A mosaic of ecosystems on safari at iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Swamps, lakes, coral reefs, beaches, woodlands, wetlands, coastal forest and grassland come together to form the 328,000ha iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This mosaic of ecosystems supports an incredibly diverse ecosystem containing prolific wildlife and vegetation. Its pristine coastline touches the Mozambican border in the north and brushes against Mapelane Nature Reserve to the south of St Lucia’s 60km-wide estuary.

The river is littered with basking crocodiles and bobbing hippos. Flocks of pelicans and flamingos paint the area pink and white while fly-fisherman attempt to catch the giant trevally and sea pike. Along the coast, Sodwana Bay’s bountiful reefs, with over 1,200 species of fish, are waiting to be explored. The forested sand dunes offer a panoramic view of the lakes and sea—a perfect vantage point from which to observe whales and dolphins frolicking in the waves. 

Large game such as elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard favour the wetland areas of the park and guests can expect to traipse through the park to be closer to game and to discover wildlife otherwise missed: 35 frog species, 500 bird species, and over 100 species of butterfly. The landscape is dotted with over 2,000 species of flowering plants and indigenous trees.



  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a mosaic of ecosystems and therefore supports an incredible diversity of wildlife and vegetation
  • The various lakes and coastline found in the park are perfect for fishing, boating, game-viewing, and swimming
  • The coral reefs are well worth exploring with over 1,200 species of colourful fish
  • Wildlife includes elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard, giraffe, tsessebe, and smaller creatures such as 35 frog species, 500 bird species, and 100 butterfly species
  • Best time to go:
  • Best
  • Mixed

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