The St Lucia Experience

St Lucia estuary

The St Lucia Estuary is one of the tourism focal points of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and is the gateway to the eastern shores of Lake St Lucia.

The village of St Lucia is nestled between the Indian Ocean and the St Lucia Estuary.

There are designated swimming areas along the beach at St Lucia and, although there are no shark nets, the surf is considered safe for swimmers. The most popular beach activity is fishing and St Lucia has long been a favourite for many anglers. These beaches are also the breeding grounds for the Leatherback and Loggerhead Turtles and tours can be booked to see these amazing creatures (November - February). Whale-watching tours can also be arranged (June - November).

Nile Crocodile

One of the most popular activities in St Lucia are the boat cruises on the estuary. These cruises, which are about 2 hours long, allow you to get close-up views of the resident Nile Crocodiles and Hippos, as well as the wide variety of bird life. Large flocks of White and Pinkbacked Pelican and Lesser Flamingo may be seen together with Woolly-necked Stork, Caspian Tern, Goliath Heron amongst many others. A special bird that may be seen here during the winter months is the rare Mangrove Kingfisher.

For the more adventurous, guided kayak safaris on the estuary and lake are also available.

The Crocodile Centre in the village was first established to conserve the diminishing numbers of Nile Crocodile and has now expanded into an education centre and includes a curio shop, snake display, cycad garden and restaurant.


Birding around St Lucia Village and up towards Cape Vidal can produce many special species, not found further inland. The Gwalagwala trail, close to the estuary mouth, is very good for a number of forest species, including Livingstone’s Turaco, Woodwards’ Batis, Brown Scrub-Robin, Green Twinspot and Buff-spotted Flufftail. The Iphiva trail near the Crocodile Centre, and the drive up towards Cape Vidal provide the best chance in South Africa to see the rare Southern Banded Snake Eagle. Swamp Nightjar may be found in grassland. For more information visit the ZBR write up.