The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site on 1 December 1999. It is considered South Africa's third largest park and extends from Mapelane (Cape St. Lucia) in the South to Kozi Bay in the North. The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park thus incorporates the entire Lake St Lucia, the St Lucia and Maputaland Marine Reserves, the Coastal Forest Reserve, and Kosi Bay Nature Reserve. The park has 280km of near pristine coastline and comprises of 328 000 ha of exquisite scenery and encompasses a vast mosaic of habitats ranging from marine systems such as coral reefs and beaches, and coastal forests; from salt and fresh water marshes to the open estuarine waters of Lake St Lucia itself; from lush coastal plains to the drier woodland areas. A truly magnificent peice of Africa!
The park is situated in the southern end of the Mozambique coastal plain near the towns of St Lucia, Mtubatuba, Hluhluwe, Mkuze, Mbaswana and Manguzi. The protected area is home to the largest and southernmost population of hippos and approximately 1,000 crocodiles, as well as a wealth of plant and animal life.
The Park is already a fast-growing premier tourism destination and offers a wide range of tourist activities that range from fishing, boating and birdwatching, to scuba-diving, hiking and camping as well as offering outstanding photographic opportunities to the amateur and professional alike. Veiwing wildlife from the elevated back of a horse is a wonderful experience, the game see you as part of the horse and don't frighten easily, allowing you to get very close to them. Bhangazi Horse Safaris has the concession to run the horse trails within the park. Having participated in a recent trail, we would recomend it to anyone that enjoys a good ride in the wilderness!