iSimangaliso (St Lucia)

St Lucia offers birders some of Zululand’s best birdwatching. With over 420 Species recorded in the area, one can be assured of some great birding in one of South Africa’s most bio-diverse areas.

One of the great things about birding around St Lucia is the series of self-guided trails and hides. Birding on foot with waterbuck and reedbuck grazing in the background and hippos snorting from the pans makes for an extra special birding experience. The greater St Lucia Wetlands Reserve is a recently proclaimed World Heritage Site and one of South Africa’s oldest reserves established back in 1895. It includes the conservation areas of the Eastern Shores, Cape Vidal, Sodwana Bay, Charters Creek, Fanies Island, False Bay, Phinda Resource Centre and Mkhuze Game Reserve (dealt with separately). The lake itself covers an area of about 38 000ha and is one of South Africa’s most important waterbird breeding areas.

The Habitats are extremely varied from the Estuary and its Floodplains and Pans to Dune Forest, Sand Forest, Coastal thickets, Mangroves and Grassland (with flooded areas in the summer). There is also a group of excellent local guides based in St Lucia town, which if used will make finding all those specials and great trails that much easier !