Cape Vidal lies within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site about 30 km north of the town of St Lucia. It is a three-hour drive from Durban.
Cape Vidal offers the best of two worlds – it is situated on the exquisite Zululand coast with all its amazingly rich marine life, and it provides direct access to the Eastern Shores Nature Reserve with its populations of elephant, rhino, buffalo, crocodile, hippo and reedbuck to name but a few.
The beach and off-shore areas at Cape Vidal fall within the St Lucia Marine Reserve which is visited seasonally by humpback whales during their migrations, as well as loggerhead and leatherback sea-turtles that come to the beaches north of Cape Vidal from November to February to nest. Other marine “big game” includes the huge whale shark, marlin, sailfish and dolphin.
Cape Vidal lies on the edge of the St Lucia Marine Reserve which extends from 1 km south of Cape Vidal to the Mozambique border, and three nautical miles out to sea. Six loop roads off the main St Lucia to Cape Vidal road provide excellent game viewing and bird watching.
Cape Vidal is the site of the wreck of the wooden barque “Dorothea” which struck the reef during a storm in 1898. Artefacts from the wreck may be seen in the bay at various times, and these include a massive piece of chain that lies on the reef, and a steel mast tube lying against the inner, shallow part of the reef. The sheltered bay is a designated launch site for ski-boats, and offers good rock and surf angling. Salt water fly-fishing is a popular pastime.
Cape Vidal Resort is set in a bay sheltered by a rock reef that is completely exposed at low spring tides, providing a multitude of rock pools and prime snorkelling areas. On either side lie kilometres of deserted, unspoilt beaches ideal for long walks, while inland there are self-guided drives around the fascinating wetlands and rich coastal forests.
Photo credit: http://www.zululandtours.co.za
Cape Vidal Beach Safaris
The waters of Cape Vidal are warm, thanks to their being part of the Indian Ocean, and are teeming with marine animal- and plant life. The snorkelling safaris are paired with a game drive to ensure that visitors get to see the maximum number of species and the most variety during their excursion.
The game drive is conducted in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, in an open safari vehicle to ensure that passengers are able to see as much as possible, while remaining safe. An experienced guide takes the lead and offers interesting information and experience to add value to this adventure.
Once visitors arrive at Cape Vidal, they are given snorkelling equipment and invited to cool down and see what lies below the surface of the waters. These waters may be dangerous at times due to tides. This means that a qualified guide is absolutely essential.
After a dip in the water, enjoy a barbecue on the beach, along with a game of Frisbee or a relaxing suntan on a towel under the warm South African sun (sunscreen is always essential). The peacefulness of the water and the variety that lies beneath its surface is a very special sight, and demands that guests to Lake St Lucia who embark on this safari never forget the beauty that they have experienced.
This adventure takes the best part of a day, and is fantastic for groups of friends or families that want to enjoy the area in a way that is personal and exciting. A briefing session before the safari and the permanent guide mean that it is safe, and that visitors are informed at all times. It is an activity that can be done all year around, thanks to temperate weather conditions, and does not require snorkeling experience.