Welcome to St Lucia Estuary

St Lucia Estuary is situated within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site. The Park is made up of a number of conservation areas, the oldest of which is the St Lucia Game Reserve, established in 1895.

The Park, South Africa’s first world heritage site, recognized for its superlative natural beauty, ecological processes and biodiversity covers 332 000 ha and includes a coastline of 230 km.

St Lucia Estuary Accommodation

  • Sugarloaf Campsite (with plug point)

    There are 92 sites, each accommodating a maximum of six people. Ablutions with hot and cold water are available. A swimming pool reserved for use by residents has been provided at Sugarloaf campsite.


  • Kitchenette
  • Ironing board
  • Catering services
  • DSTV (limited)
  • Hotspots
  • Exhibition/convention floor
  • Restaurant
  • Room service - full menu
  • Courtyard
  • Lounges/bars
  • firewood
  • Airport Shuttle Service
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Valet cleaning
  • Car hire


Free! WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge.


Private parking is possible at a location nearby (reservation is not needed) and costs USD 28.80 per day.

Activities in St Lucia Estuary

  • This area is the gateway to the Eastern Shores section of the Park, which contains some of the highest vegetated dunes in the world, extensive and diverse wetland systems, as well as coastal grasslands with associated fauna.

  • For bird watchers, there are numerous waterfowl, grassland, forest and sea birds to be found. Animals include leopard, buffalo, bushbuck, bushpig, warthog, crocodiles, hippo and red duiker.

  • Beaches in the area are not protected by shark nets, nor have lifeguards on duty. Please be sensible and exercise caution when bathing in the surf, as it is an exposed coastline which has dangerous currents.

  • There are two self-guided trails in the area, the Gwalagwala Trail and the Imvubu Trail. The Imvubu Trail is at least 1½ - 2 hours. On this trail one can see impala, grey duiker, zebra, blue wildebeest, reedbuck and kudu.

  • Deep Sea Fishing

    St Lucia has a ski-boat club which controls all sea launches. Deep sea fishing charters can be arranged through the privately operated St Lucia Ski-boat Club on +27 (0) 35 - 590 1376.

    St Lucia Croc Centre

    The Croc Centre provides an informative display on the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and includes various pens containing crocodiles of varying sizes, a tea garden and curio shop. Learn about the importance of crocodiles in our ecosystems and watch the crocodiles being fed on Saturdays at 13:30 and Sundays at 11:30. The Centre is home to the Nile, long-snouted and dwarf crocodiles.

    Santa Lucia Boat Tour

    The Santa Lucia is a 90-seater launch with a viewing deck and a bar. This guided tour provides sightings of hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birdlife and beautiful scenery. Each tour lasts for about two hours and advanced booking is essential.

    Fishing Regulations

    The bag limits are as prescribed by the Marine Living Resources Act and information brochures are available from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife offices. The following species form part of the overall bag limit: grunter, perch, kob and shad. All shad caught between 1 October and 30 November must be returned live to the water. In addition to the above, no cast-netting is allowed in the estuary. The only permissible method of fishing is with rod and line. Artificial lures are not allowed. Spinning is permitted in the sea 90 m beyond the estuary mouth but not in the estuary itself.

    Bait Licences and Boat Registrations:

    Licences for fishing and the collection of bait are required and are obtained from your nearest Post Office and St Lucia Post Office. These licences are no longer available from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Offices. All boats must be inspected and registered with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife before use on the estuary and lake.

    St Lucia Estuary Useful Information

  • No pets of any kind are permitted into the reserve.

  • Please ensure that all possible precautions are taken against theft at all times.

  • Camping in any area other than an allocated, demarcated campsite is an offence and will result in prosecution.

  • No generators may be operated within the campsites.

  • No vehicles or motorcycles are allowed on the beach.

  • Please note that physically disabled people have to apply to the Minister, Marine and Conservation Management (Department of Environmental Affairs) for special permission to access the beach. The application has to be done in writing prior to visiting the area.

  • Due to the danger of sharks and crocodiles, no swimming or wading is allowed in the estuary including the mouth.

  • Due to the dangers of strong currents, no surf bathing is allowed within 100 m of the estuary mouth.

  • Be aware of hippos roaming at night. Please use torches when moving around at night.

  • No windsurfing, sailing or canoeing is permitted on the lake or estuary waters. However, private operators do offer canoeing on the estuary.

  • The launching of ski-boats is permitted only from the St Lucia Ski-boat Club where a fee is charged for the use of the slipway.

  • Skippers must be in possession of a skipper’s licence.

  • All boats used on the lake and estuary must be registered with both Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and South African Maritime Safety Association (SAMSA) and must adhere to all regulations regarding safety equipment, skippers licence and buoyancy certificates.

  • Boats must be powered by a minimum 15 hp motors and have minimum size requirements, length of 3,6 m beam of 1,2 m and freeboard of 45 cm.

  • Any form of commercial undertaking is prohibited within the Park, unless authorised by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority.

  • Malaria Precaution: Visitors are also urged to consult their medical practitioner regarding precautions against malaria before, during and after a visit to the Park.

  • St Lucia Contacts

    St Lucia: +27 (0) 35 5901 340
    Croc Centre +27 (0) 35 5901 386
    Central Reservations: +27 (0)33 845 1000
    Book online: https://bookings.kznwildlife.com/MakeABooking.aspx
    E-mail: bookings@kznwildlife.com

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