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Cell Phone: 083 487 2762

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concessionaire legal permit holder in the ST LUCIA section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/stluciaadvantage

 2014 rate - R180-00p.p - kids under 12yrs half price - under 2yrs no charge

HIPPO/CROC BOAT CRUISES ON LAKE ST LUCIA - an iSimangaliso Concession holder - The best way to explore St Lucia Estuary, from aboard the luxurious double deck passenger ferry, ADVANTAGE CRUISER ( ** SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS ** )

100% GUARANTEE on HIPPO SIGHTINGS or you get ALL your money REFUNDED!!!!

The start of the St Lucia Estuary, the Estuary Mouth,  is situated within the town of St Lucia, the Southern most point of Lake St Lucia, within the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.  This area was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999, and recently the adjacent Wetland Park bordering  St Lucia was renamed the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, meaning PLACE OF WONDER /MIRACLE.


The St Lucia Estuary is the largest estuarine system on the African Continent and boasts the largest concentration of Hippo in South Africa. St Lucia South Africa section of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, boasts with having a variety of activities within a one hour proximity from one another, from the whale watching just offshore from the town of St Lucia, to the favourite iSimangaliso Wetland Park 2km's away, to the oldest Game Reserve in Africa, the iMfolozi / Hluhluwe Game Reserves' just an hour's drive from St Lucia town.


THIS is where Danie and Riëtte Bennett and their partners operates their exclusive boat trips to view hippopotamus, crocodiles, mangrove swamps, prolific birdlife, oyster banks with stories of days gone by, the 2nd highest vegetated Dunes in the World etc.


In 1998 the couple obtained a concession from the then KwaZulu Natal Wildlife (Natal Parks Board) to operate 2hourly hippo/croc boat cruise concession tours.  Riëtte qualified herself as the then only lady skipper in St Lucia, obtained her Satour guiding badge and started taking out guests daily. With enthusiasm about what there is to be seen her tours became so popular that she had to employ other relief skipper/guides.  Over the last 14 years it’s been either herself, Dave, Berno or Steve, and in September 2007 she employed 22 year old Natasha, another lady guide.  It took her 6 weeks of grueling trips up and down the Estuary before she was comfortable that Natasha was able to do trips on her own, but as from then onwards it’s just been “plain sailing” for this young enthusiastic guide!  Over the last 10 years the company has also become BEE compliant and today employs more than 17 people from the previously disadvantaged community and the total ADVANTAGE team consists of 22 staff members, who ranges from front office personnel, to deck hands, to maintenance crew,  guides and skippers.


All the guides themselves are keen birdwatchers, so over and above seeing many Hippo and Crocs on each tour, there is an abundant variety of prolific bird life.  This is a full educational trip about the Wetlands and whatever else you see, and questions are welcome at any time!

YOUR WHOLE AMOUNT IS REFUNDED IF YOU DO NOT SEE HIPPO - WE GUARANTEE HIPPO ON EACH AND EVERY DEPARTURE - FROM VERY CLOSE -


The boat itself is a luxury double deck passenger ferry, with passenger safety and comfort in mind, we have upholstered spacious seats, a fully licensed bar and tuck shop, ladies and gents toilets, carpeted for children and babies, wheelchair friendly, enough decent floorspace to move from one side to the other to take photos ,sophisticated PA (public address) system, and then the POPULAR SUN DECK for better viewing.


It’s fitted with 80HP Suzuki smoke free  EPA standard motors and environmentally friendly, complies with all South African Marine Safety Authority(SAMSA) Regulations and depart from a safe easily accessible safe jetty from within the town of St Lucia - this jetty is the most popular for tour busses as there is more than enough space to turn around , with ladies and gents ablution facilities -


On departing the boat heads South towards the Honeymoon Bend islands from where you can see the 2nd highest vegetated Dunes in the World and crocodiles basking in the sun on the islands, as well as passing the oyster banks.

Thereafter the boat turns North towards the Narrows where the main sightings of Hippo will be observed, passing underneath the Bridge, seeing weavers nesting within the reeds alongside the estuary, a fish eagle flying past, and then turning into the Narrows where your guide will tell you all about the Mangrove Swamps.


This tour includes both the Southern side of the Estuary towards the Estuary Mouth area, as well as passing through the bridge to venture North towards the 1st and 2nd Narrows.


After 2 hours on the water you’ll leave the boat with much more knowledge about the Lake System and surrounding Wetlands, and photos with memories to last you a lifetime - FINS US ON FACEBOOK under AdvantageTours StLucia -


Whilst keeping the environment and wild animals in mind, the boat will go as close as possible to each sighting for excellent photos.  Scrolling through just a couple of our photos on the photo page will prove why this trip is ideal, as the sightings we see in close proximity often leaves you astounded. 

The boat was specifically build and designed with a flat bottom to venture into shallow waters all along the shoreline of Lake St Lucia to get the best photos - with high safe sides to protect you fully against weather and wild animals -


Throughout the trip there is intermittent stops to give you enough time to take photos for memories that will last a lifetime. The tour is done at walking speed and is a must for the avid photographer. Your skipper/guide onboard is themselves keen birdwatchers, know which kind of photos you are looking for, and our guides' enthusiasm will carry over to YOU, our customer -

Catering can be done by prior arrangement; more and more tour group especially is making use of the option to eat whilst cruising to save time on their itineraries.


ADVANTAGE CRUISER operates 7 days a week, 364 days a year (not on Christmas Day), each tour is 2 hours long, and extra tours will be done when there is a great demand, otherwise throughout our summer months normal departures is at 08h00(groups only ), 10h00, 12h00, 14h00 and 16h00, and then winter departures will be 10h00, 12h00 and 15h00 - PEAK CHRISTMAS / NEW YEAR 10days will be 09h00, 11h00, 13h00, 15h00 and 17h00 - HOWEVER PLEASE use the blue icon which says book online and check availability if you are unsure of our times - ***


Our concession allows us to operate within a pristine part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and a large percentage of your fee is paid to iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority who enhances roads within the Park, upgrade public facilities and training of new tour guides. 

 

(To see the next photo, just hover over the photo to see the "previous" or "next" button.) ( double click on photo to view in color )

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