iSimangaliso Wetland Tours
iSimangaliso Wetland Park or St. Lucia as many of the residents affectionately refer to this ecological Paradise was declared as South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site. The declaration was by UNESCO protocol and the Official ceremony took place on December 1, 1999.
The large size of iSimangaliso Wetland Park includes five major ecosystems. This 328 000 ha (3,280 km2) Natural World Heritage Site stretches for 280 km along the northern part of South Africa's East Coast. The Park plays a vital role in survival of migratory animals and is home to an incredible variety and populations of birds, mammals, plants, insects, fish, reptiles and scenic beauty.
Historically the birthplace of the famous Huberta (the hippo that travelled from St. Lucia to King William's Town) and base for missionaries and Second World War Catalina Flying Boats - even an ancient burial lake of a local tribe - there is much more here than meets the eye!
Thousands of birders annually visit St. Lucia, attracted by a record 526 species of birds. For the serious birders it is possible to go to sea to spot one of the many Albatrosses or for the novice birders take gentle river cruise, which will deliver pleasing results. But the most popular option for birders is a World Heritage Tour, which visits the five ecosystems.