KwaZulu Natal’s World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, has been named one of the top 38 trips in the world by the UK’s leading independent travel magazine, Wanderlust.
“There might be better-known national parks in South Africa, but few can rival iSimangaliso Wetland Park for sheer diversity,” said Wanderlust.
It was an honour for KwaZulu Natal, said Acting CEO of Tourism KZN, Phindile Makwakwa. “Opportunely, the endorsement of iSimangaliso as a must-visit world destination coincides with Tourism Month this September, which has the theme ‘Tourism and Rural Development’. The wetland park stands out as a textbook example of how tourism can be a catalyst for economic empowerment and employment creation in rural areas.”
The park is home to diverse ecosystems and supports an abundance of animal, bird and marine life.
Lying on the north-eastern coast of KZN, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park was the first site in South Africa to be inscribed on the World Heritage list by Unesco. It incorporates Lake St Lucia, part of the largest estuarine system in Africa, as well as the St Lucia and Maputaland Marine reserves, the Coastal Forest Reserve and the Kosi Bay Natural Reserve.
A little-known fact is that the park hosts more species of animal than the larger and better-known Kruger National Park and Okavango Delta. It is also home to South Africa’s largest population of hippos and crocodiles.