Sodwana Bay National Park Travel Guide

  • Even at the end of winter, it's busy...
    Even at the end of winter, it's busy...
    by Bushman23
  • Pretty close call!
    Pretty close call!
    by Bushman23
  • Our beach :-D
    Our beach :-D
    by Bushman23

Sodwana Bay National Park Things to Do

  • Scuba Diving

    Sodwana is the ideal diving location, with 3 reefs (2, 5, and 7 mile), Just 5 minutes from the sodwana lodge hotel you are at the beach. From here you will be taken care of, no matter if you have your own gear or need to hire equipment. Lots of marine life from the small to Rays and whitetips.

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  • Snorkelling / Scuba Diving

    We went snorkelling one afternnon on half-mile reef, using one of the companies set up on the beach. The variety of tropical sea-life is incredible (we saw loads of fish, sea turtles, a stingray, and a Whale Shark), and the water is quite warm, and generally pretty clear. The reef is about 12 meters down, but it is possible to get down with a...

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  • Turtles

    During the summer months leather back and loggerhead turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs. A nature conservation guide takes one on a walk around that can take several hours. I came to witness a turtle laying eggs a process that took almost three hours before she disappeared into the sea.

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  • The Beach

    Sodwana Bay boasts kilometres of unspoiled beaches – if you head out a few kilometres you may find that you are the only person around. Keep in mind that this may change in December and January when South Africans come to Sodwana Bay in their thousands. Also beach driving has been prohibited – hence your only mode of transport is by foot.

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  • Lake Sibaya

    The wetlands region of St. Lucia and the adjacent lakes north make out the World Heritage Site in this part of the world. Lake Sibaya is a lovely lake home to many crocodiles and hippos as well as several hundred species of birds. Several view sites along the lake allow you to experience the beauty of Northern Maputaland firsthand

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  • Diving - Bikini Reef

    Bikini Reef is a stunning little reef which runs parallel to 2 Mile. It is mainly flat with some caves and little valleys. Manta Rays often visit here, and on my dive I was accompanied by a Manta Ray for over an hour. Many reef fish hide in the cracks of the reef and due to the size of the reef one can almost cover the entire reef with a bottom...

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  • Diving – Uniform Reef

    This deep dive offers a complete different world. When we descended to Uniform it was like arriving on a different planet. The reef is almost entirely covered with Plate Corals and is home to many fish and exceptional large crayfish.

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  • Diving – Two Mile Reef

    The reef is about 1.7 km long and up to 900 m wide. It is one of the most popular reefs to dive at, since it is only a few minutes away from the launch area. Many different corals, reef and mid-water fish can be found here, with eels and other creatures hiding in the many caves and holes. Two Mile Reef is where most new divers in South Africa do...

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  • Diving – Five Mile Reef

    The reef has the most diverse coral community at Sodwana, hence it is a dive area reserved for advanced divers who have good buoyancy control. Extensive beds of staghorn, mushroom and plate corals ensure a fascinating community of reef inhabitants can be found here.

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  • Diving – Seven Mile Reef

    The drop-offs and mushroom shaped pinnacles, characteristic of this wonderful reef with its great diversity of marine life make it quiet popular among divers. Turtles and rays are often seen and shoals of brightly coloured goldies and other reef fish visit the coral often.

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  • Diving – Nine Mile Reef

    The top of the reef is at 4m on the southern edge, dropping to 21m on the north-eastern edge. The highlight of this dive is a green tree that towers about 2.5m. Just south of the green tree is a spectacular system of swim throughs, overhangs and caves

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  • Horseback Riding on the beach

    What we didn't quite understand was that nearly all activities at Sodwana Bay are coordinated through the Sodwana Nature Conservation Office. So when our hotel called ahead for us to reserve our horseback riding tour and then told us to pay them at the office, we thought we'd pay at the office at the stable, right? Well, no. First, there was no...

