The iSimangaliso Wetland Park was listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999 in recognition of its superlative natural beauty and unique global values.
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. The name iSimangaliso means miracle and wonder, which aptly describes this unique place.
Come and experience the diverse experiences in the 10 Jewels that make up the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Enjoy the endless beaches that stretch 220 kilometers from Maphelane in the south to Kosi Bay on the Mozambique border, view game on self-guided or guided trails and routes on the foothills of the Lubombo mountains in uMkhuze or in the coastal forests and rolling grasslands of Lake St Lucia’s Eastern Shores. See the spectacular coral reefs and colourful underwater life whilst diving or snorkelling or embark on adventures ranging from kayak trips to horse rides and moutain biking.
CYCLING IN ISIMANGALISO
You can enjoy mountain bike riding in the park year round in the game section of the Eastern Shores just north of St Lucia village (where you ride through plentiful plains game but no dangerous game), and Lake St Lucia Estuary area and in False Bay, where the tracks run along the edge of the lake and through dense forest. These rides are suitable for the novice to intermediate rider and vary from 15 to 25 kms on sand tracks, forest singletrack, gravel roads with sections of connecting tar as well as some wooden boardwalk sections near the estuary.
Look out for zebra, waterbuck, blue wildebeest, shy duiker, mongoose and other small game and birds. Please note, even though you may be outside the ‘Dangerous Game’ section, both hippos and crocs frequent the estuary, so always be aware. Due to the introduction of elephants to the western shores of Lake St Lucia the public can no longer ride mountain bikes on the trails around Charter’s Creek or Fani’s Island
iSimangaliso MTB Adventure Tour (Limited Edition)- 6-9 September 2018
Ride through the iSimangaliso World Heritage Site, traversing eight interlinking ecosystems – seeing elephants one day and whales the next. This Limited Edition, 3 day “safari in the saddle” is open to only 100 riders, who will be led by riders who have extensive bush knowledge, allowing participants to truly appreciate the conservation values, ecosystems and biodiversity of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This unique 3-day-stage, 210 km event, starts in the uMkhuze section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and ends in the seaside resort of Lake St Lucia Estuary. Riders get to experience the values and Big Five wildlife iSimangaliso Wetland Park has to offer, far off the normal tourist routes. All the riding is on real trails made by rural life in Africa and mother nature. Find out more on our dedicated event website.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has a wide range of accommodation options to suit the budget and requirements of all its visitors – from stunning camping to self catering cabins and tented camps and fully catered luxury lodges.