lake st lucia

Lake St Lucia

Lake St Lucia is home to more than 800 Hippos, 1200 Nile Crocodiles and an abundance of birdlife. This is also the largest Estuarine system in Africa.

lake st lucia isimangaliso wetland park

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

The (Estuary) falls within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and is, therefore, part of the World Heritage site.

lake size

Lake St Lucia size

Being the largest Estuary in Africa this lake is massive in size, 80 km long and 23 km wide at its widest point.

The Wildlife & Birdlife

The lake or estuary depending when the mouth is open to the Indian Ocean plays a vital role and is of fundamental importance. The papyrus and reed wetlands in the north (mkuze swamps) and to the west the dryer savannah and thornveld. To the west the dune ecosystem, marine tropical zone constitutes and justifies this world-class protected area.

Unbelievably more than 50% of all of the water birds in KwaZulu Natal roost, nest, and feed from the estuary. Lake St Lucia supports 6000 to 17000 birds over a period of a year. During low water levels in the lake up to 20 000, Greater Flamingoes have been recorded. During the winter months up to 5000 Great White Pelicans have been recorded breeding. Please note that these figures do change constantly due to the changes in the Lake.

155 Various fish species have been recorded within the Lake system, of which 70 species use the lake as a nursery. 24 of these species have a fundamental importance in the marine fisheries.

Numerous wildlife may be encountered and witnessed along the banks of Lake St Lucia and may include the likes of Elephant, Water Buck, Nyala, Reed Buck, Leopard, Kudu, Impala, and Duiker.

As of February 2021, the St Lucia Estuary was breached and continues to remain open. It is not certain how long the mouth will remain open

lake sunset

Southern Side


The Southern side of the Lake may be accessed and enjoyed from St Lucia Town. Traveling to St Lucia one will cross over the St Lucia bridge which is the southern side of the Lake / Estuary. You will undoubtedly be greeted by the numerous Hippos that frequent this area. Prior to the bridge stop and park in the parking area on both sides of the road.

Take a stroll onto the bridge and enjoy some of the amazing wildlife both within and on the banks of the Lake.

Boat trips take place daily and depart every two hours for more information on these splendid trips Click Here.

st lucia estuary boat trips

Eastern side Bhangazi & Catalina Vantage Points

lake st lucia bhangazi look out point

Traveling from St Lucia towards Cape Vidal (Eastern Shores) one may enjoy numerous vantage points from which to enjoy the Lake. Two primary look points include Bhangazi Look Out Point as above and Catalina Bay Look Out Point below.

lake st lucia catalina look out point


st lucia south africa ,safarisThe surrounding areas offer a multitude of activities, these include Bird Watching, Self-Drives around the lake (Eastern and Western Shores), or organized activities such as 2 hr Hippo Boat Trips and Half or Full-Day excursions into either side of the park.

Heritage Tours & Safaris would be delighted should you like to join us on one of these amazing and magnificent outings. The company offers numerous outings and offer Open Game Drive Safaris. Most popular outings include Sunset Safaris into the park, Full-Day Heritage Tour, and of course, the most popular excursion being the Hippo Boat Cruises on Lake St Lucia.

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Top Attraction is the Hippo Boat Cruises at R300 pp