and about 1000 hippos. Lake St Lucia is also an important feeding ground for about 150 waterbird species, including huge flocks of flamingos and pelicans as well as for about 100 different fish species.
Daily boat cruises on the St Lucia estuary offer visitors the opportunity to get up close to hippos, crocodiles, waterbirds, and a variety of other creatures.
The best views of Lake St Lucia are from the Mount Tabor view point, Catalina Bay and False Bay on the western shores of lake St Lucia.
The Western Shores of Lake St Lucia
The areas to the west of Lake St Lucia are higher lying and much drier. The vegetation is dense and thorny and is home to a large number of animals and birds. The views of lake St Lucia are magnificent from the western shores, making this area popular for landscape photography.
One can access to the western shores of Lake St Lucia at St Lucia, Charter's Creek and False Bay Park.
Other Interesting Places Close to St Lucia South Africa
The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
One of the best safari destinations in the world only 50km inland of St Lucia. South Africa has many old game parks, Hluhluwe is the oldest and the second oldest in South Africa - St Lucia.
The Mkuze Game Reserve
One of the best destinations in KZN for birdwatching. 1,5 hours drive from St Lucia. Mkuze also has elephants, rhino, buffalo, giraffe and many other species indigenous to the area.
The Tembe Elephant Park
The Tembe elephant park is located in one of the most inaccessible areas of South Africa, making one of the quietest parks in South Africa, especially because only 4x4 vehicles are allowed into the park. Max 20 vehicles per day. 2.5 hours drive from St Lucia.
Kosi Bay is not a town but a lake system consisting of 4 interconnected lakes which are in turn connected to the sea. Kosi Bay is famous as the best turtle breeding area in Africa, where Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles come up onto the pristine beaches every year to lay their eggs.