A very special slice of Africa, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park St
offers ecotourists some of the most diverse wildlife and outdoor
Besides Lake St Lucia - a unique, 38 000 ha expanse of lake, islands
and estuary - the park incorporates an astonishing variety of habitats
ranging from the Ubombo mountains to grasslands, forests, wetlands,
mangroves and vegetated dunes, with magnificent beaches and coral
The name has recently been changed from Greater St Lucia Wetland
Park to iSimangaliso Wetland Park.to reflect the many areas that
make up its 220 000 hectares, such as Kosi Bay, Lake Sibaya, Sodwana
Bay, Mkhuze Game Reserve, False Bay, Fanies Island, Charters Creek,
Lake St Lucia, Cape Vidal and Kosi Bay and Maphelane. Together these
constitute a much larger area than the 90ha town of St Lucia.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park stretches along the Zululand coast
from Mapelane in the south to Kosi Bay in the north.
The park is internationally recognised and a World Heritage Site.
This diversity gives rise to a multiplicity of fauna and flora,
unrivalled anywhere in South Africa. It supports an abundance of
Nile crocodile and hippo, as well as rhino (both black and white),
elephant, buffalo, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, nyala, impala, duiker
and reedbuck, amongst a host of other species.
While swimming in the lake is prohibited due to the presence of
crocodile, recreational options abound.
You can dive on coral reefs or walk for miles along golden beaches;
explore great dunes and wander through magical coastal forests;
roam across grassy plains as the wind carries the whistling calls
of reedbuck on the alert, go fishing or take a boat cruise on Lake
You can try your hand at canoeing while enjoying a wilderness trail,
and if snorkeling, angling or boating take your fancy, this is the
place to indulge yourself.
Migrant whales cavorting along the coast, leatherback and loggerhead
turtles, nesting on the beaches at night in summer, add to the park's