St Lucia is situated about 2,5 hours north of Durban, and is not only one of the best places to view hippo and crocodile, but is also home to the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park where an astounding number of bird species are able to be found. It’s no wonder then when I get yet another call from visitors asking for a full day tour to visit this beautiful area.

Hippo in the St Lucia Estuary

Hippo in the St Lucia Estuary

A Private Full Day Tour of St Lucia, Isimangaliso Wetlands Park

I collected my guests at 8am and we headed north from Durban towards St Lucia. On our way up i passed the time by chatting to my guests about the history of Durban, the Zulu people and of course Zululand. This helped time roll by because all of a sudden we arrived in St Lucia.

St Lucia is situated within the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. Declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1999, the area is considered to be one of the finest natural sites to visit in the world.

800 Hippos and 1000 Crocodile

The estuary itself is home to some 1000 crocodiles, about 800 hippos and supports around 500 species of birds. Visitors may also have a chance to see leopard, elephant, a variety of antelope species as well as even shark.

Nile Crocodile in the St Lucia Estuary

Nile Crocodile in the St Lucia Estuary

As soon as we got into town my guests departed on a 2 hour estuary cruise. On returning they reported back to me that they had spotted hippo out the water and apparently just meters away from them, as well as crocodile.

African Fish Eagle and Grey Heron

They also had a fantastic opportunity to watch a African Fish Eagle bombard and drive away a Grey Heron (something I would have liked to have see!). After their cruise we had a scrumptious lunch before taking a walk along the boardwalk.

We saw a huge Nile Crocodile sunning itself on a small island in the estuary, while pelicans bobbed by and a variety of bird life chatted about our heads. One of my younger guests was a budding birder and was absolutely captivated by the collared sunbirds on the coral trees.

African Fish Eagle in the St Lucia Estuary

African Fish Eagle in the St Lucia Estuary

We also enjoyed a great tour of the St Lucia Crocodile park learning a great deal more about these scary by impressive reptiles. And my guests were fascinated by the cycad display, not knowing that the species were around the days that dinosaurs stalked the earth!

Banded Mongoose and Vervet Monkey

It was nearly time to leave when we had the most interesting siting. A troop of vervet monkeys had come across a trash can that already had banded mongoose around. The monkeys and mongoose got into quite a scrap over the trashcan! Both had to give way when one of the staff members arrived armed with a water pistol though!

Our trip back to Durban was interesting as well as my guests and I compared our different ways of life in South African and in Belgium; it definitely made the time roll on by!

Vervet Monkey in the St Lucia Estuary

Vervet Monkey in the St Lucia Estuary


To book a private tour to St lucia from Durban, simply use the form below or alternatively send us an email and we’ll get back to you.

Country and Coastal Touring

Country and Coastal Touring are registered guides and operators based in the city of Durban, South Africa. We offer a range of day tours, overnight tours and extended tours around KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa.

Country and Coastal Touring and guides are registered with the relevant South African authorities and are fully ensured with accompanying vehicle and driver permits as required by South Africa law.