St Lucia, a small holiday town on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal, is the gateway to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. From here you can explore bucket-list destinations such as Cape Vidal, Sodwana, Lake Sibaya, Turtle Beaches, Kosi Bay and of course, all the other attractions in this World Heritage site of 332,000 hectares.
According to WikiPedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugarloaf), a sugarloaf was the traditional form in which refined sugar was produced and sold until the late 19th century when granulated and cube sugars were introduced. A tall cone with a rounded top was the end-product of a process that saw the dark molasses-rich raw sugar refined into white sugar. I have no idea how this definition relates to the campsite in St Lucia with the name of Sugarloaf.
Sugarloaf Campsite is situated right next to the St Lucia Estuary beach. Due to the dense bush and tree population, you cannot see the ocean from the campsite, but you will hear it all the time. A boardwalk of approximately 500 meters, starts just outside the camp’s entrance. It will take you through bushes and trees with views of the ocean, estuary, crocodiles and birds, until you reach the sandy beach.
There are 92 large campsites, each with its own power point and water tap. Most campsites have a built-in braai facility, but not all. The sites are well shaded with dense and big trees causing most sites to be very private with little wind if any. The sites are level with mostly a sandy surface and here and there a little bit of grass. Not every camp site has a light. There are a few “street” lights positioned through-out the camp grounds, providing sufficient light to walk to the ablutions while creating a nice atmosphere at night.
Although the five ablution facilities may be far away from some sites, they are neat, clean, well serviced daily, with a sufficient number of toilets and showers on both men and ladies sides. Unfortunately, all the hangers and hooks for clothes inside the ablution block that we used were broken off – there were also no chairs or other seating facilities inside. Outside the ablution buildings are basins for a scullery and washing of clothes.
Birdlife is good inside the camp grounds. Trumpeter Hornbills were frequent visitors to our site. We constanly heard the calls of the Narina Trogon but did not manage to see this elusive bird during our stay. Small antelope like bushbucks are common sights.
The central swimming pool is well maintained and a welcome sight during the hot and humid summer days.
A 24-hour security service is present on site. We saw the guards doing regular patrols right through the night. Sugarloaf Campsite is managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Their second campsite in St Lucia, Eden Park, is only used during peak seasons as an overflow of guests from Sugarloaf.
Rates: R190 per site per day for up 2 people. Additional adults R95 per day and additional children R50 per day.
Sweet: location; spacious and private sites; trees and birdlife
Sour: monkeys could be a nuisance; seating and hanging of clothes inside ablutions
Will I recommend it to my friends and family: yes
Will I visit again: yes
Sugarloaf Campsite – St Lucia
Contact Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife reservations at: (033) 845-1000