Country & Coastal Touring

A Durban Safari to St Lucia Estuary

Pod of Hippo at St Lucia on a Durban Safari

A Durban safari to St Lucia estuary is an absolute must when visiting South Africa and Durban in particular. Where else in the country would you find Hippo strolling along a small town’s main street? Or even a Nile Crocodile crossing a road. St Lucia is home to one of the largest (if not the largest) populations of Hippo and Crocodile in one spot and, is situated in the countries 3rd largest game reserve.

A Durban Safari to St Lucia Estuary

Some 800 Hippo’s and around 1200 Nile Crocdile call the St Luscia estuary home. It’s one of the largest estuarine systems in Africa and it’s situated inside Isimangaliso Wetlands Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. And it’s not just the Hippo and Crocodiles that call St Lucia home. Over the years residents and visitors to this unique town have reported everything from Leopards to Honey Badges strolling about.

Isimangaliso Wetlands Park

As already mentioned, the town of St Lucia falls inside the southern section of the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park. The park was originally called the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park but was renamed in 2007 to Isimangaliso which in Zulu is akin to “something wondrous”. The park is roughly 3000km2 in size and include 280km of coastline. The park encompasses a number of different sites like Kosi Bay, St Lucia and Cape Vidal.

Pied Kingfisher on St.Lucia estuary
Pied Kingfisher on St.Lucia estuary

Why We Run Tours to St Lucia from Durban

St Lucia is only about 2,5 hours north of Durban – not very far at all so visitors can easily spend just a day here. One of the most popular activities is a 2 hour cruise on the estuary itself. Here you’ll get as close to a Hippo as is safely possible, in their natural habitats.

You’ll also get to see Nile Crocodile, possibly even shark and an amazing amount of bird life along the shores of the estuary – it’s no surprise that St Lucia is considered to be one of the hot spots for fans of our feathered friends! African Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, Goliath Heron, a whole plethora of land and sea birds can all be found here.

There’s also the opportunity to do game drives in either of the game reserves nearby, Eastern and Western shore. And on top of that visitors to go on bush walks, horse rides, whale watching, turtle tours, the list goes on a bit!

African Fish Eagle at St Lucia on a Durban Safari
African Fish Eagle at St Lucia on a Durban Safari

The Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

For visitors that are planning a few days visiting, and added bonus is that the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve is just 60 min west of the St Lucia. So you can base yourself at one of the many self-catering apartments and when in the mood, spend the day in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.

Durban Safari Tours to St Lucia

We offer a few tours that include a visit to St Lucia. On some of the tours we stay overnight; it’s the only way to experience the thrill of rounding a corner at night and coming face to face with a Hippo! On other tours we simply stop in town for the estuary cruise and a visit to the crocodile park.

Booking a Durban Safari Tour Package to St Lucia

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Images from St Lucia