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St Lucia: Great accommodation, boating and the best coffee around

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Thousands of tourists flock to the town to view the abundant flora and fauna in the area and at this World Heritage Site

Hippo Lodge

Situated on the banks of the St Lucia Estuary, Hippo Lodge offers upmarket selfcatering accommodation. The venue’s downstairs units provide quick access to the hippo hide and wildlife sightings, while the upstairs units have breathtaking views across the town.

Zulani Guest House

A small family-run guest house, Zulani has secluded bed-and-breakfast accommodation with self-catering options. The owners promise a personal touch and expert advice on excursions, tours and restaurants and have a wealth of interesting facts about St Lucia.

St Lucia Ski Boat Club

Located on the banks of the St Lucia Estuary with views over the Indian Ocean and Maphelane camp, the St Lucia Ski Boat Club has a history dating to the mid-1970s when three local deep-sea fishermen established it. The restaurant, managed by former Durban restaurateur Frank Sykes, has become a hive of activity for locals and tourists, with international visitors arriving by the bus load daily.

Thyme Square Coffee and Gift Shop Local eatery

Thyme Square Coffee and Gift Shop specialises in breakfasts, lunches and coffee and holds the honour of winning the 2019 Restaurant Association of South Africa Award in Service Excellence in the Top Coffee Shop Awards.

La Rochelle

A self-catering timeshare complex, La Rochelle offers accommodation in threebedroom, fully-fitted units with lock-up garages, boat parking and freezers for storing catch. The complex is surrounded by lush, manicured gardens and indigenous bush on the doorstep of the St Lucia Estuary.

La Rochelle is among the various timeshare holiday venues in the town. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Visitors a big part of local economy


Accommodation

St Lucia became South Africa’s first recipient of Unesco World Heritage Site status in 1999, prompting substantial growth in the tourism aspect of this northern KwaZulu-Natal town. It boosted the accommodation sector, from bed-and-breakfast options to self-catering venues and awardwinning lodges. 

Tourism adventures

Tourism remains the economic driver for St Lucia, with local residents establishing businesses offering boat tours on the St Lucia Estuary to view the hippos, crocodiles and abundant bird life; charter fishing operations for deep-sea adventures; big game viewing in the nearby HluhluweiMfolozi Game Reserve and the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park; and tours in search of the loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles when the females lay their eggs along the beach. 

Restaurants

Linked to holiday tourism and accommodation is the food and entertainment sector. St Lucia has a wide range of options for eating out, from national franchise and chain brands to independent coffee houses and family-run businesses, meeting the needs of hungry tourists and locals alike.

A home for the National Sea Rescue Institute is under construction. Picture: Terry Haywood Photography

Construction

The town’s growth has also opened up opportunities for construction companies. Currently under construction is the National Sea Rescue Institute St Lucia building, while other recent projects include a hotel and other accommodation options, as well as revamped supermarket facilities.

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