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To see details of our Lodge accomadation at Sodwana Bay please click here

Sodwana Bay

Much used in centuries past by arab and Portuguese sailors to stock up on fresh food and water, Sodwana Bay was otherwise virtually unknown and unvisited before 1945. It was declared a National Park area in December 1950 and the then Natal Parks Board built some very basic accomadation in the 1960s.

When war broke out in Mozambique in the early 1970s, Sodwana Bay began to develop largely for big game fishing. In the 1980s, the discovery of substantial reef formations started Sodwana Bay's development as a dive location.

Sodwana is located within the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, a World Heritage site.The waters around Sodwana boast a 50 kilometre reef system, home to 1,200 fish species including reef fish, rays, Mantas, sharks, sailfish and the mighty Marlin as well as 95 identified species of hard and soft coral, many sponges and an incredible variety of invertibrates. The coast itself consists of dense coastal forest offering exquisite scenery, a huge variety of birdlife and a number of small mammals such as Bush Babies, Genets, Duiker and Striped Mongoose. Recently a White Rhino, normally resident further south in the Park, this a female with a calf, has been seen close to the camp.

 

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The reefs which make up Sodwana's diving paradise are named for their distance from the launch site at Jesser Point-

Two Mile Reef is actually a huge conglomeration of reefs including:

Anton's Reef : Average depth 15 metres, Anton's offers a huge variety of resident tropical fish, shoals of Big Eyes, Goatfish, Snappers, Scorpionfish, Moray eels, big potato Bass, Moorish idols, Butterfly Angelfish, Marbled Rays and triggerfish. The coral is dense and very varied.

Chain reef : Average depth 15 metres. This flattish reef is named after a ship's anchor chain which is stretched across it. Coral colonies are scattered around and small reef fish abound.

Pinnacles : Average depth 10 metres. The formations here resemble gullies, caves and overhangs, wall faces and swimthroughs.

Caves and overhangs: Again fantastic shaped cave and rock formations. Large Potato Bass up to 1.5 metres long. Sea Turtles are common. The shallow depth and consequent good light penetration on this reef have led to exceptional coral and invertibrate growth.

Potholed and sponge reef : Average depth 27 metres. Large potholes with huge sponges and Red Gorgonian sea fans. The fish life is not as prolific as other 2 Mile reefs.

Four buoy reef : Average depth 11 metres. Extremely prolific and varied fish life. Extensive coral forming gullies and overhangs.

The further lesser known reefs are-

Five mile reef : An extremely delicate, large flat reef with an astounding variety of fine coral. This reef receives special protection by the Park authorities which accounts for it's pristine condition.

Seven mile reef : Drop offs, walls and mushroom shaped pinnacles make this a favorite dive for more seasoned divers.

Nine mile reef : Very rarely dived and consequently an almost unknown reef. It's main attraction is green coral trees and a dropoff to seaward which is often patrolled by Zambezi sharks.

Sharks to see:- 

Ragged Tooth From December to May we see Raggies on Quarter Mile. This reef is only 10 metres deep so is an ideal introduction to Open Water 1 divers to big sharks. It also gives excellent lighting for photographers though any rough seas will stir up sand and spoil visibility.

Zambezi or Bull Shark Are often seen cruising the seaward dropoff of 9 Mile Reef.

Bronze Whalers (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos)also called Copper shark  Is often seen at 'Potholes'.

Silvertip (Carcharhinus albimarginatus), Black tip (Carcharhinus limbatus), Blacktip Reef (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and Whitetip (Triaedon obesus) are seen at certain locations.

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