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Great Parks of Africa episode 3 - iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Great Parks of Africa episode 3 – iSimangaliso Wetland Park

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Great Parks of Africa episode 3: The name iSimangaliso means “Miracle” in Zulu–and the sheer number of species sustained by this diverse haven live up to this name. Explore this rare sanctuary, home to some of the world’s most striking and iconic creatures, including the black rhino and the giant leatherback turtle.



 

 

Scattered throughout the wild lands of Africa are a number of protected havens that shelter some of the continent’s most iconic wildlife. Explore these majestic natural sanctuaries dedicated to the preservation of the continent’s rich yet vulnerable wildlife heritage.

 

Great Parks of Africa episode 3 – iSimangaliso Wetland Park

 

iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park) is situated on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, about 275 kilometres north of Durban. It is South Africa’s third-largest protected area, spanning 280 km of coastline, from the Mozambican border in the north to Mapelane south of the Lake St. Lucia estuary, and made up of around 3,280 km2 of natural ecosystems, managed by the iSimangaliso Authority.

Until 1895, the bay had been a home of the Tsonga people and their Tsonga fish kraal. This is the original and the natural home of the Tsonga people and they have lived here for more than 1000 years. Records from early Portuguese sailors rightfully point out this area to be occupied by the Tsonga people and further down south. The area was also known as Tembeland or Thongaland but the name fell into disuse around the early 1900s. The area was ruled by a Tsonga branch of the Vahlanganu (Tembe).

The Swiss Missionary, Reverend Henri Alexandra Junod (Known as HA Junod), conducted a scientific and ethnographic study of the Tsonga people during the early 1890s and produced a detailed map, showing the occupation of the bay by the Tsonga Tembe people. The Swiss Missionary, Rev Junod, illustrated in his detailed map that the area was known as Tembeland and that the Tembe capital city was located in the St Lucia bay.

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Great Parks of Africa episode 3 - iSimangaliso Wetland Park
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Great Parks of Africa episode 3 - iSimangaliso Wetland Park
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Great Parks of Africa episode 3: The name iSimangaliso means "Miracle" in Zulu--and the sheer number of species sustained by this diverse haven live up to this name.