St lucia

Location: South Africa » Kwazulu Natal » Elephant Coast » North Coast » St Lucia

St Lucia - Elephant Coast- KwaZulu Natal

St Lucia, the mecca of fishermen, campers and nature lovers, is located 25 km from Mtumbatuba amidst an enormous complex of shallow lakes, dunes, coastal forests and beautiful beaches. The resort town offers excellent accommodation and holiday facilities. Fishing, bird watching, hiking and boating on the estuary are the main attractions. This ia an aquatic wonderland of spectacular scenery and a wealth of plant and animal life, with no less than five different ecosystems. The enchanting mosaic of rivers, lakes, fresh water pans, mangrove and reed swamps, marshy grasslands, towering coastal dunes and spectacular off shore reef, forms an ideal habitat for 121 species of fish, 486 species of birds, more than 47 different frog species, 76 reptile species and a large variety of mammals. The St Lucia Lake System, roughly shaped in the form of an ‘H’, is 64 m long, 28 km wide and between 1 m and 2 m deep.


How to get there

Mtubatuba 25 km, Pongola 195 km, Richards Bay 74 km, Durban 262 km

Banks – Fnb, Standard (ATM)


The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (World Heritage Site)

A very special slice of Africa, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park offers eco tourists some of the most diverse wildlife and outdoor experiences imaginable. Besides Lake St Lucia – a unique, 38 000 ha expanse of lake, islands and estuary – the park incorporates an astonishing variety of habitats ranging from the Umbombo mountains to grasslands, forests, wetlands, mangroves and vegetated dunes, with magnificent beaches and coral reefs. The park supports an abundance of Nile crocodile and hippo, as well as rhino (both black and white), elephant, buffalo, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, nyala, impala, duiker and reedbuck, amongst a host of other species. The park is famous for it’s birdlife. This includes thousands of waterbirds – flamingoes, pelicans, herons, terns, ducks, geese, storks, etc. while swimming in the lake is prohibited due to the presence of crocodiles, recreational options are legion. You can dive on coral reefs or walk for miles on golden beaches; explore great dunes and wander through magical coastal forests; or roam across grassy plains. Leatherback and loggerhead turtles, neating on the beaches at night in summer, add to the park’s special attractions. From Mapelane the park stretches northward, incorporating the St Lucia Game and Marine Reserves, False Bay Park, Cape Vidal, Sodwana Bay, Mkuzi Game Reserve. The 260 000 ha park is internationally recognized, with two parts of it registered as Wetlands of International Significance under the Ramsar Convention. The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park received World Heritage status during 1999.


Mapelane offers excellent ski boating and surf fishing and relatively safe swimming at low tide. A short self guided trail leads to a dune view site and the roads offer pleasant coastal forest walks. Mapelane’s camp has ten fully equipped 5 bed log cabins (each with two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and lounge / dining room), and there are also 45 camping and caravan sites with modern ablution facilities.

St Lucia Estuary

While visiting St Lucia, don’t miss the opportunity of an estuary cruise aboard the Santa Lucia. Also fascinating is a visit to the Crocodile Centre.The St Lucia Game Park offers a number of enjoyable walks, including the Gwalagwala Trail which is ideal for viewing forest birds. Camping and caravan sites are situated at Sugarloaf, Iphava and Eden Park.

Mission Rocks

Mission Rocks, 16 km north of St Lucia Estuary, has picnic and ablution facilities for day visitors. The rock pools provide hours of fascinating exploration during low tide and a dune top lookout point presents spectacular views of the lake, the Eastern Shores and the sea. The Mziki Trail offers three one day routes ranging from 10 km – 18 km. accommodation is provided in a old Second World War radar hut on Mount Tador. For avid backpackers the Emoyeni Trail is a four night, five day hiking trail. Approximately 65 km in length, this trail begins and ends at Mission Rocks and each night is spent at a different camping site along the route.

