Where is Isimangaliso Wetland Park, how can we travel to this park, what do we need to pack while traveling to Isimangaliso Wetland Park, and what can we do there?
These are some of the most common questions everyone asks whenever they learn about this mesmerizing park in South Africa, and we are here to spill the beans!
Where is Isimangaliso Wetland Park Located?
Situated on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, Isimangaliso Wetland Park is one of the marvels of South Africa, and it only adds something significant to the plethora of parks of South Africa.
It is known as the third biggest protected area of South Africa that spans over 28km of the coastline, starting from the Mozambican border to Lake St. Lucia estuary’s south.
Click on the picture below to see where this park is located on Google maps.
So, if this huge park has been on your bucket list, but you didn’t have enough information for traveling, this guide entails everything you must know!
Isimangaliso Wetland Park – What Is It?
Acknowledged as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, Isimangaliso Wetland Park was renamed from the Greater St. Lucia, which now means miracles and wonder.
It’s known to be a place for African bush elephants, more than 800 hippopotami, southern rhinos, and African leopards.
The Right Time To Visit Isimangaliso Wetland Park
The majority of people think that the best time to visit this park is during the mild and dry winter season, which ranges from May to September.
However, this is also the peak season, but it’s a perfect time when you want to check out the migratory birds because they make a pit spot here while flying to the final destination.
In simpler words, this time is perfect if you are fond of birds. However, we are sharing what it means to visit this park in different seasons;
Starting from November to March, the weather will be wet, humid, and hot. This means that the skies will show some mood swings, so it’s best that you pack a raincoat.
The temperature will be around 30-degrees Celsius, and it’s a perfect time for seeing turtles nest around.
If you don’t like the rains associated with summer, you should go between April and May because these are sunny and warmer days.
However, this time, there are school holidays, which means there will be crowds and high accommodation rates.
The whale migration starts in June, and you can start by staying at St. Lucia to enjoy the daily tours of whales and their little ones.
The nights are cold, and the days are warm, so it’s best to pack a jacket if you like taking night-time strolls. However, no timing could be better than this for safari.
Ranging from September to October, the rains will start picking up, but you might be able to spot a few whales.
During this time, the weather will be warm, but there will be winds, so don’t wear flowing dresses.
Reaching Isimangaliso Wetland Park.
Since this park is located in KwaZulu-Natal, you will be able to reach the park gates from different routes, including R22 or N2.
As far as transportation is concerned, you can consider the following points;
- First of all, you could get tickets to King Shaka International Airport in Durban, which is the closest to this park.
Once you land at the airport, there will be a two hour and 20-minute drive on the N2 route.
- If you want to travel from somewhere else, you can fly to Richards Bay Airport, which is a regional airport.
From this airport, there will be over one hour of drive to St. Lucia, and you will reach the southern entrance gates.
- While these two airports are perfect for flying to the park, you will need to rent a car for the road trip to the park’s gates.
The Entrance Gates:
There are various entrance gates to the Isimangaliso Wetland Park (it seems like the administration really wants everyone to enjoy the perks of this huge park).
- To begin with, you can opt for the Dukuduku gate for enjoying the western shores and exit to N2 through Nholzi.
- On the other hand, you can access the eastern shores from the Bhangazi Gate.
- To top it all off, you could follow the R22 route to enjoy Lake Sibaya and Sodwana Bay. Even more, if you want to see Kosi Bay, you can drive through Manguzi town.
Accommodation Around Isimangaliso Wetland Park.
With the huge area of the park, it takes various days to enjoy every corner of it and enjoy the untouched and pristine parts of the park.
For this reason, you must get yourself accommodation to have a comfortable staying experience.
Some of the reliable places include Rock Shandy Stone Cottage, Pakamisa Private Game reserve, Kosi Forest Lodge, and Aristo Manor.
Things To Do When In Isimangaliso Wetland Park
First, here’s a fantastic video from a tour guide who explains everything there is to do and see in this fantastic park:
Lake St. Lucia.
If you want to devour the beauty of nature, it’s a must to visit Lake St. Lucia. This place is home to hundreds of Nile crocodiles and hippopotami.
However, you need to be careful around the rocks because they are covered in lichen, which makes them slippery.
If you love taking dips in the water and want to enjoy snorkeling, you can go to Sodwana.
It’s located in the northern section of the park, and it’s a perfect option for diving in water and snorkeling.
It is the place to watch vibrant coral but don’t forget to hire a trainer and breathe while you are pedaling legs underwater.
For everyone who wants to enjoy the wildlife and go on a safari, you can opt for the western reserves. On the safari, you can check out leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos.
While you are there, don’t forget to keep a distance from the animals and don’t shove a camera into animals’ faces. So, just sit back in your jeep and enjoy.
My Final Conclusion.
To summarize, Isimangaliso Wetland Park is the must-visit destination for everyone who wants to enjoy the wildlife and nature while taking a dip in the water.
So, which of these activities are you planning while booking a flight?
If you have more questions, please leave a comment below in the comment section or join me on my social media pages or Facebook group.
I wish you happy travels!