Useful information on planning a trip to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is situated in the northern region of KwaZulu-Natal, with the nearest international airport being King Shaka (Durban) and the closest regional airport at Richards Bay. Tour operators offer transfers and package tours from either of these hubs, which also have several car hire companies.
For those driving themselves, the Park’s gates are accessible from two major tarred roads – the N2 and the R22.
Travelling from the south, take the N2 north, travelling north of the Mtunzini toll plaza. The southernmost Park entrance is Maphelane, accessible from the Kwambonambi junction.
To visit the Eastern Shores and Western Shores sections (and the town of St Lucia), turn off the N2 at Mtubatuba.
The R22 branches off the N2 at Hluhluwe, with directions showing the way to the False Bay gate. Further north along the R22, the D820 on the left leads to uMkhuze’s Ophansi Gate. To reach Sodwana Bay, Lake Sibaya and the Coastal Forest sections, the turnoff from the R22 is at Mbazwana.
The northernmost section of the Park, Kosi Bay, is accessed via the town of Manguzi/KwaNgwanase.
Visitors from the north follow the N2 southwards, with the western entrance to uMkhuze’s eMshophi Gate signposted via the town of Mkuze. As an alternative to driving via Hluhluwe town, visitors may prefer to transit the uMkhuze section (time restrictions apply) in order to access the coastal sections.
Maps of various sections of the Park can be downloaded here.
Drive routes and itineraries
Each section has its own attractions with the Eastern Shores, Western Shores and uMkhuze offering a variety of sedan-friendly game viewing loops ideal for self-drives or guided trips. Download and print the visitor map to plan your trip. Maximum speed limits are 50km/h on tar roads and 40km/h on gravel, with an average of 20km/h when game viewing.
1 April – 31 October: 06h00–18h00
1 November – 31 March: 05h00–19h00
Please note that gate opening and closing times are strictly enforced.