The iSimangaliso Wetland Park was listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage site in Dec 1999 in recognition of its superlative natural beauty and distinctive international values.
The 332 000 are Park contains 3 major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year recent fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25,000 year-old coastal dunes – among the best within the world. The name iSimangaliso suggests that miracle and wonder, that capably describes this distinctive place.
Come and skill the various experiences within the 10 jewels that compose the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Enjoy the endless beaches that stretch 220 kilometers from Maphelane within the south to Kosi Bay on the African nation border, read game on self-guided or guided trails and routes on the foothills of the Lubombo mountains in uMkhuze or within the coastal forests and rolling grasslands of Lake St Lucia’s Eastern Shores. See the spectacular coral reefs and vibrant underwater life while diving or snorkel diving or start adventures starting from kayak journeys to horse rides.
South Africa’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Sibaya, also forms part of the park. Formed against thickly forested coastal dunes, its clear waters support the province’s second-largest hippo and crocodile population.
Along the coast lies Sodwana Bay, a top diving destination. More than 1 200 fish species have been recorded along its bountiful reefs, including the coelacanth, rediscovered in Jesser Canyon in 2000 after it was widely believed to be extinct.
The uMkhuze ecosystem is a 38 500ha bird-lovers’ paradise that supports 420 species. Leopard, black rhino, white rhino, elephant, giraffe, wild dog, cheetah, hyena and various antelope are also found here.
Sand forest, thornveld and open savannah characterise False Bay, where boating, fishing and fossils are the main attraction, while Charters Creek is a wildlife haven for larger game species such as elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard, giraffe and tsessebe.