About Crafters Lodge
Fully serviced and staffed, air-conditioned and pet friendly, Crafters Lodge is designed for privacy and comfort. This small secure complex offers simple living ideally suited to the climate, with a large deck, expansive windows and charming rural surroundings. We are a 2 star graded lodge with 4 star service!
Self Catering Accommodation
Offering individual chalets each nestling in the natural bush, Crafters’ Lodge is securely fenced and safe for pets, with 24 hour security. Our well- trained staff will take care of you while you and your family enjoy a relaxing, exciting or adventurous holiday. Chalets offer 2 bedrooms, a lounge area with an additional blow-up bed, a bath/shower room, and an additional out- door rustic shower, hanging and washing facilities for dive gear.
There are controlled speed fans throughout. An open plan lounge/dining room/kitchen expands onto the huge screed wooden balustraded deck with comfortable outdoor hardwood furniture. For out-door entertaining we provide a Weber gas barbecue, and an additional wood-burning barbecue. Bring only your beach towel, your sunblock and insect repellent and your consumables- we provide the rest.
The architectural language at Crafters Lodge is ideally suited to the climate, with screed floors, and rush mats. Furnishing is simple, incorporating items made locally and sold in the rural market at the beach. A exterior colour palette of rich earth tones unites the chalets with the African soil. We have decorated with charming local craft contributions in the form of curtains, place mats, floor mats, waste-paper baskets, bedside tables, kiddies chairs and occasional tables.
Beach access is through the main Parks Board Gates, controlled by Ismangaliso Wetland Parks at present with temporary gates. No alcohol or braaing is allowed on the beach, but there is a braai area inside the park. There is also a secure parking area, with unique 4 x 4 access onto the inter-tidal zone, so people wanting privacy can travel for 4km up the beach to deserted private areas to swim or fish. Only 250 cars are allowed onto the beach daily. Because of this, Sodwana has become a very popular destination, and there are sometimes long queues at the temporary gates. A small fee per adult is levied to access the beach. A Golden Rhino Card can be bought which gives unlimited access to all of the EKZN Game Reserves and Parks.
Attractions and Activites
Sodwana Bay diving is unique in the world. Abundant corals, well-balanced fish-life and breathtaking natural beauty make Sodwana Bay reefs some of the most spectacular and fascinating in the world. Diving is on reefs where the reef population balance is complete with huge shoals of barracuda, eagle rays and an abundance of reef fish.
Try a quad bike trail through the pine plantations, try surf fishing, book a kite surfing lesson. You can dive the reefs in the morning, book a Game Viewing Safari to Tembe Elephant Park in the afternoon and take a Turtle Tour to watch turtles laying their eggs at night. Sodwana Bay has it all. You just have to be there.
Big Game and Deep Sea Fishing made Sodwana Bay famous, and many prestigious international competitions are held there. Fisherman can book day trips or bring their own boats. There are many charter operators who offer a superb fishing experience.
Shopping and Dining
Do not expect conventional shopping malls or Ice Cream parlours. The Rustic Ramble has a coffee shop, curio shop, beach shop, fishing and dive shops and a fabulous diving museum. There are 8 restaurants in Sodwana Bay Village, a Sports Bar and large Screen TV for sports lovers. Inside the Controlled access area and on the beach is a Beach Cafe. There is also a Dive/Beach Shop on the beach, and a SPAR general dealer inside the park. The small town of Mbazwana 9km from the Lodge sells everything, from petrol to cheap clothing to groceries.
Game reserves abound, are easily accessible and offer 4 hour safaris, day trips or over-night accommodation. The closest game reserve to Sodwana Bay is Mkuzi, 30km from Sodwana and Phinda Private Game Reserve, 40km from Sodwana, both offering the Big Five, but the most unique is Tembe Elephant Park, 40km from Sodwana, where the giant black elephants breed. A safari through this park is a must.
The Rural People
Northern KwaZulu Natal is underdeveloped and has a large rural population. The rural families living here build their homes and invest their incomes earned in the major towns in family-owned plots. Each plot is generally 50m by 50m, and all the spare family cash goes into construction and upgrading of houses in the area. Half-built houses are the norm in Northern rural KwaZulu Natal. Life here is simple, and many families rely on DSTV for entertainment, and cellular phones for communication. Crime is low, the police are efficient and reliable, and tourists are welcomed.
Where we are
Crafters Lodge lies in Sodwana Bay Village within 40 km of four of KwaZulu Natal's major Game Reserves, 80 km from Hluhluwe and 1700 metres from World Heritage Site Sodwana Bay by line of sight, 7 minutes by road. The world’s highest forested dune and a dense mangrove water system separate the village from the sea.