About St Lucia
The word iSimangaliso has rich historical context. Ujeqe was King Shaka's insila (aide who keeps all the King's secrets and gets buried with the King when the King dies). He fled after uShaka's death to avoid the customary burial with his master. He wandered into Thongaland, present-day Maputaland, and came back, saying: I saw wonders and miracles in the flat land and lakes of Thonga. From that follows an isiZulu saying that if you have seen miracles, you have seen what uJeqe saw: Ubone isimanga esabonwa uJeqe kwelama Thonga." Ujeqe might just have been one of the first tourists to visit what is now the iSimangaliso Wetland Park."
The Elephant Coast in KwaZulu Natal, embraced by the warm Indian Ocean, the Umfolozi River and Mozambique is one of South Africa's most beautiful and unspoiled travel destinations. It is a perfect destination for everyone - be it for the sensitive ecologist, the great outdoors fan or the happy camper sitting on the boulders at Mission Rock sporting his hook, line and sinker. At the heart of this heaven-on-earth is a popular holiday village with a saint-like name - St. Lucia, the only private village surrounded by a Natural World Heritage Site (iSimangaliso / Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park).
St. Lucia is an eco-tourism Mecca, and centre point to an incredible 21 different eco-systems. Adam and Eve's playground lures with dense evergreen forests of towering fig trees, a lush undergrowth of ferns and wild orchids hanging from the trees. Palm savannahs with thousands of wild date and Lala palms dot the white sand, and swamp forests are home to myriads of exotic birds.
Since the 1999 listing of iSimangaliso as South Africa's First World Heritage Site, alongside Robben Island and the Cradle of Humankind, significant progress has been made relating to Park conservation and community benefits. The enlarged Park, consolidated under the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority now stretches along one third of KwaZulu-Natal's coastline. Working with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, iSimangaliso has reintroduced thousands of head of game into the Park including oribi, wild dog, buffalo, elephant, black and white rhino and cheetah. Lake St Lucia is malaria free.