Cape Vidal

Cape Vidal is renowned for it’s sport fishing and snorkeling. The reef provides relatively protected swimming and golden beaches, coastal forests and clear blue ocean vistas from idyllic settings for hiking. Guided wilderness trails extend over four days in the Tewate wilderness region from Lake St Lucia to the sea, while two short self guided trails – the Umvubu Forest Trail and the 3 km Imboma Trail – are situated near Lake Bhangazi South. Cape Vidal has 18 five bed and 11 eight bed self contained and fully equipped log cabins, and 50 Campsites in the dune forest near the beach. Basic provisions can be purchased at the camp’s curio shop. Five fishing cabins on the shore of Lake Bhangazi accommodate groups of eight to 20 visitors. Bhangazi Bush Lodge sleeps eight people in four 2 bed self contained units with a fully equipped, staffed kitchen.

Sodwana Bay

The diversity of fish and invertebrates found on Africa’s southernmost coral reefs make Sodwana one of South Africa’s prime destinations for scuba diving and angling. Game fishing in the marine reserve has yielded record catches over the years and there are excellent snorkeling spots along the coast. Night tours in December and January offer camp residents sightings of leatherback and loggerhead turtles nesting on the beaches. The 5 km self guided Mngobeseleni Trail is popular with visitors, and conducted walks are available most weekends and in peak seasons. Accommodation comprise ten 5 bed and ten 8 bed chalets, all fully equipped and serviced.

Mkuzi Game Reserve

Once visited, Mkuzi Game Reserve becomes one of those special destinations which captures the imagination and takes hold of your affections forever. This 40 000 ha reserve on the Maputaland coastal plain is renowned as a bird watchers paradise. The reserve extends from the southern extremity of the Ubombo mountain range as it’s western border to extensive wetlands and pans, a magnificent riverine fig forest and broad stretches of savannah grasslands. Big game includes giraffe, leopard, elephant, rhino and a wide range of antelope and other game. Accommodation facilities include camping, rest huts, bungalows, cottages, a safari camp and the Nhlonhlela Bush Lodge as well as Umkumbi Tented Bush Lodge which is available to the public from November to March. Bushveld trails, a traditional Zulu cultural village, guided game drives and an auto trail augment visits to this beautiful reserve.

False Bay Park

False Bay Park on the northwestern shore of Lake St Lucia offers camping and accommodation in four 4 bed huts at Dungandlovu Rustic Camp, while 38 camping sites along the shoreline present beautiful lake views. Several picnic sites along the shore complement False Bay’s attractions, which include boating, fishing, bird watching and game viewing. The self guided Mpophomeni and Dungandlovu Trails have been established and a summer cool off in the swimming pool at Hippo Pools is often welcome.

Fanies Island

Situated on the western shore of Lake St Lucia, this peacefully secluded camp has a 7 bed cottage and 12 two bed rest huts. Two central kitchens and an ablution block serve the camp and a swimming pool is available to guests. Fanies is an excellent base for bird watchers and the forest and lake shore provide an ideal setting for trails. The 5 km Umkhiwane Trail covers a variety of habitats from coastal forest to wetlands and is specially recommended for bird watchers, while the Imboma Trail offers a pleasant 2 km walk on the edge of Lake St Lucia. Three boats are available for hire (visitors supply their own outboard motors).

Charters Creek

Charters Creek is a favourite with fishermen, bird watchers and those who simply enjoy a restful holiday. Accommodation here comprises a 7 bed cottage, ten 4 bed rest huts, four 3 bed rest huts and one 2 bed rest hut, each with a refrigerator. A communal lounge and ablution block serve the camp, which has two central kitchens. Fishing is excellent, and boats are available for hire (visitors provide their own outboard motors). Amenities include a swimming pool, a self service laundry and several picnic sites. The Isikhova and Umkumbe self guided trails provide attractive opportunities for day walks.


Bats’ Cave

Is a 2 km walk north, along the beach, to visit the caves where Egyptian Fruit Bats breed. This walk is best done early in the morning, as the African sun can be rather harsh if you are not used to it. Pack plenty of beverages and remember to take your camera. For a guided tour contact the Info Tours Office.

Crocodile Research Station

Where these pre historic animals can be viewed up close. In the various ponds all the African species can be seen, the Nile crocodile, the long snouted Crocodile and the Dwarf Crocodile. For comparison there are also American Alligators.

