iSimangaliso – moving forward

iSimangaliso – moving forward

12 Feb 2019

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority is forging ahead with a revised and refined vision under the management of new Chief Executive Officer Sibusiso Bukhosini. Following an extensive process of consultation and mandate review involving stakeholders from every aspect of the Park’s operations, the Park’s new vision, mission and values were presented to media and community leaders at the end of 2018.

Vision

A renowned World Heritage Park where conservation, sustainable tourism and benefit sharing prevail.

Mission

iSimangaliso’s mission is to protect, preserve and present its World Heritage values for current and future generations whilst benefiting communities living in and adjacent to the Park by facilitating optimal tourism and related development.

Values

iSimangaliso subscribes to the Batho Pele Principles. In addition, below are our core values: Integrity; Honesty; Transparency; Accountability; Performance, and Professionalism.

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A four day field visit took invited guests on a whirlwind visit throughout the World Heritage Site to view first hand a number of visitor sites, conservation and tourism activities, and plans for future growth. The itinerary included attractions such as the new St Lucia Estuary mouth visitor area, Kwasheleni Tower on the Eastern Shores (top left), uMthoma Aerial Boardwalk on the Western Shores (top right), the new jetty at Charters Creek, and kuMalibala Hide and iNsumo Pan at uMkhuze.

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At Sodwana Bay, iSimangaliso CEO Sibusiso Bukhosini showed the area designated for a new parking site from where beach day visitors would be granted free access to the beach at this popular coastal resort. He also announced reduced gate tariffs for those driving into the Park to stay overnight or undertake activities like scuba diving.

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After spending a night in the Sodwana Bay section of the Park at Mseni Lodge, iSimangaliso’s guests joined scuba diving concession operator Adventure Mania on a snorkel discovery to get a taste of some of the 1200 fish species and corals found in these warm waters – a first for many of the participants and a highlight for all!

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In the northernmost section, Kosi Bay, the multiple informal sand roads etched across the undulating grasslands bear testament to the difficulties of reaching this most remote corner of the Park, particularly to kwaDapha and Bhanga Nek on the coast. A new, hardened gravel road is currently underway to improve the access for communities living there, and tourists wishing to visit the area which is particularly well known for community guided walking turtle tours in the summer months.

Says Bukhosini: “iSimangaliso is moving ahead and building on much good groundwork that has been put in place over the past two decades. This has ensured that we have a solid track record in conservation practices, and especially in our marine protection which sees us as one of only 49 Marine World Heritage Sites globally, with one of the world’s top ten diving sites pristinely preserved at Sodwana Bay.

“Highlights to date include the ongoing reintroduction of wildlife in the uMkhuze section; the successful release of two rehabilitated turtles into our protected ocean; the increased protection of rhino in our Park through the extension of our dehorning strategy and the successful completion of numerous infrastructure projects with work well underway for the next round of developments.

“I am very pleased to be heading up a fine team at iSimangaliso, with a united vision understood by all members of staff, which we are communicating to all of our stakeholders. We are up to the challenges and are ready to tackle the next phase with enthusiasm, commitment and drive to ensure that our vision is realised.”

Media enquiries should be directed to Sli Msweli at sli@isimangaliso.com.