The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Isimangaliso Wetland Park

Afrikaans name: iSimangaliso-vleilandpark

Isimangaliso Wetland Park road

Isimangaliso Wetland Park

Photo © Adobe Stock

KwaZulu-Natal

The north-eastern region of KwaZulu-Natal is known for its excellent game parks, but it has another rather special place. This place has been designated as a World Heritage Site and it is called iSimangaliso Wetland Park. iSimangaliso is a Zulu word which can mean either something wondrous or a miracle. This magnificent natural area is over 3,000 square kilometres in extent. It was formerly known as the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park which was renamed on 1 November 2007.

There are a number of resorts and reserves that are included in iSimangaliso. Some of these are:

  • Kosi Bay
  • False Bay
  • Lake St. Lucia
  • Lake Sibhayi
  • Sodwana Bay National Park
  • Mapelane Nature Reserve
  • Mkuze Game Reserve
  • Cape Vidal

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is an important area as it protects some unique ecosystems and there is a rich biodiversity. A number of coral reefs lie in the Park as well as habitats such as dune forests, wetlands and savanna. The Big 5 are all present after Lions were re-introduced in December 2013. Around 800 Hippos and 1,200 Nile Crocodiles have been recorded. It is also a great place to go birding with Cape Vidal being one of the best spots.

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References and further reading

Wild Issue 1 - Author: - Published: 2007 - Page: 18

Where to Watch Birds in Southern Africa - Author: A. Berruti and J.C. Sinclair - Published: 1983 - Page: 182

The Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa - Author: P. Briggs - Published: 2020 - Page: 153

Stuarts Field Guide to National Parks & Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd ed - Author: Chris & Mathilde Stuart - Published: 2018 - Page: 95

Southern African Birdfinder - Author: Cohen, Spottiswoode and Rossouw - Published: 2006 - Page: 136

On Route - Explore South Africa region by region - 3rd edition - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 2014 - Page: 265

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 193

go! Drive & Camp No 39 - Author: - Published: 2020 - Page: 28

go! - Issue 103 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 106

Getaway - Vol 27 No 09 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 77

Getaway - Vol 29 No 10 - Author: - Published: 2018 - Page: 73

Country Life - Issue 260 - Author: - Published: 2018 - Page: 72

Country Life - Issue 250 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 64

Country Life - Issue 257 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 57

Country Life - Issue 224 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 91

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 660 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 14

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 667 (Nov 2017) - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 26

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 651 - Author: - Published: 2016 - Page: 16

Atlas of National Parks and Reserves of South Africa - Author: Marielle Renssen - Published: 2006 - Page: 70


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