- iSimangaliso Wetland Park
iSimangaliso must be the only place on the globe where the oldest land mammal, the rhinoceros, and the world’s biggest terrestrial mammal, the elephant, share an ecosystem with the world's oldest fish, the coelacanth, and the world’s biggest marine mammal, the whale.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park stretches along the Zululand coast from Kosi Bay in the north to Mapelane in the south. The park is an internationally recognised World Heritage Site.
The park's 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 buffalo, duiker, elephant, giraffe, Impala, kudu, nyala, reedbuck and rhino (both black and white), amongst a host of other species.
While swimming in the lake is prohibited due to the presence of crocodile, recreational options abound; you can explore great sand dunes, wander through thick coastal forests or enjoy a wilderness trail; you can dive on coral reefs or go fishing; you can walk for miles along golden beaches or roam across grassy plains; you can try your hand at canoeing or you can take a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia.
Leatherback and loggerhead turtles nesting on the beach and migrant whales cavorting along the coast add to iSimangaliso's magical appeal.
The 10 Gems of iSimangaliso
Forming one contiguous protected area, the park consists of ten regions:
- Coastal Forest Region
- Eastern Shores & Cape Vidal Region
- False Bay Region
- Kosi Bay Region
- Lake St Lucia Region
- Maphelane Region
- Sodwana Bay Region
- uMkhuze Region
- Western Shores & Charters Creek Region
iSimangaliso Wetland Park AuthorityThe Dredger Harbour
Private Bag X05
St Lucia 3936
From our gallery
Inside iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Lake St Lucia regionMore
Eastern Shores and Cape Vidal regionMore
Kosi Bay region
Kosi Bay consists of a series of four freshwater interlinked lakes, varying in their levels of salinity, which drain via a sandy estuary into the Indian Ocean and are connected by reed-lined channels. Here, using ingenious fish traps, the local…More
Coastal Forest region
This coastal section of thick dune forest with large Strelitzias and beautiful dune seascapes is accessible only by off-road vehicles and incorporates the pristine beaches of Black Rock, Island Rock, Mabibi and Rocktail Bay. Here scuba diving and…More
Lake Sibaya region
Lake Sibaya, tucked away between forested coastal dunes, is South Africa’s largest fresh-water lake and is home to KwaZulu-Natal’s second largest population of crocodiles and hippos. For the journey through Mbazwana State Forest and over…More
Sodwana Bay region
Sodwana Bay is situated in a narrow strip of forested sand dunes on the east coast of South Africa between Lake Sibhayi in the north and St Lucia in the south. It’s 50 km of coral reefs contain over 1200 species of fish as well as a variety of…More
False Bay region
The False Bay area, includes open savannah, sand forest and thornveld providing excellent bird watching and game viewing opportunities. Here too you can enjoy the spectacular view of Lake St Lucia at its widest point. In the local interpretive centre…More
Maphelane is a popular base for both fishermen and nature lovers alike and lies at the point where the Mfolozi River enters the Indian Ocean. A short distance to the south lies Mjakaja hill, iSimangaliso’s highest vegetated dune, at 183m. From…More
The uMkhuze region offers a scenic and distinctive treat to outdoor lovers as you veer off the N2 for 84 km following little-used, fairly rough gravel roads through the 30 000 ha Mkuzi Game Reserve before reaching a remote stretch of coast at the…More
Western Shores & Charters Creek region
Western Shores ecosystem The western shores ecosystem is a relatively dry ecosytem consisting of savannah and thornveld where the complex interactions of fire, man, rainfall and the soil has shaped the landscape and vegetation into its present…More
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