KwaZulu Natal DestinationsSodwana Bay, Elephant Coast
Sodwana Bay, meaning ‘little one on its own’ in Zulu, lies within the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, a World Heritage Site, and forms part of a continuous protected area stretching 150 km from the Mozambique border south to Cape Vidal and 3 nautical miles out to sea.
Sodwana Bay is best known for its deep sea diving and beautiful coral reefs, regarded as the southern most coral reefs in the world and the only tropical dive site in South Africa.
Divers can expect to see an abundance of tropical fish, moray eels, large schools of pelagic fish, hard and soft coral, sponges and, at certain times of the year, whales, whale sharks and dolphins. The water temperatures range from 24 degrees Celsius in summer and are seldom colder than 19 degrees making diving is a year round pastime. Visibility is rarely less than 15 metres and depths vary between 12 to 50 metre sites. The reefs themselves are thought to be over 4 000 years old and have plenty of caves, overhangs and pinnacles.
It isn’t only diving that makes this beautiful area, covered with dense coastal forest, so special. Fishing, boating, bird watching and hiking - there is a 5 km self-guided trail for nature lovers - make this a destination for the whole family. Great snorkelling reefs are found in Sodwana Bay, Kingfisher Bay, Adlams, Algae Reef and Mabibi - all accessible by 4-wheel drive along the beach.
In summer, loggerhead and leatherback turtles come out of the sea on to the Sodwana Bay beaches to lay their eggs. Sodwana is also within easy driving distance of a number of game reserves, including the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park.