Swamp forest visit - The iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa

Swamp forest visit - The iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park (Greater St Lucia Wetland Park) was chosen as the first UNESCO South African World Heritage Site in 1999 because of the following criteria:

• Biodiversity of five ecosystems
• Superlative natural phenomena
• Scenic beauty
• Flora and flora
• Ecological processes
• The largest black rhinoceros population in the world
• 220 kilometres of pristine coastline and beaches
• 25 000 year old coastal dunes which are the tallest forested dunes in the world
• The only major swamp forest left in the Southern Hemisphere
• 3 major lake systems (Kosi Bay; Lake St Lucia; Lake Sibaya)
• 4 RAMSAR wetlands
• A 45 000 year old peat wetland

And if that is not enough to convince you to fit this into your travel trip then perhaps the following attractions might make it even more worthwhile…

• Birds, birds & more birds (having the greatest avifauna diversity in AFRICA)
• 5 marine turtle species
• 2 species of whale which frequent the coast from August till December
• Highest number of frog species in southern Africa
• 36 snake species
• More than 2000 species of flowering plants
• 100 coral species
• Largest known living fossil species, the Coelacanths outside the Comores

...and if you are still not sold on the idea of fitting The iSimangaliso Wetland Park into your itinerary, then here’s what our dearest Mr. Mandela has to say about it:

Nelson Mandela remarked: ‘The Park must be the only place on the globe where the world’s 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).’

Written and contributed by Trailsafari

The photos are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.Based on a work at commons.wikimedia.org & Traveldudes.org.