Lake St Lucia and Mkuze Swamps

Country/territory: South Africa

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4iii (1998)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 167,700 ha

BirdLife South Africa
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2013 very high not assessed high
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site summary
Situated c. 80 km north of Richards Bay, Lake St Lucia is a subtropical coastal estuary with a long narrow channel to the sea. The lake system is about 70 km long, and, excluding The Narrows, between 3 km and 18 km wide for most of its length. It is the largest estuarine system in Africa, with a water surface area that varies from 225-417 km2. The St Lucia system supports over 350 bird species and is the most important breeding area for waterbirds in South Africa.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lake St Lucia and Mkuze Swamps. Downloaded from on 09/06/2023.