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Sodwana Bay Kwazulu Natal South Africa Scuba Diving 2022 | Deep Blue Destinations
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Sodwana Bay Kwazulu Natal

Sodwana Bay is a fantastic, year-round dive destination that lies within the boundaries of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal and stretches from Lake St Lucia to the Mozambique border. This stretch of coast provides the travelling diver with a vast array of unspoilt coral reefs populated with a huge diversity of Indo-Pacific fish species & invertebrates. Apart from the great diving & beautiful coral reefs, the area offers fun and excitement for the non-diver too. From quad bike riding, surfing, & kiteboarding, to day trips to surrounding African ‘Big 5’ game reserves, you’ll be sure to find something that appeals to you, your friends and/or family.Sodwana Bay reefs have the most southern coral reef formations in Africa and they occur on the continental shelf, which is approximately 4km wide in this area.  The breathtakingly colourful hard and soft corals grow on a sandstone base structure that is unique to true coral reef structures. Due to the sandstone base structure, our reefs tend to be flat with low pinnacles, shallow drop offs, gullies and range in depth from 6m to 100m, and are relatively young at 4000 years old.What makes Sodwana great, is that the reefs are home to 1200 species of fish, compared to 1800 in the Great Barrier Reef, yet less than 1-10th the area of the GBR!  You can see almost everything if you dive here often enough.  As well as fish, you will find all sorts of invertebrates, turtles, rays and sharks on any of the dive sites.  The opportunities are limitless.The seasonal sightings of Whalesharks are Dec-Feb, Humpback Whales are June-Oct, Ragged-tooth Sharks from Dec-Feb, and nesting Leatherback and Loggerhead Turtles can be seen from Dec – Feb each year.All the dives conducted at Sodwana Bay are drift dives. A predominant current that flows from north to south is noticeable, but sometimes a reverse current is prevalent. Depending on the strength of this current, more than one dive site may be covered. The Dive masters that lead the dives will choose the best dive sites according to the conditions to ensure a comfortable and safe dive.The reef structure is divided in to a number of portions. 2 Mile Reef is the largest but closest section of reef and this is followed by 5,7, and 9 Mile Reefs. All named according to their distance from the launch site at Jesser Point.

Best Scuba Diving Spots in Sodwana Bay Kwazulu Natal

2 Mile Reef top sites – Caves & Overhangs


Big Stringer & Small Stringer






7 Mile Reef top sites – Northern Wall to Mushroom Rocks

Sodwana Bay Kwazulu Natal Sea Life

Because of the diversity of habitats found in KwaZulu-Natal’s dive sites, there is a huge variety of marine life found here. On the bigger side of things, divers can expect to see whales and dolphins while cruising around the area, including Southern Right whales and Humpback whales. Furthermore, the area is known for its shark encounters. You have a chance of seeing ragged tooth sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks, whale sharks, black tip sharks and hammerhead sharks. Gamefish patrol the waters, especially along the southern coast. These include King Fish, Yellow Fin Tuna and Spanish Mackerel. A variety of rays round out the big species to look for. Your log book will thank you for all the species you are sure to see in KwaZulu-Natal.

How To Get There

King Shaka International Airport in Durban welcomes South African domestic flights and a few international flights from Dubai, Mauritius and Maputo. It is also possible to reach KwaZulu-Natal and Sodwana Bay by road from Johannesburg and Pretoria or by train from Johannesburg and Cape Town. If you have your own transportation, the N2 and N3 highways connect this province with others in South Africa.

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