Cape Vidal, KwaZulu-Natal
Did you know?Cape Vidal is the final resting place of the Dorothea, a gold-laden ship that foundered on a reef in 1898. Her exact location remains a mystery.
Cape Vidal, Sodwana Bay, uMkhuze, Kosi Bay, False Bay and Maphelane form part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
Cape Vidal is named after Captain Alexander Thomas Emeric Vidal, a British Royal Navy surveyor responsible for charting the African coast during the 1820s.
The bay at Cape Vidal is a popular fishing, snorkelling and swimming spot with a sheltered launch site for boats.
Due to its location between two diverse environments, Cape Vidal offers travellers a choice between the wildlife of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and the marine life of the Indian Ocean – a true beach-and-bush destination.
The birdlife here is prolific, as are vervet monkey troops, and is best enjoyed by exploring the many self-guided trails leading into the wetlands around Lake Bhangazi.
Cape Vidal also provides access to the eastern shores of Lake St Lucia where reedbuck, hippo, crocodile and buffalo may be seen, along with many bird species. Further afield game parks like Hluhluwe-Imfolozi are home to rhino and other large game.
Humpback whales migrating north to Mozambique pass relatively close inshore, while game fish such as marlin and sailfish attract anglers. While frolicking in the waves you’re just about guaranteed to see dolphin pods, especially in the early morning.
During December, endangered loggerhead and leatherback turtles arrive at the beaches to lay eggs in protected zones.
The summer months attract sun worshippers who revel in the swimming, surfing and sunbathing along the coast. Offshore reefs and clear water make snorkelling hugely popular, or you might prefer a guided tour to deeper waters.
Cape Vidal falls within a malaria zone, so it’s imperative that you take preventative medication for three weeks before your expected arrival date.