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

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…

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

Lalapanzi Camp

At Bonamanzi Game Reserve’s Lalapanzi Camp, it is quite common to find a herd of impala sleeping outside your cottage, or a family of warthogs ambling around the camp. Lalapanzi's luxury chalets are air-conditioned, and each feature an en-suite bathroom, satellite TV, refrigerator, and WiFi access. The 3-star combos, complete with satellite TV and air-conditioning, are ideal for families. The…

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

Makakatana Bay Lodge

Lying in a small natural dune forest dotted with attractive Fever trees, Makakatana is the only private game lodge found on the banks of the famous Lake St Lucia – offering amazing panoramic views of the massive estuary and the surrounding bush. The six luxury suites all have an Eastern and African theme and are positioned on raised platforms linked…

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

Tours and Activities in iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Aspect X: Aspect BBB: Beach, Bush, Battlefields

Kwa-Zulu Natal is a tropical province of South Africa spread along its eastern coastline. It provides a contrasting array of safari options. The area has something for everyone, from classic big game safari areas to scintillating underwater scenery around the coral reefs of the warm Indian Ocean, The area has a rich in Zulu cultural heritage, and is famous for…

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Duration: 10 nights, 11 days
Budget: More than $500 p.p.p.d.

Zululand & Elephant Coast Safari Tour

This safari tour journeys through South Africa's KwaZulu Natal region, through the wilder parts of the province. Each destination is located a short distance from each other, which means that driving time is reduced. On the tour guests will visit various wilderness regions, coastal stretches and cultural hotspots, each offering unique experiences and promising an expedition not to be forgotten.…

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Duration: 11 Days
Budget: $150 - $300 p.p.p.d.
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
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