The Sibaya Lake, at the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, is the largest freshwater lake in South Africa, it is wedged between the vegetated dunes that lie along the coast of the Indian Ocean and has an area of 77.5 square kilometers; it is the largest lake of this kind and also for this reason it is present in the list of RAMSAR areas, that includes all the wetlands, worldwide, that are of crucial importance for the environment.
The canyons present on the Indian Ocean bottom and the finds that have been found, belonging to animals that usually live in river estuaries, suggest that, in remote times, this lake was connected to the ocean by a river with a large bed.
Its pure and crystalline waters are bordered by a very white beach; the peculiarity of this lake is that it has no tributaries, but its waters come from the rain that filters through the high vegetated dunes that surround the lake and reach a height of 165 meters.
The Sibaya Lake plays a key role in the ecosystem: first of all, here lives a large family of hippos and several crocodiles, this is the second group of hippos in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.
This is also a very important area for breeding, but as well a place to find food and shelter for many species of birds; it is the only certain source of water for the fauna found in this area; moreover, in these waters, there are several species of zooplankton, that are the basis of the feeding of 15 species of aquatic clams and 43 species of terrestrial clams; finally the lake has a fundamental role for different species of unique plants and fauna.
This lake has been classified by Birdlife SA as one of the most important areas for birds; here you can find in all 279 species of birdlife, some of which are at risk of extinction and that are not found elsewhere in the area of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park; 62 species depend on the Sibaya Lake as they nest here or here find something to eat, moreover, at certain times, up to 20,000 specimens of water birds can be observed at the Sibaya Lake, some of which are located at the Southern limit of the habitat where they live.
The Sibaya Lake is a paradise for lovers of nature photography, not only for the animals that can be spotted, but also for the spectacular landscapes and sunsets.
The Sibaya Lake is surrounded by a wooded area that has sandy soil, therefore, to come here, it is necessary to have a 4x4 car with a high bottom to avoid being covered up.
In addition to admiring the landscapes and animals that live near the lake, it is possible to go kayaking and glide silently over the water and enjoy the silence of this place and have a closer contact with nature.