Things To Do in St LuciaEmoyeni Trail
Where? Start and finish at Mission Rocks, St Lucia, Elephant Coast, KwaZulu Natal.
How much? Price on request
Start: Mission Rocks
Finish: Mission Rocks
Duration: 63 km over five days
Fitness: fairly fit, particularly as it gets humid, which adds strain to the hike
Our tip: you will need to take tents along as the campsites are very rustic and do not offer shelter
This hike takes place in the Mfabeni section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park through what has been described as some of the most beautiful parts of the park.
Four nights and five days take you through a diversity of terrain - from wetlands to dune forest, grasslands to swamp. Throughout there is a marvellous bird life and the possibility of sighting the black rhino, amongst other animals. The hike both starts and ends at Mission Rocks office with each night spent in a different campsite.
Day one leaves Mission Rocks and takes 7 km - via dune forest, wetlands and patches of forest - to reach Jock's Mess, the name of the first campsite at Catalina Bay.
Day two is a little more taxing, 18 km that include a crossing of the swamp forest of the Nkazama stream. Swamp forests occur very seldom and are rare as a result with more than half of those that occur in South Africa found in Mfabeni. The day includes the eMambeni inlet, home to crocodiles and water birds. You overnight at eJubangoma campsite.
Day three is 11 km to the shores of Lake Bhangazi, via forest and grassland, and a taste of the Tewate Wilderness.
Day four is 16km that follows the southern edge of Lake Bhangazi and the eastern edge of the Mfabeni swamp, up into the dune forest south of Cape Vidal, to Bartel's Folly camp.
Day five is 11km along the beach and back to Mission Rocks. The shortness of this day's journey allows a languid return, taking time to swim in the sea and view the bat cave. Watch out for the tide as there is a section you can only cross at low tide.