Our thatched guest house in the village of St. Lucia within a World Heritage Site (Isimangaliso Wetland Park) is surrounded by Koi ponds and water features, creating the perfect atmosphere for you to totally relax in whether it be indoors or outdoors. John is a avid gardener, he has created a tropical paradise with his vast collection of exotic plants, orchids and bromeliads. Hosts John and Laura are dedicated to make you stay unforgetable.
African Ambience is designed to provide accommodation with comfort, space and privacy you would not expect from a four star graded establishment. The guesthouse is set in a tropical garden in St. Lucia inside a Natural World Heritage Site
We have three spacious Luxury double/twin rooms all with a private patios with views of the garden. The rooms have either a king size bed or two single beds, the choice is yours.
Our Honeymoon Room is stunning, with a private entrance and patio leading out into the garden, king size bed, safe, TV, fridge and spa bath.
Situated on the first floor we have our two standatd double rooms, with standard double beds, asd our spacious Family Room with a king size bed and two single beds, full bathroom with both a bath and shower.
All of our rooms are tastefully decorated with an authentic ethnic vibe, airconditioned, with safes, hairdryers, complimentary sherry and hospitality trays. We offer both Wifi and a laundry service.
All rooms are en-suite, air-conditioned, have hospitality trays and we offer both WiFi and a laundry service.
Breakfast is served in either the dining room or on the patio overlooking the swimming pool. One can delight in spotting mongoos, birds, squirrels and monkeys.
There are many activities, after which you will find peace and tranquillity to discuss the adventures of the day with fellow guests.
The pool and barbecue and Koi ponds make African Ambience Guest House a very special place. After sunset the pool, garden, water features and thatched complex all blend when transformed by landscaped lighting.
Your Hosts John & Laura
African Ambience Guest House in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is owned by John Engelbrecht, who is also a seasoned deep-sea skipper having operated his boat charter services for almost 2 decades in St. Lucia. He is acknowledged locally as the expert on deep-sea fishing and his services are in such demand that bookings are normally paid and confirmed weeks ahead by guests planning to holiday in St. Lucia. John has been a local resident for decades operating exclusively deep-sea charters and has added African Ambience Guest House to his portfolio of services in the area.
Laura has since joined John with a specific view to managing African Ambience Guest House, adding that special "woman's touch". Many previous guests are evidence of the magic "African Ambience" experience in that they return time and again.
Activities, Tours & Safaris
Hippo & Crocodile Boat Safari
The big 6 of the water are all found here: Hippo, Crocodile, Pelican, Flamingo, Fish Eagle and Goliath Heron. The two hour boat trip cruises slowly on the St. Lucia Estuary 3 to 4 times daily and is equipped with a bar. Sun-downer cruises are most popular as are morning tours after breakfast.
Night Game Drive Safari
Leopard, African Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo are some of the highlights on a Night Drive Safari. The park offers the visitor an opportunity to see a variety of animal life associated with a Wetland eco-system as opposed to the bush and grasslands normally found in big 5 game reserves. The tour departs at 8:30pm and returns at approximately 11:30 pm.
Whale Watching (June - November)
St. Lucia has the highest recorded boat-based whale sightings in South Africa. The tours are either early morning or later in the afternoon. From June to the end of November the whales frequent the warm waters of the Indian Ocean where mating takes place before calving in the colder waters of the Cape.
Turtle Tours (November to March)
Witness this miracle of nature where the Leatherback and Loggerhead Turtles return to lay their eggs on the very same beach they were born. The tour includes a night drive in iSimangaliso Wetland Park and is tide dependant. From November through to mid-January for nesting and thereafter the hatchlings returning to the ocean can be seen for a few months afterwards.
