Things To Do in St LuciaCape St Lucia Lighthouse
Where? Near St Lucia in KwaZulu Natal
How much? Price on request
Despite sounding as though it should lie right on the well-known lake and conservation area, now called the iSimangaliso Wetland park, Cape St Lucia lighthouse lies roughly twenty km south of the St Lucia river mouth and one reaches it along a road from the small town of KwaMnonambi, which lies alongside the N2.
If the iSimangaliso Integrated Management Plan (IMP) comes into being, then the Cape St Lucia lighthouse will form something of a border for the wetland park with plans to declare the areas from the Mozambique border to Cape St Lucia Lighthouse a marine reserve, and to ban all fishing along the Elephant Coast.
The lighthouse is small by most standards, quaintly painted in bold black and white bands (a return to the original colour scheme of 1906), it stands eight metres high on a hill in amongst dense forest on reclaimed sand dunes. For almost eighty years it was the most northerly lighthouse on the east coast, but Cape Vidal and Jesser Point lighthouses subsequently claimed that title.
The site for Cape St Lucia lighthouse was in 1904 and getting to it to build the structure was difficult – a wagon drawn by twelve oxen that travelled three hours between the town and the lighthouse would have been the norm.
This difficulty, despite the building of the lighthouse, remained the case and even today is only accessible via a dirt road, easily do-able today in a 4X4 vehicle, but in the old days the return trip from KwaMnonambi to the lighthouse would have taken a day. The posting for any lightkeeper was a lonely one and, as a result, tended to be manned by solitary lightkeepers without families.
Just below the lighthouse lies the wreck of the Jolly Rubino that went down in 1993.