St. Lucia Estuary

St Lucia Estuary is a place of beauty with many attractions and animal wildlife. The estuary is 85km long and 22km at the widest area, making one of Africa's largest estuary and an ecological wonder teeming with life. The rich fauna and flora add to the experience of the area with mesmerizing views and unique interactions with the wildlife. The St Lucia Estuary is home to 800 hippopotamuses and 1200 Nile Crocodile, not forgetting over 520 bird species, from the iconic Fish Eagle to the Kingfisher adding the ambience of the African experience. This is A bird lovers paradise. St Lucia Estuary goes up towards an area called Charters Creek, This area previously almost dry due to drought that hit the estuary for almost 2 years, it has now been rehabilitated by the Umfolozi River, causing the water levels to rise to lead into St Lucia Estuary and once again offers spectacular sightings of Flamingos and other species of birdlife.


Our very own riverboat, the Born Free, takes you on a trip of a sensory lifetime. Starting at the famous Sunset Jetty, heading into St Lucia Estuary and up to iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a total trip of 2 hours with up-close interactions with Hippopotamuses, Nile Crocodiles and Birdlife. All boat cruises are 2 hours long

Boat Cruise Times

Winter - 09:00 | 11:00 | 13:00|15:00

Summer - 10:00 | 12:00 | 14:00 | 16:00

*Boat times may vary due to bookings & weather

Hippo Lodge St Lucia South Africa

St Lucia Town

St Lucia is a small settlement located in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa attracting international and local travellers to witness the beauty that this land has to offer. St Lucia is uniquely positioned with the Indian Ocean on one side and the ever beautiful St Lucia Estuary on the other with a single bridge connecting the town to the mainland. The town has a single main street, McKenzie Street, that offers restaurants, pubs, shops and public amenities with a small suburb area surrounding the town. Due to the tropical climate of KwaZulu Natal, the town of St Lucia is made green by the flora all year round with a warm climate that makes it a pleasure to travel around in comfort.


St Lucia town has many visitors and this includes the local wild-life who can be seen at night foraging in the streets, from antelopes, leopards, mongooses, bush pigs, and hippopotamus, like the Elephant Lake Hotel's very own celebrity hippo, Fluffy the Hippo.


At the end of McKenzie Street is the local market that includes souvenirs, local vegetables, traditional clothing and so much more, that our guests make a point to visit to converse with the locals who are eager to share their story of this magnificent town.