iSimangaliso Wetland Park

A Jewel of Biodiversity, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa's very first World Heritage Site.

Close your eyes, and imagine you are standing on a pristine beach. Feel the rays of the rising sun kissing your cheeks, the soft sand between your toes. .Listen to the roar of the waves, crashing in front of you and the chattering of a dozen birds, waking up in the dense bush just behind you.

Welcome to iSimangaliso "a place of Wonder", Wetland Park

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

In the 1990s, Nelson Mandela spearheaded an effort to clear the pine forests that covered this area, He recognized the potential for tourism to boost the local economy. Today, the park's unique combination of ecosystems supports an incredible array of wildlife and vegetation.

Declared a  UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, it is one of South Africa's most breathtaking destinations

The park's diverse ecosystems are a testament to the geological history of the area. The dunes are a result of the erosion of the ancient sandstone mountains that once dominated the landscape. The Estuary system is a product of the changing sea levels over millions of years.

This tropical paradise offers a wide range of activities and experiences. Lie back and just relax on one of the many beaches from the Estuary in the South to Cape Vidal in the far north.  Try your hand at shore, lake, or deep-sea fishing.

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iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Each year, the park's shores welcome the passing of thousands of majestic humpback whales (between June and November) as they move towards the coast to mate and give birth Watch for their blows and breaches from the shore or up close on an exhilarating whale watching boat trip.

Look out for the loggerhead and leatherback turtles,(between November to February.

Our beaches are crucial nesting sites for the turtles, who come ashore to lay their eggs in our titanium-rich dunes. Witnessing the turtles' nesting and tiny hatchlings is a truly unforgettable experience.

Explore the Eastern Shores Park, entering through Bhangazi Gate: home to four of the Big Five (elephants, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo). Explore the diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests, and grasslands. Take a guided game drive or self-drive to Cape Vidal Beach, renowned for its snorkeling reef and picturesque braai sites Where else could you come across an elephant roadblock on the way to the beach?  Looking for a giraffe  and a shorter day outing Travel through our Western Shores park, going in the Dukuduka gate just outside of town and enjoying a completely different landscape

In the evening, enjoy a sunset game drive or night drive to spot nocturnal animals like leopards, hyenas, and jackals.  After dinner at one of the many restaurants along the main street,  take a drive around the neighborhood and you may see our local hippos out and about, grazing in town on our lawns and verges.

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iSimangaliso Wetland Park

A must-do: enjoy a two-hour hippo boat tour on the Estuary, during the day, to witness the hippos, crocodiles, occasional sharks, and plentiful water birds in their natural habitat.

Energetic? Take a walk and follow ancient game trails through the bush around the wetland swamps and lakes in the “safe” game area and potentially come across zebra, wildebeest, duiker, and impala.

Or traverse the Igwalagwala Trail which starts at the end of town. Make your way through the forest, pass Honeymoon Bend, right down to Estuary Beach. Follow the wooden boardwalk through the thick mangroves onto the beach, and head south towards Mapelane, the world’s 3rd highest vegetated sand dune, reaching heights of 180 meters and home to up to 300  different species of trees. Continue up to the mouth, where the St Lucia Estuary enters the warm Indian Ocean.

Join a guided bird walk. The lake is a vital stopover for migratory birds, with over 1,000 species recorded or make your own way, through the safe streets, and trails. Watch out for other road users like the warthog families that have recently taken over town, or the cheeky vervet monkeys, the nervous mongoose, and noisy guinea fowls.

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View points in Cape Vidal

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

The park supports an incredible array of wildlife. With over,100 species of dragonflies, 40 species of frogs, 15 species of bats and so much more, it's a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

Or take a guided horse or bike ride onto the beach and into the wetlands. Explore the craft or fruit markets. Visit the crocodile center on the weekends and watch a feeding.

The world-famous Hluhluwe - iMfolozi Game Park, home to the Big 5 and beautiful rolling mountains is a mere one hours drive away from St Lucia town.
With so much to do and see, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a unique and special place that offers an unforgettable experience. With its diverse ecosystems, abundant wildlife, and rich history, it's a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to South Africa.

Travel Plan to St Lucia KZN
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Hello, Please let us know if we can assist you regarding Accommodation or Tours & Safaris.

Top Attraction is the Hippo Boat Cruises at R300 pp