The iSimangaliso Wetland Park stretches over 220 kilometres and offers adventure, intrigue and excitement for all who go there. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or seek out animals in their natural habitat, iSimangaliso is the place for you. Roughly translated, iSimangaliso means ‘miracle’ or ‘wonder’ and you’ll know why as soon as you see the park. The glorious and diverse landscape will take your breath away.
iSimangaliso is South Africa’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. It spans from the Mozambique border, all the way to Maphelane (the southern tip of Lake St Lucia). The entire wetland park is surrounded by water; the ocean is on one side and a network of lakes is scattered around the other. All of this water creates five distinct ecosystems within the park, so there’s lots to explore. Snorkel through the offshore reefs, relax on the beaches, wade through the wetlands, wind your way through the woodlands and enjoy the sea breeze in the coastal areas.
The pristine beaches are a big draw to iSimangaliso. They stretch from Maphelane to Kosi Bay so there’s plenty for you to discover. While you’re there, you can try activities such as fishing and diving. There’s also a wide variety of animals to see in the park. If you’re interested in marine life, go looking for loggerhead and leatherback turtles or watch whales and dolphins jump out of the water. Back on land, you’ll see mammals like antelopes, hippos and zebras.
While you’re here, take the time to see Lake St Lucia. It’s over 25,000 years old and is South Africa’s largest inland body of water. Even though it’s a popular tourist resort, iSimangaliso still manages to hold onto the area’s quaint and rustic charms. The locals still keep to the fishing traditions that their ancestors used over 700 years ago and little untouched villages pop up through the park.
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that the further north you go, the more remote the landscape. Be prepared to hike your way up and explore this incredible area. It’s a truly invigorating experience. iSimangaliso is a unique blend of wetlands, wilderness, coastline and game reserves. You can see and do so much here, it’s definitely worth visiting for more than one day.
Plan your trip to iSimangaliso today.