2022-10 iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Overview, trip report, images, and reviews from our visit to iSimangaliso Wetland Park.


iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a huge protected area along the coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province. The park’s centerpiece is the vast Lake St. Lucia, home to large numbers of hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park Report

This trip was our first venture to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park but not our last.

We set out on our trip early Friday morning. We were concerned about the condition of the road, but we found it reasonably good and made good progress. The planned route allowed for sufficient stops, and all the amenities along the way were to our satisfaction.

Arriving in St Lucia, which was to act as our home base, we were pleasantly surprised with this small town. All logistic requirements or needs seem to be taken care of at first glance.

Check-in at Sandy Place went smoothly, and soon we were unpacked and settled. The unit was spacious and well-equipped. Not long after, our son and his girlfriend arrived. They were spending the weekend with us.

Our first outing on Saturday took us to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Eastern Shores. The staff at the gates were friendly and helpful, and entry to the park went without a hitch. The roads are in good condition and provide easy access to the various points of interest. We saw a lot of animals along the routes and were fascinated by the natural environment, typical of a wetland. There are numerous places where you are allowed to exit your vehicle. We found all the amenities to be in a good state and well-maintained.

Sunday and day 2 took us to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Western Shores. Entry at the gates again went very smoothly. Despite not being tarred, the roads are in good condition. Similar to the first day, we saw a lot of animals. We could not explore the whole area, as road maintenance was underway on some of the roads.

We spent Monday stocking up on supplies for the remainder of the week and some local sightseeing.

We explored the three St Lucia beaches and the surrounding area on Tuesday. The vast beaches are clean and remarkably free from pollution and litter. Poles with lifesaving buoys mark swimming areas. There were no lifeguards on duty. As mentioned before, the facilities were clean and well-kept.

Wednesday and Thursday had us traversing the Eastern Shores again, as there is so much to see and take in.

Way too soon, our first visit to this remarkable place was over, and we had to return home. Due to the vastness of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, we focused on St Lucia and the surrounding areas this time, but we will return in the future to see what else this gem provides.