St. Lucia Central Reservations


St. Lucia & The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park Area

Eco-systems of the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands

The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park is made up of a number of conservation areas proclaimed over the years since 1897.   St. Lucia Game Reserve, consisting of the water body of the lake and the islands as well as Mapelane, is the oldest game reserve in Africa - proclaimed in 1897.   St. Lucia Park, consisting of a half mile wide border around the most of the Lake was added in 1939.  The half-mile strip adjacent to False Bay on the west of the Lake was extended in 1944 to become False Bay Park. Sodwana Bay National Park was established in 1950.

 Due to its inaccessibility, the area was virtually unknown prior to 1945.  There were isolated visits to the area by campers but it was not until 1973 when civil war broke out in Mozambique, that utilisation of the area increased.   The vast areas of Tewate wilderness area (Cape Vidal State Forest) and Ozabeni  (Sodwana State Forest)  proclaimed under the Forestry Act,  were transferred to the Natal Parks Board in 1987.   St.  Lucia Marine Reserve,  extending five kilometers out to sea,  was proclaimed in 1979 and Maputaland Marine Reserve was proclaimed as late as 1986.

The existing as well as  new  areas are in the process of being handed over to the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park Authority  at the moment.  A stretch of land between the Lower Mkuze Road and the Mkuze River is being bought to link Ozabeni and Mkuzi Game Reserve and to provide some conservation protection for the river.  The Mfabeni will be handed over to the Park's Authority in the near future.  In 1990 Kentron, a missile testing base on the border of the park, closed down thus opening up large areas of the park to the public and now the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park Authority has exciting plans for tourism development in the park.


Black [ Sharp lipped ] Rhino

About 20 black rhino occur on the Eastern Shore


The elusive Suni

St.  Lucia - Five Eco-systems within one Park

The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park is made up of five discrete units or eco-systems, each with its own characteristic features. Each eco-system functions relatively independently, yet on the large scale they are all interlinked.

The Marine Eco-system The Eastern Shores eco-system Lake St. Lucia The Mkuze Swamps The Western Shores eco-system


Marine Eco-system