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- 15 Jun 2021, 3 nights
- 2 Guests
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St Lucia is a bustling village at the mouth of the wildlife-rich St Lucia Estuary in South Africa. The village is on the southern tip of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site important for its hippo population and incredibly varied natural landscape. With St Lucia as a base you can explore coastal dunes, sandy beaches, savannahs and rich forest areas. Just an hour away is nature reserve Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, a popular place for spotting Africa's Big Five animals in the wild.
You can stay in a St Lucia hostel where you can sleep in a domed tent (with a proper bed!). There are hostels where you can laze under gazebos by an outdoor pool or rack up a barbecue with your dorm mates. Some St Lucia hostels in the village have guest kitchens, which are ideal if you'd like to cook for yourself, and in the evenings, you could sip cocktails at a poolside bar. Look out for hostels in St Lucia with free Wi-Fi too – it'll be invaluable if you're researching safaris or estuary cruises.
Life in St Lucia revolves around McKenzie Street, a former hippo track that's now the village high street. Along McKenzie Street you'll have a choice of restaurants, cafés and bars while the quieter side streets have a few more low-key options. Ingwe Beach is a long stretch of sand just a short walk east out of town, but for snorkelling and a wilder beach experience drive 45 minutes north to Cape Vidal.
Activities around St Lucia take advantage of the incredible natural setting, whether you hike through rich coastal forest on the iGwalagwala Trail or hire a kayak to explore the varied birdlife along the St Lucia Estuary. You could join a whale-watching trip for an opportunity to get out on the Indian Ocean or sign up for a guided night drive into iSimangaliso Wetland you may spot leopards, rhinos or elephants. In Veyane Cultural Village (10 minutes' drive inland), curious visitors can experience everyday life and traditional dance shows in a Zulu community.
To get to St Lucia fly to King Shaka International Airport in Durban and take a shuttle bus from there (4 hours). From Durban city centre you can also take a shared taxi to Mtubatuba (2.5 hours) and from there change to another shared taxi for St Lucia (30 minutes). Once you're in the village the only way to get around is to join tours or hire your own car – rental agencies can be found on McKenzie Street.