iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park site in South Africa was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999. Wind and water continue to shape the site’s diverse landforms: coral reefs, long sandy beaches, coastal dunes, lake systems, swamps, and extensive reed and papyrus wetlands. As a result, the park contains critical habitat for an exceptional diversity of species from Africa's marine, wetland, and savannah environments. Pictured here is a whale shark (Rhincodon typus), which ranges between shallow near-shore and deeper offshore waters.

Today, over 40 World Heritage sites are listed for their marine values. Together, they can be considered the “Crown Jewels of our Ocean” and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. Learn more about this and other marine World Heritage sites.


Marc Spalding