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St Lucia iSimangaliso Boat Safari & Emdoneni Wild Cat Project Day Tour

Travel north from Durban up the coastal road for 2h45 and enter the watery wonderland of St Lucia with natural coastal forests, wildlife, majestic bird life and breath taking beaches. Enjoy a two hour Hippo & Croc Boat Safari up St Lucia Estuary!

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  • Duration: 10 Hours
  • Easy
  • Electronic voucher
  • Pickup available
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Description

The tour departs from Durban heading northward along the coast to northern KwaZulu-Natal. The first stop is the town of St Lucia and the estuary inside the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. There you will board a riverboat for 2 hours guided tour of the estuary. The local guide will inform you of the reserves history and its incredible wildlife.

The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site in 1999. Previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, the UNESCO site dates back over 120 years. Established in 1895 the reserve is considered South Africa's third largest park with its’ unique ecosystem spanning over 280km of near pristine coastline and 328 000 hectares of magnificent scenery. The protected area is home to one of the largest population of hippopotamuses in SA as well as an estimated 1000 crocodiles. Isimangaliso has a wealth of plant, bird and animal life, including lion, zebra, African elephant, leopard, giraffe, black and southern white rhino and fish eagles.

After the boat tour, you will be given time to have lunch at the local restaurants in the town of St Lucia. After lunch, your guide will take you to the river mouth for a walk before leaving St Lucia for Emdoneni Wild Cat Project.

Emdoneni Cat Project offers a guided tour about South Africa’s endangered wild cat species. The aim of the Emdoneni Cat Project is to care for the various wild cat species which have been orphaned or injured in the wild and need care and rehabilitation. Emdoneni’s guided tour offers visitors a unique and exciting opportunity to literally get up close and personal with their magnificent cat species. There are four species of wild cats at Emdoneni; African Wildcat, Caracal, Cheetah and Serval. This once in a lifetime opportunity can be enjoyed whilst being educated on a tour. This activity is very popular!

The Isimangaliso (Greater ST Lucia) Wetlands Park,  is a UNESCO Site.  This is a unique and rich ecosystem with diverse and many different animals and sea creatures both aquatic and land-based.  You board a River Boat and enjoy a 2-hour safari cruising waters with one of the highest concentrations of hippo, [over 800], and crocodile [over 1000] in Southern Africa.  Be sure to have your camera ready – not just for the beautiful beaches, lush coastal forests, dunes, savannas, wetlands, sunsets over the lake or even the leatherback turtles laying eggs (in summer), but also the extensive game and birdlife and fascinating tropical, coastal scenery.

Highlights

  • Experience a wild cat up close and learn about the important work the project is doing. (Cheetahs, Serval Cats, African Wildcats and Caracal (Lynx)
  • Experience and learn about the wildlife that roams the reserve
  • Experience a guided boat safari on the estuary

Itinerary

Departure Point
Hotels, Bed and Breakfast's and any other establishment within a 5km radius of Durban. If you are booked outside of Durban please make the necessary arrangements to get yourself to Durban prior the departure time. You can contact us for meeting point arrangements.
Departure Time
06.30 am
Duration
12 hours
  • iSimangaliso Wetlands, Guided Boat Safari.
  • Emdoneni Wild Cat Project Guided Tour.
Hotels, Bed and Breakfast's and any other establishment within a 10km radius of Durban. If you are booked outside of Durban please make the necessary arrangements to get yourself to Durban prior the departure time. You can contact us for meeting point arrangements.

The tour departs from Durban heading northward along the coast to northern KwaZulu-Natal. The first stop is the town of St Lucia and the estuary inside the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. There you will board a river boat for a 2 hours guided tour of the estuary. The local guide will inform you of the reserves history and its incredible wildlife.

The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site in 1999. Previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, the UNESCO site dates back over 120 years. Established in 1895 the reserve is considered South Africa's third largest park with its’ unique ecosystem spanning over 280km of near pristine coastline and 328 000 hectares of magnificent scenery. The protected area is home to one of the largest population of hippopotamuses in SA as well as an estimated 1000 crocodiles. Isimangaliso has a wealth of plant, bird and animal life, including lion, zebra, African elephant, leopard, giraffe, black and southern white rhino and fish eagles.

Watch the Fish Eagles dive for their dinner and hear their “cry of the wild”, a sound that will thrill you, often referred to as the cry of Africa. There will be many photo opportunities to capture the wildlife!  Elephant,rhino, zebra, antelope and many more.   

Bird enthusiasts will be richly rewarded!!  There have been 420 species of birds recorded here, including 6 endemic species:  The St. Lucia Parrot, the St Lucia Pewee and St Lucia Oriole to name some of them.  The diversity of grassland, fresh water and sea water birds make this a haven for bird watchers.    

Wildlife frequently seen in and around the park include the Savanna Elephant, Spotted Hyena, Brown Hyena, Wild Dog, Giraffe, Warthog, Wild Bush Pig, Leopard, Genet, Porcupine, Buffalo, white and black Rhinoceros and Zebra. Antelope species found include Greater Kudu, Common Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Common Reedbuck and Red Duiker.

The Wetland Park is particularly rich in fauna both small and large, such as bats, wild cat species, leopard, many antelope species, porcupines and endangered species such as the Black Rhinoceros.  There are also many Marine Mammals that occur in the Wetland Park, including Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Humpback Dolphins and Spinner Dolphins.  iSimangaliso is the principal breeding ground for the Loggerhead and the critically endangered Leatherback sea turtle species in Southern Africa.  The Green Olive Ridley and Hawsbill turtles also occur in the subtidal habitats in the Park.  It is also the southernmost-recorded breeding population of Yellow-Bellied Hinge Terrapin. Lake St Lucia and its associated freshwater systems provide habitat for one of the largest populations of Nile crocodile on the Southern African sub-continent.

After the boat tour, you will be given time to have lunch at the local restaurants in the town of St Lucia. After lunch you will transfer to the Emdoneni Wild Cat Project where rescued and orphaned cheetahs, wild cats and cervels are rehabilitated and if possible returned to the wild.  You will be able to get close and observe these amazing animals.  Your guide will share with you to the workings of this important project.

Emdoneni Cat Project offers a guided tour about South Africa’s endangered wild cat species. The aim of the Emdoneni Cat Project is to care for the various wild cat species which have been orphaned or injured in the wild and need care and rehabilitation. Emdoneni’s guided tour offers visitors a unique and exciting opportunity to literally get up close and personal with their magnificent cat species. There are four species of wild cats at Emdoneni; African Wildcat, Caracal, Cheetah and Serval. This once in a lifetime opportunity can be enjoyed whilst being educated on a tour. This activity is very popular!


You will leave this verdant and exciting area and drive back up the coastal road to Durban where you will be dropped off at your appointed place.  You return home with many amazing photographs and memories.

What’s excluded

  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
R 4,500 10 Hours , Easy

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