iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu Natal
Now known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, St Lucia Wetland Park lies on the north eastern edge of KwaZulu-Natal. The incredibly beautiful series of beaches, coral reefs, lakes, swamps, wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests and grasslands that stretch all the way from Kosi Bay, virtually on the Mozambican border, to Cape St Lucia in the south collectively form the first of eight South African UNESCO World Heritage sites.
There is a wealth of diversity of bird and animal life that ranges from whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and incredible waterfowl - such as storks, pelicans, terns and herons; well over 500 South Africa bird species including the Madagascar fish eagle, the Nile crocodile, South Africas largest hippo population, elephant, black and white rhino, giraffe, buffalo and a range of antelope that includes waterbuck, impala and kudu.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park includes Lake St Lucia, the St Lucia and Maputaland Marine Reserves, the Coastal Forest Reserve, the Kosi Bay Natural Reserve and Mkuze Game Reserve no fewer than 328 000 hectares of pristine natural ecosystems, and the countrys third largest protected land mass.
A considerable part of the park centres on the huge estuary, Lake St Lucia part of the largest estuarine system in Africa - that runs parallel to the coast line with the worlds highest forested sand dunes sandwiched between the estuary and the sea. The park is one of South Africas most popular destinations, and, aside from the numerous hiking trails, offers fishing, rock and surf fishing, estuary fishing and deep sea fishing, as well as diving, horse riding, game viewing and whale and bird watching.
For additional information please see iSimangaliso Wetland Park, WHS.