One of the spots I enjoy taking visitors to, is the St.Lucia Estuary in the southern most part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Hippo at St.Lucia Estuary

Hippo at St.Lucia Estuary

St. Lucia (Rio de la Medaos do Oura)

It’s interesting that the name “St.Lucia” was first coined by the Portuguese…

St. Lucia was first named in 1554 as “Rio de la Medaos do Oura” (“River of the Dows of Gold”) by the survivors of the Portuguese ship Saint Benedict. At this stage, only the Tugela River mouth was known as St. Lucia. Later, in 1575, the Tugela River was named Tugela. On 13 December 1575, the day of the feast of Saint Lucy, Manuel Peresterello renamed the mouth area to Santa Lucia. – from wikipedia

The estuary itself forms just one part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The estuary is home to some 900 Hippo and over 1200 Nile Crocodile and stretches 220km from the southern most part (St.Lucia) to the Mozambique border.

The river boat cruise along a small section of the estuary is fascinating not only for the animals and birdlife that reside there but also for the incredible black and white mangroves and their sacrificial branches!

St.Lucia estuary is located about 2,5 hours outside of Durban and boats leave the jetty at regular intervals some 4 times a day. Contact us for a tour to this sub-tropical paradise!

A few more pictures…

African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagle

Nile Crocodile

Nile Crocodile

A Raft of Hippo

A “Raft” of Hippo

As an aside… I once read of an account of a hunt that happened in the early days (1830’s/40’s I think). A chap records shooting something like 30 hippos in one morning! 30!! Based on that number, can you just imagine how the wildlife must have teemed in this part of the world!


For more information about this tour, or other tours that we offer, visit our site at or alternatively contact us by email.

1 Comment

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