See elephant, rhino and leopard, as well as giraffe, tsessebe and other antelope species

Gateways to the Big 5
iSimangaliso-Wetland-Park---copyright-Scott-Ramsay-27-2
Home to 4 of the Big 5 – elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard – and many other species
On the edge of the bustling and world-famous seaside resort of St Lucia lies a 25,000ha Big 5 game area that will enthrall the whole family. The Dukuduku Gate, on the road just before one enters St Lucia, is the gateway to Africa’s famous inhabitants, which occur here in abundance. Alternatively, the Park can be accessed from the major N2 highway via the Charters Creek off-ramp.
The civilised safari
The Kwelamadoda and Kwelezintombi pans host an abundance of bird life
The Kwelamadoda and Kwelezintombi pans host an abundance of bird life
With modern facilities, there is no reason to rough it in this Park. The managing authority of iSimangaliso Wetland Park has vastly improved the infrastructure over the past few years, with modern ablution blocks, several lookout points and hides, and a canopy walk. New game drives include the uMphathe Loop (with its Kweyezalukazi Lookout) and uMdoni Loop. The uMthoma Aerial Boardwalk overlooks Lake St Lucia’s narrows and has views as far as Cape Vidal in the north and Maphelane in the south.
A good news story
Some of the finest herds of waterbuck, reedbuck and kudu are found in this rehabilitated habitat
Some of the finest herds of waterbuck, reedbuck and kudu are found in this rehabilitated habitat
Much of the Western Shores was formerly forestry plantation, severely degrading the eco-system. Over the past eight years, iSimangaliso has removed thousands of hectares of alien trees and rehabilitated the natural landscape. This has enabled the reintroduction of historically occurring game including elephant, serval, tsessebe, giraffe, nyala, white and black rhino, buffalo, zebra, red and grey duiker, and wildebeest. The numerous pans and wetlands host not only hippos and crocodiles but also many species of buck and a plethora of bird life, particularly waterfowl.
Charter’s Creek: lakeside haven
Grey heron
A grey heron takes flight
Charters Creek is the travellers’ resting spot on the strip of land called Western Shore – created by the Nhlozi Peninsula that juts into Lake St Lucia. The resort is a firm favourite with anglers and bird-watchers who enjoy the old-world simplicity and peacefulness of the camp’s lakeside setting. Set on a bluff looking eastwards over Lake St Lucia, it provides opportunities to view forest birds as well as a variety of aquatic birds, both fresh-water and marine.
A tale of two shores
Lake St Lucia
The vast, meandering Lake St Lucia divides iSimangaliso Wetland Park into two shores – Eastern and Western
The Eastern and Western Shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park are two worlds in their own right – the eastern, coastal side is famed for its marine species, while the western side is appreciated for its Estuary and drier palmveld, rich with raptors. Receiving only half of the rainfall of its eastern neighbour, the Western Shores offers a completely different experience within a short travelling distance.
Accommodation in the Area
No accommodation is currently available in the area
Operators in the Area
Useful Information
Getting There

Dukukduku Gate: Follow the R618 from Mtubatuba to St Lucia, to the Dukuduku Gate situated on the left hand side 2km before reaching the town of St Lucia.

Nhlozi Gate: Turn off the N2 20km north of Mtubatuba or 32km south of Hluhluwe towards Charters Creek. Continue along the tar road for 13km to reach the Nhlozi Gate. Follow the road signs pointing right onto the Western Shores.

To reach Charters Creek, travel a further 5km on gravel road to get to the Charters Creek day visitor facility.

Gate Opening & Closing Times

Gate opening and closing times:
April to October – 06h00 to 18h00
November to March – 05h00 to 19h00
Reception hours:
08h00 to 16h00 (Mon – Sat)
07h00 to 15h00 (Sun)

Contact Details
+27 35 550 9000
Entry Fees

Dukuduku and Nhlozi Gates:
Adults: R45
Children (under the age of 12): R35
Vehicle entry charge:
• 1-5 people: R55
• 6-12 people: R80
• 13-20 people: R110
• 21+ people: R190
Community Levy: R5 per person

Charters Creek:
Adults: R25
Children (under the age of 12): R15
Community Levy: R5 per person

Public Facilities