Visit the St. Lucia crocodile and snake centre and learn more about the mighty Nile Crocodile and some of the snakes of South Africa
Situated just outside of St Lucia Village, about 5 Minutes from St. Lucia Safari Lodge on the road to Cape Vidal. The Centre offers guests an exciting and informative experience who would like to know more about the lake system and one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating animals, the crocodile. A series of illustrations depict the Lake St Lucia system, the sea, the beach, dune forests, grasslands and the lake shore. The centre is easily accessible from St. Lucia Safari Lodge where we provide some Self Catering and Bed and Breakfast facilities at very special rates if you stay for 3 days or more.
Mission Of The Crocodile Centre
The centre interprets the Lake St Lucia system and the habits of the crocodile and serves as a centre for crocodile monitoring and research. Staff also contribute to the development of the crocodile farming industry in Natal. Crocodiles are a protected species in Natal and problem crocodiles are captured and re-located rather than destroyed.
In the various ponds all the African species of crocodile can be seen; the Nile, long-snouted and the dwarf crocodile. For comparison there are also American alligators. The crocodiles on display range in size from hatchlings to specimens of up to four meters.
The Nile Crocodile
The Nile crocodile can be spotted throughout Africa and is the only crocodile species found in the Republic of South Africa. It is the largest of the African species of crocodiles and can grow to six meters in length. Ample information on the Nile Crocodile at the Centre provide details about the breeding, feeding, physical structure and distribution of this prehistoric creature.
Long Snouted Crocodile
This crocodile lives in Western and Central Africa where it lives in rivers, forests or in swamps. They grow to lengths of up to four meters. The St. Lucia Crocodile centre participates in international breeding programs, this is the reason why these crocodiles are kept at the centre.
The Dwarf Crocodile can also be found in Western and Central Africa, their preferred habitat is the rain forests They are the smallest African species and only reaches lengths of a maximum of two meters, these are also part of an international breeding program.
Crocodiles breed during the summer months. The females lay their eggs in November and December and can be seen lying near or on the nest which they guard aggressively. It takes the eggs 90 days to hatch. The females open the nests and carry the hatchlings to the water in their mouths.
The St Lucia Crocodile Centre now hosts an impressive collection of snakes. A snake demonstration is given every Saturday afternoon at 14hOO. The Crocodile centre is one of only four permit holders that are allowed to keep the impressive Gaboon Viper in captivity. This highly endangered Viper is the world largest Viper and can weigh up to 8kgs with a fang length of 4cm.
The Crocodile centre boasts the original and arguably the best Curio Shop in St Lucia. An interesting selection of books, souvenirs and traditional Zulu crafts are available. Young cycad plants, with permits, are also available for sale.
On a short route through the centre many of the trees to be found in Zululand can be seen. The centre attracts a large variety of bird life and during the breeding season, spotted and thick-billed weavers nest here in large numbers. The adjacent game park offer a substantial number of walking trials of half an hour to two hours duration. Along the trails a various number of animals such as reed buck, impala, zebra, blue wildebeest and hippopotamus can be seen. A large variety of water birds frequent the pans in the region.
All bookings can be arranged on your behalf, please enquire at reception of St. Lucia Safari lodge
Crocodile feeding for public demonstration takes place on Saturday afternoons at 15hOO and Wednesday evenings at 18h30. The evening feeding is only in summer.The Crocodile and Snake Park is open 7 days a week from 09:00 to 22:00. Sundays from 10:00 to 21:00