Destinations
Holiday types
South African Dream
South Africa - St Lucia and Elephant Coast
South Africa - St Lucia and Elephant Coast
 
Saint Lucia (about 270km from Durban) acts as a base to explore a surrounding countryside like no other in the country. The wetlands, swamps, mangroves and lagoons making up the town's environment attract many eco-tourists and nature lovers.
Extensive coservation programmes have been undertaken since a game reserve was establish on the estaurine system fed by the Mkuze, Nyalazi and Hluhluwe Rivers. No trip to Kwazulu-Natal's northern coast is complete without a visit to this unforgettable place.

"The area":
St Lucia Estuary is the gateway to the Eastern Shores of Lake St Lucia. The region contains the highest vegetated dunes in the world, extensive and diverse wetland systems, as well as coastal grasslands with an associated fauna which includes the Africa's highest density of common reedbuck. Numerous waterfowl, grassland, forest and sea birds provide an attraction to birdwatchers from around the world. Tourist amenities include fishing , the Santa Lucia boat tour, the St Lucia Crocodile Centre, and a short self-guided trail through the coastal forest along the edge of the estuary. Caution is necessary when surfing or swimming in the sea as there are no shark nets. Swimming in the lake is prohibited due the presence of crocodiles. Malaria precautions are necessary. Accommodation is provided at St Lucia Estuary in three camping and caravanning grounds. 
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park was listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999 in recognition of its superlative natural beauty and unique global values.
The 332 000 hectare Park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25 000 year-old coastal dunes – among the highest in the world. The name iSimangaliso means miracle and wonder, which aptly describes this unique place.
The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi: As one of South Africa's most celebrated game parks, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (previously Hluhluwe Umfolozi) is renowned for its variety of animal and bird life, its wide-ranging photography, and an extremely rich diversity of tree and plant communities.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is the oldest game park in Africa and is the only one in KwaZulu Natal where the Big 5 occur. It covers some 96 000 ha and is world renowned for its rhino conservation.
The Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park offers visitors activities - from self guided walks, auto-trails, game drives as well as picnic sites. Viewing hides overlook pans and waterholes enabling visitors to see animals at close range. 
Sodwana Bay National Park is a narrow strip of forested sand dunes located along the KwaZulu Natal coast. Proclaimed a national park in the 1950s, it is frequented by anglers and divers[citation needed]. Sodwana is situated in the Maputaland Marine Reserve and the only scuba diving area along the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park (now renamed to Isimangaliso) coastline. Classified as one of the top dive sites in the world this 50 km reef complex boasts around 95 species of hard and soft coral, sponges, other invertebrates and around 1200 fish species. It attracts 35 000 scuba divers every year. Vast 700m deep valleys, submarine canyons, are strewn over a distance of 2 km. It was in one of these that on 27 November 2000 that the coelacanth was rediscovered.
Although it is believed that in recent years fish species have declined significantly in this area of the South African coast, nothing could be further from the truth. Sailfish, King Mackerel and especially Kingfish all pelagic species of game fish migrate south down the East coast of Africa and since the activities of Sea Pirates off the coast of North East Africa healthy populations of pelagic game fish again reach all the way South off the coast of South Africa which has again properly re-established Sodwana as a favored and popular sport fishing destination. Sailfish are again in abundance and present in large numbers since it seems that the sea pirates off Somalia have driven away the foreign illegal Far Eastern fishing commercial fishing trawlers.