Visit us in the paradise that is iSimangaliso

The 332 000 hectare iSimangaliso Park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year old 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 highest in the world. The name iSimangaliso means miracle and wonder, which aptly describes this unique place.

St Lucia EstuaryCome and experience the diverse experiences in the 10 jewels that make up the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Enjoy the endless beaches that stretch 220 kilometers from Maphelane in the south to Kosi Bay on the Mozambique border, view game on self-guided or guided trails and routes on the foothills of the Lubombo mountains Western Shores and Charters Creek – See buffalo, rhino and leopard, as well as tsessebe and other antelope species – or sit back and enjoy panoramic views of Lake St Lucia and the Eastern Shore dunes. See the spectacular coral reefs and colourful underwater life whilst diving or snorkeling or embark on adventures ranging from kayak trips to horse rides.

Lake St Lucia - is Africa’s largest estuarine system. It is 80 kms long and 23 kms wide at its widest point. Home to over 800 hippos and 1200 crocodiles, this dynamic system hosts large flocks of pelicans, flamingos, ducks, waders and a variety of fish and other aquatic species.

Eastern Shores and Cape Vidal - The Eastern Shores is the ideal beach and safari destination. A number of game viewing roads offer intimate access to varied habitats including dunes, grassland, lakes, pans and coastal dune forest. Lookout points provide panoramic vistas over a landscape shaped by human residence in Iron Age times and by the Bhangazi people. Popular beach destinations are found at Cape Vidal and Mission Rocks.

Maphelane - Maphelane is a popular base for fishermen and nature lovers. There are two self-guided trails: one tracks the edge of the estuary while the other ascends the dunes to offer spectacular views of the ocean and river mouth. The Maphelane dune, at 183m, is iSimangaliso’s highest vegetated dune.

Fast Facts on the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Lake St Lucia is Africa’s largest estuary
The greatest congregation of hippo and crocodiles in South Africa
The last significant breeding ground for the giant leatherback and loggerhead turtles
8 interlinking ecosystems
3 major lake systems
350 kms of water surface
220 kms of coastline and beaches
190 kms of marine reserve
100 species of coral
1 200 species of fish
25 000 year old coastal dunes
700 years of traditional fish traps
36 snake species
80 dragonfly species
110 butterfly species
526 bird species