St Lucia is home to South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, home to the highest concentration of hippos and crocodiles in the country. The small town is a great place to stay as a base to explore the wider area. Here are some examples of some great things to do here:
1. Cruise on the St Lucia Estuary
Boat operators and tour guides offer cruises along the estuary where you can enjoy the amazing ecosystem here up close and personal. Spot amazing birdlife, crocodiles and hippos in their natural habitat. A unique chance to take a boat safari in Africa and see the animals from a different perspective. Check details before you book depending on what you want to see the most as different animals are active at different times of the day.
2. St Lucia Crocodile Centre
Learn about the lives of crocodiles in this breeding centre near the park. See crocodiles of all shapes and sizes, ranging from new baby crocs to the very biggest. There are also more than one hundred species of reptile to see here. Take a guided tour and make sure you watch the snake demonstrations and crocodile feeding.
3. Cultural Village Tour
You can take a tour to the cultural village where you can experience what it’s like in the traditional Zulu community of Khula which is just outside St Lucia. You can enjoy singing and dance performances and re-enactments of daily life. See what it is like to live in the traditional African huts you can find here.
4. iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Getting to this famous park is easy with flights to nearby Durban with Kulula Airlines. You can book guided tours and safari adventures to see four of the African big five in this park. On the Western side of the lake, you can spot giraffes and elephants as well as hippos, zebras and antelope. Lions are the only ones you will miss out on seeing in this area. Local guides know when and where to find these amazing creatures so you are sure to have an amazing experience.
5. Igwala Gwala Forest Trail
This trail is free of charge and no booking or tours are necessary. Start in St Lucia village and make your way through the trees of the coastal forest next to the estuary. It’s a great trail for wildlife spotting, don’t be surprised to see red duiker, bushbuck, vervet monkey or mongoose if you are quiet along the route. The area is also home to many birds to look out for along the route.
6. Horseback rides along the beach
You can take a horseback ride along Iphiva Beach with scenes like those out of romantic movies. Beautiful white sands and the rolling waves of Indian ocean. During some parts of the year you can see humpback whales and dolphins in the surf. You may even spot the turtle tracks as they make their way to the sea from their nests.
7. Explore Cape Vidal
Here you can enjoy both fishing and snorkelling in the water at low tide here. Relax on the shores in this picturesque beach and bush area. You can also visit the bright yellow Cape Vidal lighthouse which is free to visit and can be seen towering above the green forest reserve.
There are many other things to do in St Lucia and the surrounding region so you should leave plenty of time during your holiday to explore. Have you been to St Lucia, South Africa? What is your favourite thing to do?