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 – among the highest in the world. Beaches stretch 220 kilometers from Maphelane in the south to Kosi Bay on the Mozambique border. The park encompasses the foothills of the Lubombo mountains, coastal forests, the St Lucia lake system and grasslands
on Lake St Lucia’s Eastern Shores. Off shore, there are spectacular coral reefs and colourful underwater life.
World Heritage Convention:
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognises and protects World Heritage Sites as places of exceptional cultural or environmental /natural value through the World Heritage Convention. South Africa
has been a signatory since 1997. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park, listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999, is the only World Heritage Site in the KZN Coastal Region.