iSimangaliso Wetland Park completes new 2km Forest Loop

The successful completion of the new 2km Forest Loop has been marked by an official opening on the Eastern Shores section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which now boasts five ecologically distinct visitor drive game drives: Pan Loop, Vlei Loop, Dune Loop, Grassland Loop and Forest Loop. Each has its own distinctive attractions en route including hides, lookout points, picnic sites, places of interest – like Lake Bhangazi – and vistas. 

At a total cost of R2.3 million, construction by Aqua Transport and Plant Hire was overseen for iSimangaliso by MBB Consulting Engineers. More than 50% of the value of the work went to sub-contractors.

Photo (left to right): Mr Terry David (Kwik Corp), Mr Edwin Jenkins (MBB), Mr Raymond Mfeka (Bhangazi Development Trust Treasurer), Mr Andrew Zaloumis (CEO of iSimangaliso), Mrs Gumede (Bhangazi Development Trust Chairperson), Mr Buyani Zwane (iSimangaliso Board Chairperson) 

“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, I think we have achieved that,” says Andrew Zaloumis, iSimangaliso CEO. 

“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.  Today, the Eastern Shores has 66km of high 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.”  

Author: Muzi Mohale

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