iSimangaliso St Lucia Animals

Discover one of the most diverse regions in Africa, iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Visit iSimangaliso St Lucia and be bewildered by the amazing and incredible animals that frequent the area. With an abundance of wildlife, pristine beaches, and amazing scenery, you will quickly realize what an amazing and magnificent area this is to visit.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is also South Africa's very first world heritage site and was proclaimed in 1999 by UNSECO.

iSimangaliso St Lucia Animals

Nile Crocodiles
Mammal Species
Bird Species
Reptile Species
Square Kilometers

iSimangaliso St Lucia Animals

The numbers are staggering, the area amazing, and most importantly beautiful. When determining where to visit one usually has to decide what it is that one would like to do or see during one's visit, iSimangaliso Wetland Park surely ticks both boxes.

St Lucia has to be the gateway to the park and offers you a centrally situated base from where to explore and discover this unique area. Numerous animal species roam the streets of St Lucia both by day and night with the Hippos being the most sought after. Other animals that frequent the area include Hyena, Bush Babies, Leopard, Kudu, Vervet Monkey, Baboons, and Duiker to mention but just a few of the visitors.

iSimangaliso St Lucia Animals may be divided into 6 Groups

  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Amphibians and Reptiles
  • Fish
  • Aquatic Invertebrates
  • Terrestrial Invertebrates

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Rich in terrestrial fauna and of those occurring in the park is most impressive. With 129 species of terrestrial and marine mammals, 97 terrestrial viable breeding mammal species.

iSimangaliso St Lucia Animals

Marine Mammals
Animals with Hooves
Flesh Eating Mammals

iSimangaliso St Lucia Animal Facts

giraffe isimangaliso st lucia animals


  • The average life span for a giraffe in the wild is between 20 to 28 years, the average being 25 years.
  • Giraffes are the tallest mammals in the world. They have a height of approximately 4-5.5 meters. They have a tan skin color with light patterns on the females and dark patterns on the males. Each giraffe has its own, unique pattern. They also have small horns that are covered by the skin.
  • They can be found roaming and lying around arid or dry savannah woodlands or grassland surrounded by trees in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Giraffes are herbivores. They mainly eat foods such as fresh leaves, pods and twigs.
  • Drinking water is dangerous for giraffes because of their height. When drinking water, they spread their legs and bend down. This position puts them in a weak position and makes them an easy target for predators.
  • They are considered to be social animals and are often found in a small herd of between 10 to 12 giraffes. Males are hardly found in these herds; they consist mainly of female and young giraffes.
  • Female giraffes give birth to one infant after a 15-month long gestation period at any point during the year. An interesting aspect of the birthing procedure is that female giraffes give birth while standing up.

There are four official different giraffe species – the northern giraffe, Masai giraffe, reticulated giraffe, southern giraffe.

Buffalo iSimangaliso St Lucia Animals


  • The average lifespan for a buffalo in the wild is between 11 and 22 years, the average being 18 years. They live a little longer in captivity reaching around 28 years.
  • The African Buffalo or Cape Buffalo is a large mammal with an impressive shoulder height of up to between 1.5- and 2-meters meters. Buffalo’s are characterized by horns,
  • Buffalos can be found in the woodland savannas, dense forests, coastal savannas, lowland rainforests and open plains of Southern Africa.
  • Buffalos are described as herbivores and bulk grazers. They mainly eat long grass.
  • They are often found in large herds made up of thousands of other buffalo
  • The mating period amongst the buffalo is between the months of March and May. After a gestation period of around 330, the female buffalo gives birth to one calve.
  • The buffalo is one of the animals included in the group known as “the big five” – a term that describes five of the most difficult animals to hunt.
  • Buffalo are often pictured covered in mud with a bird sitting on it back. The mud assists in clearing the ticks and parasites that latch onto their skin. Birds eat the lice, fleas, and parasites found on buffalos.
vervet monkeys isimangaliso st lucia animals

