St. Lucia Central Reservations


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


The Western Shores Eco-system

 An old Shoreline


To the west of  Lake St. Lucia is a relatively dry ecosystem.  This is the area of the park that includes False bay Park and the narrow half mile strip west of the Charter's Creek and Fanie's Island Camps.  This area has much earlier origins than that of the rest of St. Lucia.  It was the marine shoreline prior to the formation of the St. Lucia lake system and as a result is rich in Cretaceous fossils.  These consist of marines mollusks such as ammonites, snails and clams, as well as fossilised wood from trees deposited at the mouth of the ancient river where it entered the northern parts of what is now False Bay.  The peninsula at Lister's Point is formed from a fossilised coral reef of more recent origin. 


Warthog at mud bath


With the variety of vegetation types, this eco-system is rich in animal life.  It has, for instance, at least 111 different types of butterflies, possibly more that any other locality in South Africa, and it is a rewarding area for any ornithologist.  Of  particular interest to the birdwatcher are Neergaard's sunbird and the African broadbill, both of which are endemic to this corner of South Africa.  Red duiker and Suni live in the thickets and forests.  These tiny buck are often found associating with Vervet monkeys which, being wasteful feeders, drop fruit and leaves to the ground.  The Suni, not found south of False Bay Park, is the smallest of all African antelope.  Apart from the crocodile at the water's edge, there are no longer dangerous animals to worry the visitor to the Western Shores, so you can  safely walk without a guide.


Suni - this shy animal is found solitarily or in pairs


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