The United Kingdom’s leading independent travel magazine, Wanderlust, has ranked iSimangaliso as a must-see destination amongst the world’s top 38 best travel destinations in its September issue. Wanderlust delivers inspiration and advice to travellers seeking unique and enriching travel experiences.
iSimangaliso boasts a unique wealth of biodiversity. The name ‘iSimangaliso’ is an IsiZulu word meaning ‘place of miracles and wonders’ and the park lives up to that accolade, and more. iSimangaliso is home to more species of animal than better-known, and much larger parks in Africa. It is home to South Africa’s largest population of hippos and crocodiles. It also harbours five of the world’s seven turtle species, including the Giant Leatherback, black rhino, leopard, and a vast array of bird and marine life.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park comprises terrestrial wetlands, grasslands, forests, savannah and mountains, and the diversity of flora and fauna is astonishing. A wide range of big and small game is spread throughout the southern and central regions of the Park, featuring the “Big 7” – which includes the whale and shark. Rare, endangered or uncommon species include: wild dog, serval, bushbuck, Samango monkey, black and white rhino, cheetah and oribi.
The impressive list of species continues to grow as researchers uncover more new species.
Things to do
Visitors to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park world heritage site are spoilt for choice in this miraculous natural playground.
“iSimangaliso’s eight inter-linking ecosystems, warm clear oceans bursting with a myriad underwater species on our coral reefs, ‘Big 7’ terrestrial and marine fauna (including sharks, whales, coelacanths and nesting leatherback and loggerhead turtles), 526 species of birds and more, makes iSimangaliso one of the rarest and most treasured places on earth,” says iSimangaliso Wetland Park CEO Mr Sibusiso Bukhosini. The ecological diversity means there is a huge variety of activities on offer.
Other experiences for which iSimangaliso is known internationally are turtle tours (November to March) and boat-based whale watching (June to November), both of which offer a spectacular and spiritual experience.
iSimangaliso represents different things to many people. For some it’s an adrenaline rush. For others, a soul escape. For everyone, it is just a miracle of nature. Accommodation options are extensive, ranging from camping, self-catering chalets to private game lodges, and including upmarket hotels.
Choosing iSimangaliso, Wanderlust Magazine said, “There might be better-known national parks in South Africa, but few can rival iSimangaliso Wetland Park for sheer diversity.” We couldn’t agree more!
Come and explore the wonders and miracles of South Africa’s first World Heritage Site and experience a true escape and pure sense of place. You owe it to yourself!