Deep Sea Adventures

Leave daily from the St Lucia Ski Boat Club Experience the wonder of the Indian Ocean aboard a chartered boat. This adventure is a must for all who love the sea. Experience the majesty of whale and dolphin sightings or spend time chasing the ‘big one’. All equipment is supplied for fishing trips. Just remember to take loads of sunblock and drinks (Non – Alcoholic).

Walk About Tours

See a number of the 411 different bird species recorded in the area, numerous flora and fauna and wild animals. Walks are done at a comfortable pace and every effort is made to make the trip fun and educational. Bookings can be made at Info Tours Office.

Visit a Traditional Zulu Village

Visit a ‘living museum’ with over 50 Zulu residents who perform in age old Zulu regalia. Old manufactured weapons of war are displayed, and include spears, shields and sticks. See the making of clay and grass pots in the traditional style. This cultural experience culminates in a variety of spectacular Zulu dances, stories and even a sangoma. Guest can enjoy the added attractions of authentic food, bear and an indigenous snake exhibition.


Outdoors – Bird watching, boating, fishing, hiking, mini golf


Accommodation in and around St Lucia

Lidiko Lodge    accommodation in St Lucia
The lodge is family owned and managed. Set above the Great St Lucia Lake, on a coastal dune and with views of the lake, accommodation in the well appointed 16 garden rooms is provided on a bed & breakfast basis.The main building of the lodge is o... More

Buya Futhi B&B    accommodation in St Lucia
Buya Futhi Bed and Breakfast ( B&B ) is situated on the first World Heritage site, Kwa-Zulu Natal, in the Republic of South Africa. The St Lucia Estuary and Cape Vidal (Isimangaliso) were classified as World Heritage site in 1999 a... More

African Ambience    accommodation in St Lucia
Our newly built guesthouse is designed to provideyou with comfort, space and privacy you woudl expect from a 4 star extablishment and is set in a lush, tropical garden bordering the nature reserve. African Ambience is surrounded by tranquil koi ponds... More

Namib Safari Lodge    accommodation in St Lucia
Namib safari lodge is situated on the main road of the town of St Lucia.We have 14 fully tastefully decorated chalets fully equipped and air-conditioned chalets.Breakfast is served on request at the swimming pool lapa.All tours and excursions can be ... More

Cowrie Cove    accommodation in St Lucia
COWRIE COTTAGE is nestled amongst the natural Milkwood Forests of La Lucia on the beautiful coastline of Kwa Zulu Natal. An upmarket guest house with Bali style, chic contemporary influence, has 8 exquisitely decorated en-suite bedroom... More

St. Lucia Wetlands Guest House    accommodation in St Lucia
Nestled between Lake St. Lucia and the Indian Ocean in the heart of this exquisite World Heritage Site lies St. Lucia Wetlands Guest House. The spacious house offers seven luxury guest rooms while the hosts, Derick and Hettie, reside on the premises ... More

Santa Lucia Guest House    accommodation in St Lucia
A Mediterranean style home set in a tropical garden with shady trees and swimming.For a number of years we have been chosen as finalists in the prestigious AA Accommodation Awards Program, which is allocated for excellent service.Accommodation provid... More

Seasands Lodge & Conference Centre    accommodation in St Lucia
Seasands Lodge is situated away from the busy main road of St. Lucia, but within walking distance to restaurants and amenities in the village. The tropical garden allows visitors peace and tranquillity. Wooden walkways from the Lodges lead to the cen... More

Umlilo Lodge    accommodation in St Lucia
Umlilo Lodge is located in St. Lucia, a small coastal village surrounded by the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, South Africa's first National World Heritage Site, on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Lake St. Lucia is a large estuarine lake abun... More

Annas' Bed and Breakfast    accommodation in St Lucia
Annas’ Bed and Breakfast, set in a compact garden of palm trees and indigenous cycads offers a quality stay befitting our 3 star rating. The spacious dining and lounge area with its high ceiling and open plan design proffers a homely ambience -... More

Directory of accommodation in St Lucia