The Village of St. Lucia is tucked in between the Indian Ocean and the St. Lucia Estuary. As the only private town in
the world, St. Lucia is completely surrounded by a natural World Heritage Site - The iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
The Village has all facilities to make it's visitors feel free and comfortable. There are two well stocked supermarkeds,
two filling stations, post office, hardware store, hairdresser, fishing tackle shops, more than a dozen restaurants, a
very popular fruit, vegetable and craft marked and many other shops.
Even though the village can cater for up to 7,000 visitors, booking is highly
recommended. In the peak seasons around Christmas and Easter booking is essential.
THE GREATER ST. LUCIA
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has been listed by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
as having international conservation value. On 16 December 1999 The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park was awarded World
Heritage Site Status.
The vegetation is extremely diverse, because the area straddles both subtropical and tropical climatic zones. Five
ecosystems coexist, each distinct but interconnected: The Marine Ecosystem, with its coral reefs and beaches; Mfabeni,
Forested dunes separating the land from the sea; Mkuze Swamps, formed by sediments washing down; The Lake, with its
bird-rich islands; and the Western Shores, with their sand forests and fossils of ancient marine life.
The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park covers an expanse of some 260,000 hectares. The profuse wildlife found here includes
an abundance of Nile crocodiles as well as hippos, giraffes and numerous antelope species. There are thousands of
water birds, like pelican, stork, heron and flamingo. A number of hiking trails traverse the area.
St. Lucia Estuary:
St. Lucia is the gateway to the eastern shores of Lake St. Lucia which has some of the highest vegetated dunes in the
world, as well as extensive wetland and grassland. Large stands of ncema grass, used by Zulu people to weave
their sleeping and sitting mats, are found here. The grasslands support the worlds largest concentration of common
reedbuck. St. Lucia Estuary provides access to Cape Vidal and the Mziki trail and is a good starting point for the
Umfolozi, Hluhluwe and Mkuze Game reserves.
St .Lucia Game Reserve:
St. Lucia Game Reserve, the oldest of all the reserve areas in the Wetland Park, was establish in 1895 and consists of
the large lake, it's islands and the coastal area of Mapelane.
St. Lucia Lake is connected to the sea by a narrow channel that is rich in hippo, crocodile, goliath heron and numerous
fish hunting birds. Four rivers feed the lake, maintaining the delicate balance against the inflow of sea water and
evaporation. The Nile crocodile is playing an important part as a consumer in maintaining the ecological balance.
Crocodiles used to be found as far as Plettenberg Bay; now only as far as the Tugela river. This ancient reptile is
probably better looked after in Kwazulu-Natal than anywhere else in the world.
St. Lucia Marine Reserve:
The St. Lucia Marine reserve stretches from 1 km south of Cape Vidal to a point 11 km north of Sodwana Bay and 3 km out
to sea. Coral cowries and colorful tropical fish is some of the wonders to be found in the Marine reserve. North of this
point is the Maputo Maine reserve, an underwater wonderland containing some of the southernmost coral reefs in the world.
The reserve is also breeding ground for many of the fish found on the Southern African coast, and the natural habitat of
the turtles, two of which breeds on the beaches.