iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site

The iSimangaliso wetland park has it all, from gorgeous beaches, amazing wetlands to the magnificent Big 5, experience this wonderful world heritage site while staying in luxury at Makakatana Bay Lodge.  This September Road Travel can offer 20% discount on a 3 night package.  This brilliant offer is subject to availability, so contact us without delay to arrange your special trip in KwaZulu Natal.


The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a very special slice of Africa and offers some of the most diverse wildlife and outdoor experiences imaginable.  It stretches along the Zululand coast from Mapelane in the south to Kosi Bay in the north.  The name has recently been changed from Greater St Lucia Wetland Park to iSimangaliso Wetland Park, to reflect the many areas that make up its 220 000 hectares, such as Kosi Bay, Lake Sibaya, Sodwana Bay, Mkhuze Game Reserve, False Bay, Fanies Island, Charters Creek, Lake St Lucia, Cape Vidal and Kosi Bay and Maphelane.  Besides Lake St Lucia – a unique, 38 000 ha expanse of lake, islands and estuary, the park incorporates an astonishing variety of habitats ranging from the Ubombo mountains to grasslands, forests, wetlands, mangroves and vegetated dunes, with magnificent beaches and coral reefs.  The park is internationally recognized and a World Heritage Site.  The Park is due to be integrated into a transfrontier park, the Ponta do Ouro-Kosi Bay Transfrontier Conservation Area, straddling South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland. This is in turn planned to become a part of the greater Greater Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area.  The mosaic of landforms and habitat types creates breathtaking scenic vistas. The site contains critical habitats for a range of species from Africa’s marine, wetland and savannah environments.  The park is not inhabited by people apart from six small townships in the Kosi Bay Coastal Forest Reserve.  There are also two villages (Makakatana and St Lucia Estuary) which are enclaves within the Park but not part of it.  About 100,000 people from 48 tribal groups live in villages surrounding the Park and community conservation programs are key to minimizing conflicts and maximizing benefits.  A progressive neighbor-relations policy fosters good relations with communities who live near the Park to ensure that they derive direct benefits from the protected area such as free access, business and employment.


Makakatana Bay Lodge is an intimate contemporary hideaway and the only privately owned Lodge set on the banks of Lake St Lucia, within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.  The pristine Indian Ocean beaches, combined with the St Lucia Estuary stretching inland for 65 km, provide an undeniable attraction to lovers of wildlife.  The Lodge is positioned in the forest on the edge of the lake, and accommodates only 12 people, enhancing the intimacy, privacy and personal service.


The park supports 367 bird species, five different eco-systems and turtle nesting grounds in the marine reserves.  Wildlife in the wetlands include zebra, rhino, elephant, giraffe, leopard, buffalo and antelope complementing the abundant hippo and crocodile.  The 3 night package rate includes safaris into the wetlands by vehicle or boat, trips to the coastal beaches and safaris to the world-famous Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, seeking out the Big Five.