is located in the Elephant Coast
region of Natal
in South Africa
This greater area includes the third largest wildlife reserve in the country and contains the largest estuarine lake system on the continent. Visitors come here to enjoy motorboat safari, canoe safari, birding, fishing and spending time on the gorgeous beaches.The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park
This reserve is the third largest in the country and contains the largest estuarine lake system on the continent. The languid and meandering rivers of this largely flat sub-tropical coastline are obstructed from the ocean by a string of huge forested dunes, creating a huge wetland area.
Visitors come here to enjoy motorboat safari, canoeing safari, birding, fishing and spending time on the gorgeous beaches.
This central sector of the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park is the most accessible and the best served in terms of accommodation. Inside the reserve itself facilities are limited to modest parks authority restcamps and campgrounds.
Outside the reserve, the best of the lodges lie on the western border and really feel part of the wetlands. They are easily accessed from the main coast highway and can therefore be used as bases from which to explore both the wetlands and Hluhuluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.
Further afield the lodges tend to be either located on small private game reserves or in farmland areas, some of which represent decent lower cost options.Makakatana Bay Lodge
... is the only privately owned facility inside the wetlands reserve, a relatively upmarket affair which aims to deliver a high quality guided experience.Hluhluwe River Lodge
... is a decent lower mid-priced option on the inland side of the wetlands and offering a good range of outdoorsy activities.St Lucia Town
Set on a peninsular between the river estuary and the ocean, this pleasant place is essentially a large holiday resort, with accommodation primarily aimed at the domestic market.
Consequently it can get very busy around here during the school holidays, especially around Christmas and New Year. Our guests tend not to want to stay here in the town.Maphelana
Separated from the town of St Lucia and the rest of the reserve by the Umfolozi River estuary, this area is essentially a peninsular comprised of forested coastal dunes, backed by freshwater lakes.
There are two excellent self-guided trails through the forest, especially good for birders. This is a very popular spot for fishermen, who launch their boats here. There is a safe swimming beach on the ocean side, but you need to keep your toes out of the inland waters for fear of losing them to crocodiles.
The accommodation options here are all parks facilities of limited appeal to most international visitors.