Cape Vidal South Africa

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Cape Vidal, South Africa Overview

Cape Vidal may be accessed from the quaint town of St Lucia. The park is known as iSimangaliso Wetland Park and is truly enormous. Starting in the South (Mphelane Lighthouse) to the border of Mozambique in the North. Please do take note that Mkuze Game Reserve is now also part of iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Traveling to Cape Vidal is done from St Lucia, en route to Cape Vidal one will be absolutely surprised by the incredible beauty and splendid wildlife. From St Lucia to Cape Vidal 32 km however there are numerous loop roads, hides, and more to visit especially Mission rocks situated halfway between Cape Vidal and St Lucia.

Cape Vidal, South Africa has for years been very popular however since its world heritage status (iSimangaliso Wetland Park) in 1999 the area has truly become a top destination while in the province of KwaZulu Natal. iSimangaliso Authority has for years seen the upgrading of infrastructure and amenities throughout the last few years thus ensuring your experience while in the park.

Historically the bay of Cape Vidal is infamous for the shipwreck (Dorathea) which was a wooden barge that collided with the reef on 31 January 1898. Remnants still remain on the inner protected side of the bay. The vessel was originally known as the Ernestine however after being renovated it was renamed as the Dorathea. It is speculated that this vessel was used to transport Paul Kruger's gold.

Once at Cape Vidal South Africa

Accommodation Style: Log Cabins, Camping and Lakeside Bush Lodge (Bhangazi Lodge)

Activities: Swimming, Snorkeling, Rock and Surf fishing (permit required), Deep Sea Fishing

Highlights: Wildlife within the camp and surrounding area, Turtle Nesting, and Ocean Activities

cape vidal beach
cape vidal isimangaliso dolphins swimming
cape vidal dolphins

The bay of Cape Vidal offers some extraordinary snorkeling opportunities while in a protected bay. Witness a wide array of fish species including some game fish. Keep an eye out for the Dolphins and during the winter months Humpback Whales as they migrate past.

cape vidal picnic spots
cape vidal south africa picnic

Why not enjoy a picnic, please note that there is a small convenience shop however it is advisable to take all food along.

Cape Vidal South Africa

Cape Vidal Beach

Cape Vidal Activities (Things to Do)

  • Game Viewing is one of the top attractions
  • Swimming and Snorkelling at Cape Vidal
  • Leisurely walks along the pristine beach
  • Surf Fishing as well as Deep Sea Fishing
  • Whale & Dolphin Viewing from the beach
  • Numerous Loop roads for Game Viewing
  • Birding is without a doubt excellent
  • Turtle Tours ( Seasonal)
cape vidal activities things to do

deep sea charters cape vidal

Launching in Cape Vidal South Africa

There is a dedicated launch site for deep sea boats, please do ensure that your vessel is surveyed and does have all the required safety equipment at all times as you may be checked prior to launching. All vessels are also required to have fishing permits which are attainable from the St Lucia Post Office. Note that skippers are required to have additional permits, please. The launch site in Cape Vidal also has a limited amount of vessels allowed to launch please do inquire at the launch office. It is also important to know how many fish species are allowed to be caught per angler.

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st lucia south africa what to do private deep sea fishing

Deep-Sea Fishing fish species include the likes of Cuta, (King Mackeral), Snoek, (Queen Mackeral), Tuna (Yellow Fin), Sail Fish, Marlin, and numerous other species. Please do note that no bottom fishing is permitted within the reserve.

Launching from the beach for the first may be a daunting experience. During low tide, the beach sand is referred to as sugar sand with a very loose consistency and maybe quite wet. It's always easier just to watch some of the regular anglers launching their vessels first. The bay is quite shallow during this tide with numerous rocks beneath the water. Once again watch some of the other anglers while launching.

Once you have launched your vessel into the bay keep a lookout for the pole at the end of the reef this is the point from where you may exit. Beaching during a higher tide poses its own difficulties with the shore dump so timing is key to get high enough onto the sand so that recovery of the boat is easy.

Snorkeling Cape Vidal South Africa

Snorkeling in Cape Vidal has to be done at specific times only, this is due to rip currents during the incoming and outgoing tides. The best Times to snorkel is 1 hour before and after high tide. Please be on the lookout for vessels launching and beaching while snorkeling and stay within the designated snorkeling area. Snorkeling in the area is very impressive with a wide variety of fish species. Please note that removing of Crayfish is not permitted.

