St Lucia - Wetland Park

St Lucia Estuary is a subtropical little town at the Elephant Coast in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. Situated on a peninsula between Indian Ocean and the estuary of iSimangaliso Wetland Park. St Lucia is known for several reasons: as The Gateway for visiting real nature all around (safari parks, marine world), its lush vegetation including roaming hippos looking for grass at night, birdlife, small animals and its stunning views. Although St Lucia is a small town, there is all year round a bustling main road that has plenty restaurants and retail options on offer.

ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK

iSimangaliso Wetland Park as first UNESCO World Heritage Site in South Africa started in 2000 has recently been completed and is the best managed park in the country. It’s unique in the world because of the specific combination of (partly) a Big 5 game reserve and the marine environment of the Indian Ocean.

The 332,000 hectare Park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species, and 25,000 year-old coastal dunes – among the highest in the world and stretches between St Lucia till the Mozambique border.

The name iSimangaliso means ‘miracle and wonder’, which aptly describes this unique place. Last year the connection of the uMfolozi River and the St Lucia
estuary has been restored by removal of 1,3 million m3 of silt and has created a small lake just behind the beach and in front of the St Lucia Skiboat Club. This river is responsible for 60% of the supply of fresh water and is now secured.

ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK

iSimangaliso Wetland Park as first UNESCO World Heritage Site in South Africa started in 2000 has recently been completed and is the best managed park in the country. It’s unique in the world because of the specific combination of (partly) a Big 5 game reserve and the marine environment of the Indian Ocean.

The 332,000 hectare Park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species, and 25,000 year-old coastal dunes – among the highest in the world and stretches between St Lucia till the Mozambique border.

The name iSimangaliso means ‘miracle and wonder’, which aptly describes this unique place. Last year the connection of the uMfolozi River and the St Lucia
estuary has been restored by removal of 1,3 million m3 of silt and has created a small lake just behind the beach and in front of the St Lucia Skiboat Club. This river is responsible for 60% of the supply of fresh water and is now secured.

iSimangaliso Facts

  • Lake St Lucia is Africa's largest estuary
  • Largest number of hippos and crocodiles in SA
  • Last significant breeding ground for the giant leatherback and loggerhead turtles
  • 8 interlinking ecosystems
  • 3 major lake systems
  • 350 km of water surface
  • 220 km of coastline and beaches
  • 190 km of marine reserve
  • 100 species of coral
  • 1.200 species of fish
  • 25.000 years old coastal dunes
  • 700 years of traditional fish traps
  • 36 snake species
  • 80 dragonfly species
  • 110 butterfly species
  • 1.200 species of fish
  • 526 bird species