On World Wetlands Day we Celebrate the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park
“iSimangaliso must be the only place on the globe where the oldest land mammal (the rhinoceros) and the world’s biggest terrestrial mammal (the elephant) share an ecosystem with the world’s oldest fish (the coelacanth) and the world’s biggest marine mammal (the whale)” – Nelson Mandela
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal was listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999 in recognition of its superlative natural beauty and unique assets. The 332 000 hectare park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year-old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25 000 year-old coastal dunes which are among the highest in the world. All in all, iSimangaliso is true to its name which means miracle and wonder.
A fabulous and family-friendly base for exploring this area, is Hluhluwe River Lodge, situated on the western boundary of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park with wide-angled views of False Bay and the Hluhluwe River floodplain. Twelve thatched chalets are separately located around the main lodge in an indigenous forest where antelopes like Red Duiker and Nyala can often be seen browsing. The lodge offers game drives to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park every morning and evening, and offers a variety of adventure activities including horse trails, mountain bike trails, a riverboat birding tour and self-guided walks. The coastal and marine reserves of Sodwana Bay, Cape Vidal and St Lucia are just an hour’s drive from the lodge. More about Hluhluwe River Lodge.
Another great place to stay is Makakatana Bay Lodge, situated within the proclaimed iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Five luxury rooms and a honeymoon suite with private boma are tucked away along timber walkways in a dense sand forest. Tasteful furnishings create a restful fusion of Afro-Eastern design. Safaris include game drives into the wetlands. Full-day trips include beach safaris to the coastline for swimming and snorkeling, or a day safari to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve to seek out the Big Five. A boat trip on Lake St Lucia is also a favourite activity, followed by a picnic lunch in the wetlands. Get 20% off your stay at Makakatana Bay Lodge until 31 March 2011.
Mail our Getaway Consultants for more info, or call them on 0860 102 907 (local) or +27 11 803 8669 (international)