Things To Do in St LuciaIgwala Gwala Forest Trail
Where? Eden Park, St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park
When? Best during daylight hours. See our tip below.
How much? Free
Start: Eden Park, St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Finish: St Lucia
Duration: 1.5 km
Fitness: easy, suitable for all ages, including moms with prams
Our tip: hippos use the forest at night so avoid doing the trail after dark
Known colloquially as 'lovers' lane' because of the otherworldliness of the self-guided trail, Igwala Gwala Forest Trail is named after the purple crested turaco, because of its prevalence in the forest. The trail starts along the main road of the village of St Lucia, heading via a group of shops and on until you leave civilisation behind and enter the world of the swallows (when you pass the signboard that says 'Silence Please – Trees Growing' then you know you are on the right path).
Before you is the damp floor of the forest in a part of St Lucia known as Eden Park. The trail is easy to follow and leads gently through the trees of the coastal forest next to the St Lucia Estuary.
If you are quiet you may see the odd red duiker, bushbuck, vervet monkey or mongoose, and the bird calls in this part of the forest are constant for yellow-rumped tunkerbirds, white-eared barbets, scrub robbins, southern boubou, narina trogon, Livingstone's turaco, lemon dove, dark-backed weaver, collared sunbird and the goldentailed woodpecker make this their home.
A short path off the trail will take you down to the estuary where you can spot numerous water birds.
The trail is free of charge and you need make no bookings. Dogs must be on a leash.