The Isimangaliso Wetland Park is the third largest nature reserve as well as the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. It is located on the east coast of South Africa in the KwaZulu Natal province and is spread over a vast area of approximately 3280 square km. The park is one of the most popular destinations for eco-tourists. The place is full of wonders, like the largest estuarine system and the second largest vegetated sand dunes.
About Isimangaliso Wetland Park
After being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the presence of Nelson Mandela in 1999, the park was renamed from Greater Saint Lucia to Isimangaliso Wetland Park, meaning ‘miracle and wonder’ in the native Zulu language. Some of the most notable species of animals include 1800 crocodiles, over 800 hippos, African bush elephants, African leopards, southern rhinoceros, etc.
Best time to visit Isimangaliso Wetland Park
The best time to visit the park is during the dry and mild winter season which is from May to September. This season is a peak season and you will find flocks of migratory birds stopping at this park as a mid way to their actual destination. In this season it becomes a wonderful place for bird lovers.
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How to reach Isimangaliso Wetland Park
You can drive north on the N2 highway and follow it for at least 250 km to reach the front entrance of Durban. You can enter the park from Hluhluwe town, the nearest entrance to the park is located just 50 km from Hluhluwe town. The most convenient entrance is through the city of St. Lucia, since the park is technically located in St. Lucia, so the city itself seems to be one of the entrances to the park.
Lives in and near Isimangaliso Wetland Park
This park is so vast that it takes several days if you want to reach its remote areas and see the most pristine and untouched parts of this park. Take a stay and enjoy exploring the entire park. Some of the best places to stay in and around the park include Rock Shandy Stone Cottages, Kosi Forest Lodge, Aristo Manor, Pakamisa Private Game Reserve.
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Things to do in Isimangaliso Wetland Park
There are many interesting adventure activities that one can pursue in Isimangaliso Wetland Park, but it is important to identify the best of them:
1. Lake St. Lucia: Gap at the Beauty
Home to 800 hippos and hundreds of Nile crocodiles, St. Lucia’s Lake Isimangaliso Wetland Park is the epitome of beauty. We advise you to be careful around the lake as the rocks around the lake are covered with lichen and are, therefore, extremely slippery. You are strictly prohibited from bathing or urinating in the lake.
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2. Sodwana: Go snorkeling
Located in the northern part of the Isimangaliso Western Park, Sodwana is one of the best destinations in the entire world. South Africa To snorkel and dive and see vibrant coral and see life with your own eyes. Be sure to take precautionary measures before diving into the water. Also, if you are a first-time snorkeler, we would recommend you hire an instructor. Remember to breathe underwater, and you’ll be fine.
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3. Western Reserve: Go on Safari
The west coast reserve of the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park is home to 4 major species, i.e. buffalo, rhinoceros, elephant and leopard. See these amazing creatures live on a jeep safari through the Western Shore Reserve. Make sure not to point the camera at the animals’ faces, they may assume you are trying to attack them and may get hurt in return.
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4. East Coast: Observe Wildlife
Like the West Coast, it is home to the African Big 3. You can find rhinoceros, buffalo and leopards in this area. Eco-tourists will enjoy seeing the variety of wildlife available at the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. As one of the largest sanctuaries in South Africa, it is home to more animals than you can count on your fingers.
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Isimangaliso Wetland Park is a must-visit place for those who have even the slightest interest in nature and wildlife. Book your ticket to South Africa and go there now. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.
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