St Lucia offers an abundance of wildlife and beauty
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St Lucia, a prime KwaZulu-Natal destination well-known for its hippos that wonder the streets day and night, offers visitors an abundance of wildlife and natural beauty.
Situated in north-eastern Zululand, it’s a mere two-and-a-half hours drive from Durban. Its all-yea-round warm, tropical climate enables travellers to bask in the sun while enjoying the warm Indian Ocean - whatever time they choose to visit.
St Lucia offers many styles of accommodation, with something to suit just about every family’s needs and budget. This makes it the perfect stop-over and base for exploring the wider area. Locals and tourists alike are treated to the unique night time sounds of bush baby cries and sightings of foraging red duiker. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a rare glimpse of a leopard in one of the area’s game parks.
Untouched marine life and unspoilt beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. During the winter months, humpback whales can be spotted from the shore as they migrate north. In summer, leatherback and loggerhead turtles lay their eggs on the beaches while enormous whale sharks pass by.
Also situated along KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast is iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which stretches from St Lucia to the Mozambique border. A designated World Heritage Site, it includes a wide range of pristine marine, coastal, wetland, estuarine and terrestrial environments that are both scenically beautiful and ecologically important.
The unique park lives up to the meaning of its name: “miracle and wonder”.
Visitors get to experience the best of both worlds - Africa’s largest estuarine system and the incredible wildlife. The 332 000-hectare park offers visitors a fun-packed day, with afternoon game drives to see a huge variety of animals including rhino, cheetah, elephant and hippo.
The park has popular beach destinations at Cape Vidal and Missions Rocks – perfect for family picnics and relaxation.
The Makakatana Bay Lodge is the only privately-owned lodge positioned on the banks of Lake St Lucia within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Surrounded by bush, the lodge offers the ultimate in seclusion and privacy. Expect frequent visits from warthogs, red duikers, nyalas, bush babies and a variety of bird life – all of which can be viewed from your very own deck. Wade in the bush pool on the lake’s edge, have a sundowner in the bar, and end the night with an al fresco boma dinner.
Guests can also enjoy a full-day boat safari – one of the lodge’s trademark activities - to experience the estuary’s hippo, crocodile and incredible birdlife from the water.