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The iSimangaliso Wetland Park boats the highest bird count in all of Africa, the southern-most breeding spots for turtles in Africa, Africa's tallest forested dunes, the largest remaining stands of sand forest, the biggest peat beds in the Southern Hemisphere and vast wetlands...


All of this runs between the enormous St Lucia lake/estuarine system and alongside 220 kilometres of pristine beaches and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where turtles nest, whales often pass on their way to breed just a little further north in Mozambique and dolphins play in the surf.

In December 1999 UNESCO, the World Heritage Committee of the Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage chose the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (GREATER ST LUCIA WETLAND PARK) as the first South African UNESCO World Heritage Site.


This status confirms that St Lucia is a place of unique splendour that deserves to rank alongside great icons of the globe.

The Park covers a mosaic of landforms that have created a vast array of biomes to support a very wide variety of animals, plants and birds.

Covering over 600,000 acres, from St Lucia in the South to the Mozambiquan border in the North, the diversity of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is spectacular.

The Park features:

  • Biodiversity of 5 ecosystems

  • Superlative natural phenomena

  • Scenic beauty

  • Flora and Fauna

  • Ecological processes


Other outstanding features:

  • The largest black rhino population in the world

  • 220km of pristine coastline and beaches

  • 25,000-year-old coastal dunes which are the tallest forested dunes in Africa

  • The only major swamp forest left in the Southern Hemisphere 

  • 3 major lake systems (Lake St Lucia; Kosi Bay; Lake Sibaya) 

  • 4 RAMSAR wetlands

  • A 45,000-year-old peat wetland

These are just some of the features of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park which make this World Heritage Site so unique...

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