The 332 000 hectare iSimangaliso Wetland Park was the first World Heritage Site in South Africa. It provides a mix of coastal and inland habitats around South Africa’s largest estuary – St Lucia. The park boasts a combination of diverse ecosystems including marine, coastal dune forest and bushveld resulting in its impressive bio-diversity. The area has close on 400 species of birds and makes up part of the breeding grounds used by Loggerhead and Leatherback Turtles, which can be viewed on evening ‘turtle safaris’ arranges by most private camps in the area. Larger land game can be found in a 20 000 hectare portion of the park. The Kosi Bay lake system in the far north is truly unique and is made up of four lakes of varying size and salinity levels hosting a plethora of fish and bird life as well as resident populations of crocodiles and hippos. A highlight of any trip to the Kosi Bay area are the traditional fish traps which have been used for 700 years.

Why we like it

Incredible biodiversity; Combination of coast and bushveld; Turtle safaris; Crocodiles and hippos; Abundant fish and birdlife

Facts & Figures

Park / Reserve Size: 332 000 Ha
Reserve Type: National Park
Big 5: No
Specialist Specie: Hippo
Malaria Area: Yes
Nearest Town: Hluluwe

Accommodation in iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Bonamanzi Game Lodge, iSimangaliso

At Bonamanzi Game Reserve’s Lalapanzi Camp it’s quite common to find a herd of impala sleeping outside your cottages and skittish warthog families amble around the camps all day long. Lalapanzi consisting of our luxury chalets with satellite TV, WiFi, refrigerators, air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom, as well our 3 star combos, complete with satellite TV and air-conditioning, are ideal for…

Read More

Accomodation Type: Full Board, Self-catering, Camping
Budget: $150 - $300 p.p.p.d.

Falaza Game Park and Spa, Zululand

Privately owned Falaza Game Park and Spa offers Luxury Tented accommodation and an array of authentic bush experiences in a lush indigenous setting. A mere three hour scenic drive from Durban International Airport, just 100km from Richards Bay Airport, you can enjoy the true African experience and impeccable service offered by Falaza Game Park and Spa. Neighbouring the World Heritage…

Read More

Accomodation Type: Full Board
Budget: $150 - $300 p.p.p.d.

Thonga Beach Lodge

Hidden in the pristine dune forest of the Maputaland Coast, Thonga Beach Lodge can give the impression that one has been shipwrecked in paradise. The lodge, which is 68% community owned, is run by warm and attentive staff who are there to ensure that the guests’ stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. All 12 cabins are well positioned…

Read More

Accomodation Type: Full Board
Budget: $300 - $500 p.p.p.d.

Tours and Activities in iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Map Info

Lookout for

Black Rhino
White Rhino

Key Species


Buff-spotted Flufftail
Palm Nut Vulture
Emerald Cuckoo
Green Twinspot
Green Coucal

Nile crocodile
Loggerhead Turtle
Leatherback Turtle

Llala Palm
Fever Tree
Natal Mahogony

Coastal Forest
Sand Dunes
Coral Reef

Wildlife Ratings

Big 5: 6
Mammals: 8
Birds: 9
Reptiles: 8.5
Trees: 8