One needs to ask oneself, where else in the world would you find a "Beware of Elephants, Rhinos, Buffalos, Crocodiles and Hippos" sign on the beach?
Estuary Beach is the southern-most beach in St Lucia, on the Indian Ocean iSimangaliso Reserve coastline which stretches 220 km from Maphelane, in the south, to the Kosi Bay mouth, near the border of Mozambique. Looking north one can see forever along the shimmering, golden, unspoilt, subtropical, sands.
This impending danger makes Estuary Beach with its wide, white, sands an exciting place to visit and take your camera. Don't be surprised to find crocodiles catching a tan on the beach!
Access can be gained by road, past the other beautiful beaches of St Lucia, or along the boardwalk starting at Sugarloaf Campsite. The boardwalk is favoured for family outings and those who like to exercise in the fresh, sea air. The sound of hippos and crocodiles in the vlei makes for exciting moments!
Temperatures of the Indian Ocean along this stretch of beach ranges between 19’C in mid-winter (June/July) to approximately 29’C in mid-summer (Dec/Feb), making it a balmy bathing venue. These warm waters are a result of of the Agulhas current that comes in close to the shore.
The pristine iSimangaliso coastline has attracted many avid fishermen and skippers to its shores as the ocean and estuary are literally teaming with fish. There is a continental shelf lying within 1-3 kilometres off shore which is responsible for the deep trenches that attract game fish. This makes St Lucia's beaches a favoured fishing destination.
Anglers and skippers are required to abide by strict rules and regulations. The use of nets (unless under licence) and lights are prohibited.
Spear fishing is permissible to a licence holder, except in the Marine Protected Areas.
Caution needs to be exercised, by bathers, fishermen and strollers, as not only are these beaches not protected or manned by lifeguards, but there are also crocodiles, hippos and other wild animals that can be found lurking nearby, both at the river entrance to the sea and in the shallows along the sand. It is also advisable to stay close to the shore when swimming, to avoid the strong rip currents and rough surf.
In spite of these precautions there are still ample opportunities for swimming, beach sports, water sports or relaxed tanning, with plenty of room for the young or energetic to expend their energy.
However, please exercise care!
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