The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park...
The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, encompasing 5 different eco-systems, declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, stretches from Mapelane to Sodwana. Is a fantastic getaway destination rich in varied habitats and beauty, it includes the Ubombo mountains, grasslands, mangrove swamps, majestic dunes from just south of St Lucia right accross it to Sodwana, pristine beaches, coral reefs, lagoons and forests. This, the largest of estuary in southern Afrika, is a 38 000 hectare espanse of tidal and semi-tidal water. Some ancient creatures have been calling it home for around 140 million years – here you will find fossil, pectin clams, fossilized worm, burrows and the rare "fossil" fish, the coelacanth, a two meter long fish thought extinct! Also found here is the largest single population of Hippo, around 800 in number.
Above image source: Ingrids-Welt
Outdoor activities and adventures...St. Lucia offers an endless wealth of possibilities, which includes sunbathing, walking on pristine beaches and snorkeling in clear warm water at Cape Vidal.
Turtle breeding may be viewed in Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, as well as guided trutle-spotting adventures in Sodwana, are offered during the egg-laying season (December and January) when Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles make their way to shore.
Diverse wildlife sightings to look forward to in the Park include Hippo, Crocks, Black and White Rhino, Buffalo, Kudu, Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Nyala, Duiker, Elephant, Giraffe and a rich variety of birdlife. St Lucia is also a birdwatcher's haven, boasting of more than 400 avian species, bird-safaris and guided trails will unveil awesome sights, to name just one or two of the facinating variety of species, Eagles, Kingfisher, Yellowbilled Storks, Spoonbills, White Pelicans and many others.
Game fishing is available off the St Lucia Coast at Mission Rock, the popular fly-fishing spot.
Lake tours across Lake St Lucia will hold abundant sightings of hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds.
Cape Vidal is close by and has lethargic stretches of sandy beaches where one can relax, snorkel, fish and swim.
Driving along the coast of the great dunes from Cape Vidal to Sodwana Bay prooves a breath-taking and unforgettable adventure, however a permit is needed as well as great care to stay within the high and low tide marks.
Explore and discover the beauty of the St. Lucia Estuary along self-guided trails accros the Mfolozi River along the Umphafa game trail. Along the edge of the estuary on the shorter Gwalagwala Trail, fascinating bird and animal sightings await explorers wondering through the coastal forest. The longer Mvubu Trail passes through the mangrove swamps and skirts the territory of magestic crocodile and hippos.
Short and spectacular trails rich in birdlife and abundant with indigenous trees, are offered by the St Lucia Game Reserve. Along some trails, warthog and bushpig may be sighted, and along others fantastic bird-watcing features are offered, there are also walks that flank the beautiful ocean or hold lovely views of the lake-system, some walks also provide suprising sightings of wildlife including leopard, antelope, hippos, bushpig and crocodile.
Daylong walks at Cape Vidal hold breath-taking wildlife sightings, such as wildebeest, impala, zebra, reedbuck, buffalo and waterbuck. For the ocean-lovers, the Whale Tower Trail hugs the ocean coast and holds majestic vies of the ocean.
False Bay Park on St Lucia western shores offers three easy walks of an average of 8km each, the trails pass through indiginous and lush forests.
St. Lucia is a picturesque village situated within a Nature Reserve and surrounded by five distinct ecosystems, one of which is Lake St. Lucia.
Charters Creek, Fani's Island and False Bay are all situated on the shores of Lake St. Lucia and are favourite destinations for anglers and bird watchers. Fascinating marine and coral fossils are all that remain of an ancient coastline and can still be found scattered along the western shores of the lake.(Exploring Zululand and the Elephant Coast)
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