Ismangaliso Wetland Park
Close to the ground.

Lake Sibaya and Coastal Forest

035-574-8998 free entry

S 27 15.687 E 032 46.157

The Lake Sibaya and Coastal Forest section of the park is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles and access to specific day visitor sites is limited to a handful of vehicles, but for those who do venture to this northern section of the park it is well worth it. Pristine beaches framed by lush coastal dunes stretch out as far as the eye can see. Permits are available at Manzengwenya Office (S 27 15.687 E 032 46.157, 035-574-8998, 7am-4pm).

The Lake Sibaya itself is South Africa's largest freshwater lake at 65 square kilometers, and is second only to Lake St Lucia for its population of hippos and crocodiles.

Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular off the beaches of Mabibi (S 27 19.862 E 032 45.039) and Island Rock (S 27 16.624 E 032 46.385), while Lala Nek (S 27 13.482 E 032 47.669), Rocktail Bay (S 27 11.115 E 032 48.382), Black Rock (S 27 08.054 E 032 49.800) and Dog Point (S 27 06.391 E 032 50.518) are popular beach and swimming spots. Other activities include birding, hiking and fishing.

To get there, take the R22 18 km north of Mbazwana and turn east at the Coastal Forest turnoff (S 27 13.174 E 032 32.831). Continue along this road for 23 km until just before the coast where there is a southbound trail to Lake Sibaya signed Thonga/Mabibi, or continue another 2 km to the Manzengwenya Office (S 27 15.687 E 032 46.157) and northbound trail signed Rocktail Bay.

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