Holidays to iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

The African continent is more famous for its semi-desert landscapes and rugged mountains than for its waterscapes, which makes the iSimangaliso Wetland Park even more special. Set in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province, this coastal park is an expansive protected space containing a tapestry of ecosystems that celebrate the best of Africa’s landscapes, waterscapes and wildlife.

On a boat cruise of the estuaries, you'll stumble across hippos wallowing in Lake St Lucia, long-legged herons resting in the quagmires and crocodiles peeking through the long grasses that fringe the largest estuarine system in the continent.

For an even more intimate experience of the waters, power yourself on a kayaking trip across the largest freshwater lake in South Africa: Lake Sibaya. The clear body of water is neatly framed by a ridge of forested dunes, separating it from the Indian Ocean. Look out for unusual birds - almost 280 different species have been recorded here - and watch for the colourful marine life that lives under the water.

From Maphelane on the south bank of the Mfolozi river, 220 kilometres of pristine coastline stretches upwards to the border of Mozambique. Here, the sparkling Indian Ocean laps at the shores of unspoilt beaches, offering picturesque beauty in a raw, natural environment. For a day that's near-guaranteed to be secluded and tranquil, go off-roading into the Maputaland Coastal Forest, where you can explore the golden dunes and pristine forest, or head offshore to dive or snorkel on some of the world's best coral reefs.

The beach isn't just for humans to enjoy, either. This coastline is the only remaining area in Africa where leatherback and loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. The egg-laying happens around November, while the hatchlings emerge between January and March, when visitors gather to watch them scuttle to the ocean. Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for breaching humpback whales that migrate along this coastline each year.

This network of unique ecosystems and abundant wildlife makes the iSimangaliso Wetland Park a fascinating addition to your South African adventures. From kayaking at the lakes and diving in the ocean, to exploring the coastal forest and spotting incredible wildlife, untouched nature is at the heart of this incredible African experience.


  • Kayak the crystal-clear waters of Lake Sibaya

  • Spot hippos and crocodiles on an estuary boat trip

  • Go off-roading in the Maputaland Coastal Forest

  • Watch turtle hatchlings scuttle for the ocean

  • See humpback whales breaching offshore

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A country that has it all, from beach, to wildlife, to a vibrant city and rolling vineyards to explore. Having a South African father, this country has always had a special place in my heart.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park Trip Ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include iSimangaliso Wetland Park. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Places to stay in ISimangaliso Wetlands Park

Here are some of our favourite accommodation options in iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. These have all been hand-picked by our Travel Designers. Need help deciding where to stay during your trip? Call our Travel Designers now and they’ll help you choose the best hotels suited to your needs: 020 3510 5777

Things to do in ISimangaliso Wetlands Park

Here are some of the things you can do in iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. When you've chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 020 3510 5777

Map of iSimangaliso Wetland Park

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