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Sodwana Bay National Park Transportation

  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    by MikeAtSea Written Aug 6, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The main highway in KwaZulu Natal is the N2 – coming from Durban drive as far as Hluhluwe – the turn off to Sodwana Bay is signposted. Coming from Johannesburg one would join the N2 (North - South) again the turn off to Sodwana Bay is signposted.

    Map of Northern KwaZulu Natal
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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Sodwana Bay National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Idiot off-road drivers

    Anywhere on the beaches at Sodwana, be aware of drivers using off-road vehicles... some have to use the beach in order to unload their boats into the water, which is fair enough, but others simply use the sand as an off-road adventure, tearing along at ridiculous speeds. We had one bloke miss us by about 1/2 a meter while we were suntanning. Almost...

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  • Malaria!

    I have had it twice and it is not fun...! If you are traveling in this region take precautions towards Malaria. If you do not take medication in prevention and you have the following symptoms after your return go straight to your doctor and tell him you were in a Malaria region: Flue like symptoms, combined with headache, backache and fever....

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  • Wildlife

    I couldn't decide whether to include this as a "Must See" tip or in this section. In the end I decided to include it here because ultimately it involves wild animals in their environment, not ours.In Sodwana Bay (as in many places) it's very easy to to forget that you are in the wild and you must respect the wildlife. This includes in the water and...

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Sodwana Bay National Park Tourist Traps

  • Bushman23's Profile Photo

    by Bushman23 Written Feb 12, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The main beach at Sodwana is very nice, a big, sweeping expanse of sand starting at the river mouth, and running around the coast to the North. But even in winter (at the weekend, in particular) it's pretty crowded, as most of the scuba diving companies run their business from this point.

    Unique Suggestions: Go during the week, and not in peak season!

    Fun Alternatives: Or head South. Instead of settling on the main beach, go around the point, down towards the lighthouse. The beach here goes on forever, and is much quieter than the main beach - although there are no lifeguards here, so swimmin gwould be at your own risk.

    Even at the end of winter, it's busy...
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Beaches
    • Camping

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Sodwana Bay National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Secluded Beach and shell collecting

    If you're in Sodwana for peace and quiet, and a little relaxation, the main beach maybe isn't so great. Head down south a wee bit, bout 5 - 10 minutes walk, around the 'point', you'll find an amazing stretch of deserted beach...take a walk along this beach and you'll come to a rocky area thats exposed at low tide... there's some cool wildlife in...

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  • Incredible Quad Biking adventure

    Just outside of Sodwana ther are a couple of places that offer quad biking trips, from 1 - 3 hours long. We took the 3 hour option, and had the most amazing trip through the fields, plantations and forests, almost entirely on dirt track and paths, to lake Sibaya (South Africa's largest freshwater lake). The wildlife is abundant, especially birds,...

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  • Humpback whales breaching

    After our day of snorkelling, we took a lovely stroll on the beach at sunset, and sat for about an hour watching the sea... during this time we saw at least 5 whales passing by, and it really is the most amazing site, to see such a large animal looking so graceful. Unfortunately it was really bad light for photography, and despite my best efforts...

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Sodwana Bay National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Dive Locations

    The enclosed map shows most of the dive sites along the coast of Maputaland as well as some of the attractions surrounding the region.

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  • Reefteach

    Diving is one of the reasons why one would come to Sodwana Bay. The best operator which I have experienced in Sodwana is Reefteach who run a small operation with very personalized and professional touch. Megan one of the Dive Masters is a walking library in terms of Fish ID and knowledge of the reef - and I can only strongly recommend them to...

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  • Scuba Diving

    One of the main activities for guests at Sodwana Bay is scuba diving. I stayed with Coral Divers and all our diving took place in the morning. The boats were launched through the surf and the waves got too rough in the afternoon.The diving here is excellent but the surge takes a little bit of getting used to.

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Sodwana Bay National Park Favorites

  • ratherton's Profile Photo

    by ratherton Written Oct 30, 2003

    Favorite thing: On the drive from Durban to Sodwana Bay, there are various areas of farmland and one of the crops grown are pineapples.

    I don't know why, but I never knew want pineapple plants looked like. Now I know.

    Pineapples

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