iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

iSimangaliso national wetlands park is a stunning part of the South African coast.  It stretches from the small town of St. Lucia in the south, to Sodwana Bay in the north.  The estuary system that once brought a handful of rivers to the ocean is now a freshwater lake.  The water levels have dropped and the ocean outlet has been blocked for more than ten years.  The fresh water, however, makes the lake a prime spot for hippo, crocodile, and hundreds of smaller species.  Between the lake and the dunes are miles of forest and plain for other game to wander.  On the ocean side of the dunes, pods of whales swim by on their annual migration.  The pictures below do not do my recent trip justice.  Sadly, I forgot to pack my large zoom lens and did not get most of the best shots. Still, I highly recommend it as one of the lesser known gems among the South African national parks.

Sightings included: whale, leopard, rhino, buffalo, kudu, water buck, bush buck, zebra, wildebeest, duiker, Nile monitor lizard, hippo, crocodile, fish eagle, vervet monkey, samango monkey, mongoose, genet, and best of all: a honey badger that came to ransack the trash cans at 2am.

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