Cape Vidal - The Hidden Beauty of St Lucia
Set in the heart of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa's very first World Heritage Site.
Cape Vidal- St Lucia South Africa
The Hidden Beauty of St Lucia
I remember so vividly the first time I had the privilege of being able to visit this Eastern section of the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park (Cape Vidal). It's a mere 5-minute drive from St Lucia Town.
From the second you enter the park you will notice that this park has a sense to it like no there. It's not the typical landscape you would expect from a Big Four game park (No Lions). There are no flat little thorn trees and dry dusty roads. Here a beautiful tarred road stretches along ancient coastal dunes (the second-highest vegetated sand dunes in the world). Early morning the mist hugs the tree canopies but the fierce sun quickly burns it away and by the time you reach Cape Vidal (28 km) beach only blue skies and the tropical Indian Ocean awaits.
The beautiful stretch between St Lucia and Cape Vidal is a mesmerizing piece of pristine beauty. With ample wildlife few sightings trump that of a Greater Kudu bull standing tall between the grass and morning mist. They bring on a nostalgia of a once uninhabited land and it is a magical feeling.
Along the way, there are many stops over's and viewpoints each with its own unique sights and sounds, packed with history and stories of times gone by.
What makes this little Park truly amazing is the beautiful mini-game drive through the park. There is such an array of animals to see from Elephant, Hippo, and Rhino to the elusive Leopards which are a common sight in this stretch of the park.
There is also a number of plains game species and the birding is world-class no doubt. The park offers some endemic species to the area and people and keen birders come from far and wide to see some of these magnificent birds.
Cape Vidal beach is also home to the endangered Samango monkeys that also have a very ancient and wise look about them, please keep in mind that one is not allowed to feed the wild at any time.
Once you reach the beach parking area you can't really see the true jewel until a short walk over the dune. Once over that, you look out onto the aqua blue sea with the sun shimmering gold lines over the white waves as they break. As far as the eye can see unspoiled stretches of white Sandy beaches entwined with black shining titanium. A truly unforgettable sight. A short walk to either side of the main beach and you find yourself completely alone and isolated. You could simply sit for hours and not be bothered by the sight or sounds of another person. A perfect spot to reflect on the day or catch up on a good book.
If that doesn't strike your fancy there is always some animal around to entertain.
In the few hours on the beach, the temperature can quickly change from chilly and misty to a warm and clear blue sunny sky.
A pod of dolphins graced me with their presence. Swimming and cutting through the waves. Professionals in their fields no doubt. There must have been at least 10 or more as their fins popped out of the water as they surfed the waves. I didn't even have my binoculars with me and I could clearly see them dancing in the water as they made their way past the spot I had been sitting.
Not an hour or so later 4 whales began a display of tail whipping from the water. Jumping and spurting water! Such majestic yet enormous creatures. It brings a sense of humbleness to one's heart.
If you are a water lover you can enjoy some snorkeling. On a low tide and no wind, there is some great visibility and an array of fish species to be seen (please note that 1 should only snorkel at Low Tide due to the rip currents that may follow)
Perhaps you're the beach type - grab a chair pack a gazebo or catch a tan.
So whether you enjoy the Bush the Beach the Birds or the Whales this little trip will not disappoint you. You can do a game drive en-route, fish at Cape Vidal, swim or snorkel in the sea or simply like me take in the sights and smells of what this stunning place has to offer.
Make Cape Vidal a priority on your tick list while in St Lucia South Africa.
Lookouts & Hides are definitely worth it.
- Bhangazi Lookout
- eMfabeni Lookout
- kuMziki Lookout
St Lucia, Accommodation for the full list Click Here
Safe and happy travels xxx
Tours & Safaris to Cape Vidal from St Lucia
Full Day Cape Vidal Safari Tour
Travel through this magical area known as iSimangaliso Wetland Park, enjoy incredible wildlife and splendid scenery while out on a Full Day Safari Tour.
Half Day Cape Vidal Safari Tour
Game Viewing with an emphasis on beach time and snorkeling at Cape Vidal, the perfect way to discover and relax while in a Heritage Site.
Cape Vidal Turtle Tours
Starting in November to end February each year join us as we track and watch the Leather Back and Logger Head Turtles come ashore on the Cape Vidal beach.
Sunrise Bush & Boat Safari
On this Sunrise Bush & Boat Safari explore the wonders of South Africa's very first world heritage site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park on a 3 Hour Sunrise safari & a 2 Hour Hippo Boat Cruise
Sunrise or Sunset Safari
Venture into the Eastern Shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and enjoy not only the wonderful scenery but magnificent Wildlife on a super sunset game drive safaris.
Meet the Experts
Numerous years experience in the area with a passion for iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Recently voted as Top Ranger in KwaZulu Natal, she will ensure that your trip in unforgettable.
Runner up at KwaZulu Natal Tourism this year, dedication and passionate ranger.