iSimangaliso’s new Forest Loop opens in time for Easter weekend

2017-04-13 11:52 - Kavitha Pillay
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Pictured at the opening of iSimangaliso’s new Forest Loop (from left) are: Terry David (Kwik Corp), Edwin Jenkins (MBB), Raymond Mfeka (Bhangazi Development Trust Treasurer), Andrew Zaloumis (CEO of iSimangaliso), Gumede (Bhangazi Development Trust Chairperson), Buyani Zwane (iSimangaliso Board Chairperson).

Cape Town – Just in time for family adventure over the long weekend, iSimangaliso Wetland Park’s new 2km Forest Loop has been successfully completed and officially open on the eastern shores section.

Andrew Zaloumis, iSimangaliso CEO, says that “the brief to MBB Consulting Engineers was for an ecologically optimal design that works with nature and allows access for all into the Park – no matter the type of vehicle.”

With earth-coloured concrete strips and grass blocks to optimise the feeling of being in nature, the construction cost R2.3 m.

SEE: iSimangaliso comfort zone: Man versus wild

iSimangaliso is South Africa's very first world heritage site and the largest protected area of coastal grasslands and savannah in South Africa.

The opening of the new Forest Loop is the Park’s second achievement in April, as the Park recently released two rare servals on the western shores from the Emdomeni cat rehabilitation centre.

SEE: A pair of rare servals released into iSimangaliso

The Wetland Park now boasts five ecologically distinct visitor game drives: Pan Loop, Vlei Loop, Dune Loop, Grassland Loop and Forest Loop. Each has its own distinctive attractions en route including hides, look out points, picnic sites, places of interest – like Lake Bhangazi – and vistas.

“iSimangaliso inherited 35km of poor gravel roads from St Lucia to Cape Vidal and Mission Rocks beach.  At times these where only suitable for 4x4s. Our aim has been to give all South Africans access and a full experience of what is on offer,” says Zaloumis.

The Eastern Shores now has 66km of quality roads that are environmentally appropriate, with a new range of visitor facilities including hides, look out points and picnic sites that are wheelchair friendly. 

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