'Miracle' in isiZulu, this wetland is home to abundant sea and animal life
iSimangaliso Wetland Park covers approximately 332.000 ha, including its marine reserves, making the park the third largest protected area in South Africa. In 1999, the park was officially designated as a natural UNESCO World Heritage site, the very first in the country. With a wide range of pristine marine, coastal, wetland, estuarine, and terrestrial environments, iSimangaliso Wetland Park is home to a diverse range of species, with over 6.500 plant and animal species, including over 500 bird species found across the 5 interlinked ecosystems within the protected area. From scuba diving in Sodwana Bay to whale watching in St. Lucia or birding at Lake Sibaya, iSimangaliso Wetland Park offers travellers a one-of-a-kind experience right by the Indian Ocean.
Go bird watching and get the perfect shot of flamingos at the waterhole.
See how many members of the Big 5 you can spot in a self-drive expedition through the park.
Travel over the sandy beaches of St Lucia with an exciting horseback excursion.
Scuba dive or snorkel Sodwana Bay and discover the beautiful coral reefs and exciting marine life.
Explore False Bay on foot with the self-guided Dukandlovu or Mphophomeni walking trails.
Experience the best of beach and bush with a guided game drive in Cape Vidal.
Find it on the map
Best time to go to iSimangaliso Wetland Park
With the dry season occurring from May to August, the weather is mild, with warm days and cool nights. Afternoon temperatures hover around 20°C and nights cool to 15°C. This is the best time of year for wildlife viewing. Animals tend to gather around waterholes in these drier months and they are easier to spot compared to the hot and humid summer months of November to March. During this wet season, midday temperatures can often exceed 30°C.
Featured iSimangaliso Wetland Park stays
Hluhluwe Bush Camp
Off-grid glamping tents overlooking iSimangaliso Wetland Park’s False Bay