Within a couple of hours drive to the north of Durban and all the way up to the Mozambique border lie the stunning long white beaches of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
This 332 000 hectare Park was listed at South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in 1999, and is home to three major lake systems including St. Lucia, not to be confused with the Caribbean island, eight interlinking ecosystems, 562 bird species and the 25 000 year-old vegetated highest vegetated coastal dunes in the world.
There are a number of great activities to do on and off the beach along this stretch of South Africa. Off the beach and in the ocean you have a great chance of swimming with wild dolphins and whale sharks, as well as scuba diving off the Sodwana Bay beach, considered to be one of the top dive spots in the world.
Off the beach but not in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean, there are a number of estuary boat cruises where you can see great numbers of hippo as well as a plethora of water bird species. Back on terra firma in the stunning tropical like dune forests there is a great chance of seeing some incredibly rare birds.
On the beach, between November and February Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles return to the beaches of their birth to lay their eggs, this is an incredible thing to witness.
To get the best out of this area we recommend staying at either Thonga Beach Lodge or Rocktail Bay. This area is also easy to combine with safari at Phinda Private Game Reserve.