St Lucia is a small town that can be found at the southern entrance to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (formally know as the St Lucia Estuary and Wetland Park) a World Heritage site that stretches along the coast. The town serves a tourist hub for the Park and lies in an area of unspoilt beauty. The atmosphere of the town is laid back and peaceful, surrounded by the Indian Ocean and an estuary, making St Lucia almost an Island. Visitors can take boat rides to view crocodiles, hippos and humpback whales migrate along the coast between June and November.
St Lucia offers hiking trails, horse trails, outdoor adventures, some of the best birding spots and is an anglers’ perfect hangout with many bait and tackle shops in the town.
Accommodation ranges from Backpackers and Camping to Luxury Guest Houses, satisfying any visitor to this picturesque town.
St Lucia has a warm climate throughout the year with cooler evenings in the winter months and summer time rainfall.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 19˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 11˚C and 23˚C.
Commercial Airlines offer flights into Richards Bay Airport. Car Hire facilities are available at the airport.
May – Isimangaliso Half Marathon & Fun Run: Various distances for serious athletes or grannies, outdoor fun for everyone.
June – St Lucia Hippo Festival: Live entertainment, competitions, food and craft stalls.
August – Isimangaliso MTB 4 Day: 280 km mountain bike competition
October – Isimangaliso Sodwana Shootout Festival: Photographers Competition, underwater and land photography and videography.
In 1554 survivors of the Portuguese ship the St. Benedict, first named the area “Rio de Areias de Ouro” meaning “River of the Sands of Gold” and the Tugela river mouth was known as St Lucia. Later in 1575, the river was properly named Tugela and St. Lucia received its current name.
Due to extensive hunting for ivory, rhino horn and hippo that was taking place in the 19 th century, the area needed to be protected and on the 27th April 1897 the area was declared a Nature Reserve and it included the lake and some of the surrounding land. Originally 36.826 hectares, it is considered the oldest permanently declared reserve in Africa. Since November 2007, it has been known as the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, meaning “Miracle”.