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Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park
More about World Heritage
Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park

Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park


Photo by Andrew and Jodi Tanenbaum

By Andrew & Jodi Tanenbaum, Tanenbaum Family World Journey

Our first day at the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park left us wondering about the hype. St. Lucia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it has either a unique cultural or natural significance. The park was crawling with thousands of hippopotamus and crocodile but the scenery was no more stunning than other destinations along South Africa's eastern coast. None of which had been designated World Heritage Sites.

On our second day we discovered that St. Lucia is home to over 400 species of trees, there are only 73 species in all of Europe, and more than 500 species of birds and that 5 distinct ecosystems lie within this 80km stretch of land. UNESCO's designation was clear. Each turn in the bend revealed trees and birds we had not noticed before. And in addition to seeing hippos and crocs in abundance, we spotted fish eagles, pelicans, herons, and storks.

Observing animals in their own natural habitat is completely different than viewing them at a zoo. We caught a glimpse of a hippo as it opened its mouth to the sky. It was our first true National Geographic moment.

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Travel Trivia
At Four Corners you can stand in which four U.S. States?