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cape vidal snorkeling

wildlife on sunset drives

Wildlife in and around Cape Vidal

Cape Vidal falls within in the Eastern Shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Wildlife within this section of the park include:

  • Black & White Rhino
  • Buffalo
  • Leopard
  • Elephant (occasionally migrate from the Western Shores)
  • Kudu, Waterbuck, RietBuck, Duiker, Hippos, Hyenas
  • Abundance of Birdlife
  • Humpback Whales, LeahterBack & Logger Head Turtles

Numerous smaller wildlife species as well.

Cape Vidal Black Rhino
Cape Vidal Humpback Whale
Catalina Look out Cape Vidal

Loop Roads, Hides and Look Out Points

From St Lucia en-route to Cape Vidal one may enjoy numerous Loop Roads (6 in total), this addition makes for some amazing game viewing opportunities, make sure to keep an eye out for the Leopards. Various Look Out points have been added to the park since 1999 if you have the time try and visit as many as possible they are definitely worth it. 

cape vidal look out

Make sure to visit the Lake Bhangazi, eMfabeni, or kuMziki Lookouts. Mission Rocks virtually halfway between Cape Vidal and St Lucia is also a super stopover. A super area for some Rock and Surf Fishing, exploring maybe too Bats Caves (Low Tide only), and enjoying a picnic within the picnic area.

mission rocks cape vidal

Camping in Cape Vidal South Africa

Cape Vidal has a large camping area, however, due to popularity, they do get booked up early especially over the festive season. All camp spots do have electricity points with ablution blocks.

Log Cabins Cape Vidal South Africa

The Log Cabins offer one an ideal way to enjoy this magnificent area with the sound of the ocean at night. For bookings please call Ezemvello KZN Wildlife.

LeatherBack & Loggerhead Turtles in Cape Vidal South Africa

What has to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, each year from November to the end of January both the LoggerHead and Leather Back Turtles return to this area to lay their eggs. The fascinating part is that each turtle that survives and manages to survive to adulthood will lay return to the same beach to lay her eggs as well. The largest of all turtle species is the leatherback turtle which may be witnessed along the iSimangaliso Wetland Park coastline as well as the Loggerhead Turtle.

leatherback turtle returning to ocean

Cape Vidal Gate Times

Opening and closing times:

April to October                 06h00 to 18h00

November to March          05h00 to 19h00

Visitors overnighting within the Park: R8.00 per person per night

Community Levy: R5.00 per person

Launching a Vessel: R100.00 per vessel

Cape Vidal Entry Fees (Eastern Shores & Cape Vidal)

Per Person

  • Adults: R51.00
  • Children (under 12yrs): R37.00

Vehicle Entry Rate

  • 1-5 people: R61
  • 6-12 people: R90
  • 13-20 people: R124
  • 21+ people: R213

 

Cape Vidal Distances

  • Cape Vidal to St Lucia Town         32 km
  • Cape Vidal to Hluhluwe Town      110 km
  • Cape Vidal to Imfolozi Park           83 km
  • Cape Vidal to Durban                  260 km
st lucia south africa lodge accommodation
Cape Vidal Useful Information

Please take note that no pets are allowed within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.  Please do consult your local practitioner regarding malaria. When cleaning fish please do so in the areas provided to do so, please.

All skippers are to have a valid skippers license and may be randomly checked. A maximum of 6 campers is allowed in the campsite caravan park. No motorcycles are allowed in the park.

No vehicles are permitted to drive on the beaches unless launching a vessel. Please take note that a maximum of 4 jet skis are permitted to launch per day and only for fishing purposes. A total of 120 vehicles are permitted to enter the park daily.

Please note there are no lifeguards and caution must be taken.

Cape Vidal Organised Tours & Safaris

3 night safari package day 2 big 5 safari hluhluwe

Heritage Tours & Safaris would like to invite you on a full or half day safari tour to explore and discover this incredible area on Safari. The company offers open game drive safaris departing daily from St Lucia and they will absolutely ensure that you not only get to enjoy discover and learn more about this the very first world heritage site in South Africa. The full day safari tours include game drive, snorkeling with a traditional braai lunch. Sit back and enjoy the loop roads, hides and much more. The half day tours include game drive and snorkeling at Cape Vidal.

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Top Attraction is the Hippo Boat Cruises at R300 pp