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Hippo warning

iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously St. Lucia Wetland Park)
KwaZulu-Natal

Lake St. Lucia at drought


Times of drought in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously St. Lucia Wetland Park)

In some years the freshwater influx into Lake St. Lucia through the rivers Hluhluwe, Mkuze, Nyalazi and Mzinene does, due to a lack of rain, not suffice.Then the lagoon mouth closes and the water level sinks below sea level. The salinity slowly rises and some fish and crab species die. Hippos and Crocodiles retreat to the remaining pools. Overall the ecological damage is less severe than it would be, if the sea entrance were opened forcefully. The waterlevel would rise faster, but some 1500 tons of salt per hour would be washed into the lagoon, destroying a great deal of the shore vegetation. And huge amounts of sand would get into the system, upsetting the delicate ecological balance in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously St. Lucia Wetland Park).

Travel Information

Access
Only a few spots of the vast area of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously St. Lucia Wetland Park) is accessible for visitors. Main base for an exploration of the park is the town of St. Lucia, to be reached comfortably on a tarred road from Mtubatuba (see separate page St. Lucia).

MaphelanaMaphelana Nature Reserve
Maphelana lies south of St. Lucia Estuary in a protected bay of the Mfolozi river estuary amidst dense coastal forest. There are hippos and crocs in the river (no swimming!). But the bay is ideal for snorkeling and swimming. Beautiful hikes, good angling. Accommodation in basic log houses with 5 beds, kitchen and bath. And there is a campground. Access via KwaMbonambi (south of Mtubatuba), unfortunately quite sandy and difficult for normal vehicles. One needs at least a car with good ground clearance. Park office: Tel: (035) 5901407. Fax: (035) 5901039.

Maphelana Camp
Type Max. Pers. Rate

Camping

5
R 56
5 Bed Rustic Hut
5
R 197
Rate per person/night. Plus Conservation Fee of R20 per person and day. (No guarantee.)

Reservations and booking:
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
PO Box 13069, Cascades 3202, South Africa
Tel (033) 845-1000, Fax: (033) 845-1001
email: info@kznwildlife.com

Charters CreekCharters Creek
Charters Creek lies at the western shore of Lake St. Lucia and is popular with anglers. The camp offers plain chalets and a basic campground. Access: 20 kms north of Mtubatuba turn off the N2 towards Charters Creek and Makakatana Bay. Tel: (035) 5509000. Fax: (035) 5509001.


False Bay Park
False Bay ParkThe reserve lies at the western shore of False Bay, part of Lake St. Lucia. The park is popular with birdlovers and anglers. It also offers nice hiking trails and a fossil exhibition. The Dugandlovu Rustic Camp has 4-bed huts, really rustic, but with kitchen and deepfreeze (for the fish caught). There is also a campground. Access from Hluhluwe (sign-posted). Park office: Tel: (035) 5620425.

False Bay Park - Dugandlovu Camp
Typ Max. Pers. Rate

Camping

5
R 52
4 Bed Rustic Hut
4
R 120
Rate per person/night. Plus Conservation Fee of R20 per person and day. (No guarantee.)

Reservations and Booking:
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
PO Box 13069, Cascades 3202, South Africa
Tel (033) 845-1000, Fax: (033) 845-1001
email: info@kznwildlife.com

Accommodation in Private Lodges

Makakatana Bay Lodge
In the Greater St Lucia Park. Hippo wander through; suites with aircon and tel; pool. Tel +27-(0)35 5504189. eMail

Accommodation in St. Lucia Village

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