Sodwana Bay on the East coast of South Africa is really a great diving spot. The reefs are mostly full of life and loads of corals are seen on most of the reefs.
With the stunning corals the fish also show off with schools of snappers, Potato bass checking you up from close, rays and even some shark species.
Our Last Dive Inn Cape Town trip to Sodwana in April 2016 we were even lucky to snorkel with a whale shark and dive with a Manta on stringer reef for over 30 minutes. The Manta we also spotted on the surface once and had another quick observation of it on the chains reef. Dolphins were also kind enough to let us see them on snorkel quickly.
Over our stay we did 2 dives each day with 1 one dive on the last day totalling 13 dives for the trip.
Sodwana Bay reef names run according how far away from Jesser point they are. Thus 2mile is the most dived reef just of the launch site. 2 Mile have sites for all type of divers but the deeper sites do offer more Macro life like Sea Horses and loads of nudibranchs. Roonies is the reef for that but nitrox is a good option on this dive. The other reefs down the coast which is dived is then called 5mile 7 mile and 9 mile. Most of them got more dive sites on the reef itself like 9 mile got coral tree, 5mile Teddy bears picnic etc. Coral bleaching unfortunately can also be observed but for the untrained eye the reefs still looks great. You can view more pics on Dive Inn Cape towns Facebook page as well.
The week was perfect, we had good weather, calmish seas making it easier to launch through the surf and of course warm 26 degree water. The warm water for our Cape Tonians a delight and then the clean blue water a bonus on top of that.
Reefteach hosted us in their lodge and took us out on the dives. The Dm’s and beach staff is good and the breakfast on the beach always great for a hungry diver. The bee’s also enjoyed our breakfast most of the days. Every night we went for dinner at a different institution and the consensus was the Elephant water hole was the best. The Light house had a good score and Maak n Jol almost got top scores.
Sodwana bay falls under the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and big plans are there to upgrade parking etc. to the area. Hope the small town will also get a boost. From Durban airport it is a 3.5 – 4 hour drive and if you not staying in the park itself like with Coral divers you would need your own transport to get to and from the beach.
In short Sodwana bay according to me can offer the same as most tropical destinations in the world and much more cost effective compared to the oversea destinations. Sodwana Bay rocks.
Join us on our next adventure to Aliwal Shoal and Protea banks in November 2016.