Zulu Cultural Village
En-route to the Hluhluwe game reserve is the Dumazulu Cultural experience. This "living museum" has the distinction of being the only Zulu village that has the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelitini's stamp of approval. The village has approximately 50 Zulu inhabitants which live on the premises and each guided tour has demonstrations of Zulu customs, from witchdoctors to homemade local beer being offered for taste. The highlight is a spectacular Zulu dance which is awesome and vibrant. Lunch is served with a blend of both traditional South African and Zulu cuisine. There is a bar facility as well as a great variety of curios in a well stocked shop.
This magnificent unspoiled beach lies 32 km out of St. Lucia with easy access on tarred road. En-route to Cape Vidal you travel through the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the Eastern Shores of Lake St. Lucia which abounds in game, especially Rhino close to the road. See the world's highest vegetated sand dunes and walk through sand dune forests with a tremendous variety of birdlife. Snorkel at Cape Vidal in the warm Indian Ocean, sunbathe on clean beaches or try your hand at some surf or fly-fishing. Arrange for a picnic style take-away breakfast with your lodging as tours leave early.
Big 5 Game Reserve Safaris
Depart St. Lucia for a mere 55 minutes drive to the adjoining world famous Hluhluwe/iMfolozi game reserve. Here you can expect to see the big 5 (Elephant, Rhinoceros, Buffalo, Leopard and Lion) especially Rhino, up close, as these reserves have the biggest population of rhino in the world. Enjoy either a South African braai (barbecue) for lunch at a picnic spot in the park or dine at the Hilltop restaurant in Hluhluwe with full bar facilities as well as curio shopping.
More than two thirds of South Africa's entire bird population is found in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Early morning or late afternoon outings to explore birds which are rarely sighted in other parts of South Africa are arranged with competent guides. The bird species found in St. Lucia cover a variety of habitat ranging from fauna, flora, wetlands, grasslands, Lake St. Lucia, coastal, forest and migratory. The surrounding nature with abundant birdlife makes St. Lucia a paradise for birding.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Canoe or Kayak on Lake St. Lucia with experienced guides to get you close to the animal and bird life. Honeymoon-bend on Lake St. Lucia is a popular route for canoeists in an outing of between 2-3 hours. The Kayak outing to Cape Vidal catching up on some wave surfing, swimming and snorkelling includes excursions on the Eastern Shores with lunch served in designated shaded picnic spots at Cape Vidal. There is also the opportunity to explore Lake Bhangazi (which is close to Cape Vidal) on canoe.
Horse riding on the Eastern Shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is led by experienced ride-guides. Get close to animals on horseback while exploring nature in a conservation area off limits to the general public. Enjoy bush trails or opt for some beach riding when available. Bhangazi Horse Trails offer rides on the Western Shores of St. Lucia in the False Bay area including overnight horse trails with accommodation which is set up for you in tents along the trail. This outdoor camping experience in a World Heritage Site status park with prolific animal and birdlife is a must for outdoor enthusiasts.
World Heritage Tour
World Heritage Tours on the eastern shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park which is situated between Lake St. Lucia and the Indian Ocean. This is a very interesting and detailed ecological tour of the Park which explores the various species in relation to world heritage site status granted to the Park. The tour also takes you to Cape Vidal for some swimming, snorkelling and a traditional braai (barbecue) for lunch. The whole ecology of the park as well as the relation between different species is discussed in detail. Part of the tour is spent game viewing and birding.
Deep-sea fishing in the warm, tropical waters off St. Lucia or Cape Vidal is always an exciting experience with game fish like Dorado, Wahoo, Tuna, King and Queen Fish, King and Queen Mackerel in abundance. Or experience the thrill of hunting Big-game fish like Marlin, Sailfish as well as Shark. Alcohol is not permitted, arrange own sun tan oil, snacks and drinks for the day. Your host has been operating in these waters for almost 2 decades, has tons of local as well as international experience, his motto; FISHING IS LIFE, THE REST SIMPLY DETAIL.
Take N12 to Witbank, turn off to Ogies.
Go through Bethal, Ermelo, Piet Retief, Pongola.
Continue south along the N2, past Mkuze and Hluhluwe.
Take turn-off left to Mtubatuba and St Lucia signboard, the