South Africa

Driving the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

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After our boat tour and lunch in St Lucia, South Africa, our driver, Anand, took us through the gates of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park for a safari while we drove up to Cape Vidal.

Getting to Cape Vidal

We had hired a driver for the day through Bush & Beach Tours. Anand was fantastic and his van was very nice.

The entrance to iSimangaliso Park is just 5 minutes north of St Lucia.

You can drive yourself into the iSimangaliso park. Entry fees are paid at the park gates and are R25 per person and R35 per car, which comes to a little over $5.67 for a car with two people.

Once in the park, it’s about a 45-minute drive to Cape Vidal – IF you don’t stop every few minutes to look at the wildlife like we did!

Guidebook

Make sure you get a copy of the amazing Honeyguide PublicationsMaps of the Zululand and Maputaland Reserves“. This guide includes maps of the local parks and six pages of animal identification!

We got ours from our driver, Anand. I think most of the park gates sell these guides.

Wildlife in iSimangaliso

Crowned hornbill
Kingfisher
A dung beetle! Our map even says “CAUTION. Dung beetles have the right of way.”
Kudu.
Zebras.
Chacma baboon.
African buffalo
Kudu.
The view at eMfabeni lookout.
Two kudu and a waterbuck.

We got pretty lucky to spot two rhinos in the park. Poaching is a huge problem in South Africa, and to save the animals’ lives, their horns are often cut off. These two both had had their horns removed.

Cape Vidal

Wow, the cape was amazing to see. It is a beautiful beach, long and wide. The swell and waves crashing into the beach were pretty rough, and fun to watch.

Where to Stay in St Lucia

St Lucia is a super cute beach town. It’s very small, so there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and tour offices within walking distance.

St Lucia is pretty budget-friendly. If you are looking for the best, Monzi Safaris Backpackers is very cheap (<$30 USD) and extremely well rated. It’s like going on safari! Another inexpensive one (less than $75 USD) is Ndiza Lodge and Cabanas.

There are a lot of choices in a moderate price range ($75-150 USD). My choice would be Lidiko Lodge.

For luxury accommodations ($150 USD +), Kwalucia Private Safari Retreat and Serene-estate Boutique Guesthouse are the best rated.

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