Formerly known as the St. Lucia Wetlands, this nature reserve was recently changed to the Zulu name for “miracle”, isimangaliso. Located at the upper eastern border of South Africa and Mozambique/Swaziland, this incredibly diverse conservation area is home to everything from marshes and large coral reefs to coastal forests and savannahs. The animal population is also wonderfully rich and diverse, with creatures like hippopotamuses, Nile crocodiles, African elephants, rhinos, and whale sharks.
The conservation area is quite large and there is no covering it all, so we put together a few key spots for you to put on your to-do list. Mabibi is an isolated camp very near South Africa's largest freshwater lake, Sibaya; its seclusion is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles and there isn't great signage, although the diving and turtle and bird-watching more than make up for the potential difficulties coming and going.
Rocktail Bay is another isolated area that is known for its marine biodiversity and essential scuba diving experiences.
Finally, Cape Vidal is a premiere destination for sport fishing and snorkeling and encompasses a majestic coastline that becomes almost commonplace as you explore this preserved area. Since we're just scratching the surface, check out the official park website to help you round out your itinerary.
Location:KwaZulu-Natal, upper northeast South Africa