Vervet monkey

  • The vervet monkey is described as an old-world monkey
  • They have a life expectancy of 12 years in the wild and 24 years when placed in captivity
  • Vervet monkeys are medium-sized primates with black faces with small white whiskers and black hands and feet. The eyes and eyelids have a white color.
  • They are highly adaptable and able to inhabit savanna, riverine, coastal forests, mountains and woodlands areas
  • They find homes in Southern Africa and East Africa in countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Senegal and most popularly, South Africa
  • These mammals are technically omnivorous; however, studies show that they fall more onto the herbivore spectrum. Their primarily herbivorous diet consists of wild fruit, leaves, grain crops, seeds, flowers, bean crops, peas, young tobacco plants, vegetables
  • The vervet is a very active animal that moves in well organized, hierarchical, complex social groups of between 10 to 70 monkeys. The social groups are known as troops.
  • Calls or sounds are a very important means of communication and identification amongst the vervet. There are approximately over 30 different types of calls that the vervet monkey has.

Female vervet monkeys give birth to one infant a year between the months of February and September after a gestation period of between 140 -165 days.

Banded mongoose

  • The banded mongoose has a life span of 10 years in the wild, and 17 years in captivity.
  • The banded mongoose is characterized by short, muscular limbs, a tail which is between 15 cm to 30 cm long, small and triangular-shaped ears, and a large head. It has a coarse coat that is greyish brown and black in color with dark brown or black horizontal stripes across the back.
  • Banded mongooses find their homes in savannas, open forest, and grassland environments that are near large bodies of water. In some cases, they can also be found in dry, thorny bushlands.
  • They are found in the east, southeast, and south-central parts of the African continent.
  • The banded mongoose is described as a carnivore and primarily feeds on insects such as beetles, millipedes, earwigs, small lizards, grasshoppers, and crickets.
  • Banded mongooses are known to live in large, mixed-sex groups of between 7 to 40 individuals. The average group has around 20 banded mongooses.
  • In the mongoose species, not all females can breed. This is however an exception when it comes to the banded mongoose because all of them are able to breed. Mating occurs between any of the females and one of the dominant males (there is usually between one and three dominant males within a group).
  • The banded mongoose litters consistent of anything between two to six pups. The pups are born blind and are only able to see after 10 days.
warthogs isimangaliso st lucia

Common warthog

  • The life expectancy of a common warthog is between 11.5 years and 15 years.
  • The warthog has a light to dark grey skin, covered with bits of bristly hair. The backbone of the warthog has more hair than on other parts of the body which ends up forming a small mane, and finally, it has a tuft of coarse hair at the tip of its tail. The face of a warthog is wide and flat, with a long snout and four tusks (two sets). The upper pair of tusks is curved into the shape of a semi-circle and the lower set sharp and pointy.
  • Warthogs are commonly found in very moist and arid savannas, woodlands, and grasslands. They prefer to make use of abandoned aardvark holes or natural burrows to live in.
  • Warthogs are classified as omnivorous animals that feed on mainly grass, roots, tree bark, fruit, eggs, small animals such as insects, and dead animals.
  • Sows (females) and boars (males) have very different social behaviors. The sows are sociable creatures and live in matriarchal groups known as sounders. The sounders are usually made up of one or two females and their piglets. Males usually form loosely-tied bachelor groups with other males which they leave when they reach adulthood, opting for a solitary life.
  • A sow gives birth to between 1 and 8 piglets after a gestation period of 6 months.

iSimangaliso St Lucia Animals - Other

Please note that by no means the above includes all of the animals that may be found within the area of iSimangaliso and St Lucia.

Herewith are some more animals that you may also encounter while out in the area:

  • Elephants (Eastern & Western Shores)
  • Leopards (Eastern & Western Shores)
  • Water Buck (Eastern & Western Shores)
  • Bush Buck (Eastern & Western Shores)
  • Rhino (Black & White) (Eastern & Western Shores)
  • Kudu (Eastern & Western Shores)
  • Bushbabies (St Lucia and iSimangaliso)
  • Zebra (Eastern & Western Shores)
  • Nile Crocodiles (St Lucia Estuary)
  • Hyenna (Eastern & Western Shores)
humpback whales isimangaliso st lucia
St Lucia Tourist Attractions

iSimangaliso St Lucia Animals - Other Animals also found within the area

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Top Attraction is the Hippo Boat Cruises at R300 pp