Sodwana Bay is a beautiful unspoilt jewel on the east coast of South Africa.
Discover Sodwana Bay’s rich natural bio diversity and activities such as scuba diving, fishing, turtle tours, ocean tours and much more.
From tented campsites to luxurious guesthouses, hotels and lodges, you will be able to meet what ever level of comfort you desire.
Sodwana Bay is located on the east coast of South Africa, in one of the most unique and unspoiled parts of the world. The KwaZulu-Natal province is home to the Zulu people who have inhabited the area in harmony with the land for several centuries. They still remain the predominant ethnic group in the region. Situated in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Maputaland Marine Reserve, efforts are made to protect its integrity from environmental degradation. You will find a peaceful and yet dynamic little town to spend some quality time away from home.
Come explore the area, meet the locals and enjoy a wide variety of activities in one of the top ten scuba diving destinations in the world.
For the avid ocean enthusiasts, sea turtle tours, ocean tours, kitesurfing, learning about sharks, fishing and much more is on the menu and Sodwana Bay will meet your highest expectations. While on land, go quad biking or on nature walks. Scan the horizon or look up to the sky where you will have the privilege to observe South Africa’s incredible wildlife. It is a prime location for bird watching, and several game reserves offer safaris where the big five can be spotted.
While visiting Sodwana Bay, the adventure seekers can experience the wild side of Africa by camping and those looking for a bit more luxury will also find affordable accommodations in the various cabins, chalets, guest houses, lodges and hotels.
Sodwana Bay will certainly charm you and memorable moments will be spent in this magical place.
Sodwana Bay National Park
Sodwana Bay National Park is situated within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This wonderful resort set in the sheltered bay on the Maputaland coast attracts many visitors all year round to discover its many hidden treasures
- PLEASE NOTE: An entry fee of R35 for adults and R30 for children under the age of 13 is payable at the entrance to the national park before entring.
- All overnight visitors must check in at Sodwana Bay reception office on arrival. Office hours are from 08:00 -16:30 (Monday – Thursday) and 07:00-16:30 Friday, Saturday and public holidays, and 07:00-15:00 on Sundays.
- No pets are allowed in the park.
- Please ensure that all possible precautions against theft are taken at all times.
- Firearms must be declared on arrival at the reception office.
- Safety deposit boxes are available for hire to safeguard firearms and valuables.
- No quad bikes or motorbikes are allowed in the park.
- Illegal power connections in the campsite will not be tolerated.
- Beach permits are required for 4×4 vehicle access to the beach near the resort.
- 200 permits are issued daily on a first come first served basis.
- Vehicles may only access the beach on Saturdays and Sundays, Public Holidays and peak school holidays.
- Air compressors may not be used in the campsites.
- A facility is available at the beach.
- Portable generators may not be used in the park.
- Fireworks are not permitted in the Park.
- Visitors are advised to take precautions against malaria before, during and after a visit to Sodwana Bay.
- Attendants are available to assist in the campsite and on the beach.
- Entrance gates are open 24 hours. Arrival after reception office hours will require a refundable deposit.
- Accommodation fees are payable in full in advance.
- Personal cheques will not be exchanged for cash.
- Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s tariffs are available on request, and are subject to change without prior notice.
- Please note that physically disabled people have to apply to the Minister at Marine and Conservation Management for special permission to access the beach.
- The application has to be done in writing prior to visiting the area.
Scuba Diving in Sodwana Bay
Sodwana Bay is considered to be among the premier dive sites of the world, it is home to the southern most tropical coral reefs on the planet which are further south than the Great Barrier Reef. The reef has an incredibly dense coral cover and wide diversity of fish, crustaceans and more with over 1200 species having been recorded in the area.
Conditions range from idyllic to challenging depending on the wind and the current. The sites vary in depth between 10 meters and depths only suited to technical deep divers. The shallowest siting of a coelacanth took place in Sodwana at a depth of just over 100m.
The reef’s at Sodwana Bay are named by the distance they are from the launch site, Jesser Point.
The major reef’s are split up into Quarter Mile, 2 Mile Reef, 5 Mile Reef, 7 Mile Reef and 9 Mile Reef. And each of these reefs have their own dive sites. There are also a few isolate reefs fringing the main reefs, some of these are Stringer and Bikini.
Caves and Overhangs
The bio diversity in the area is phenomenal from the big to small. Seasonal visitors include humpback whales and manta rays, others such as dolphins, turtles and whales sharks appear year round. Some of the small “jewellery” on offer includes paper fish, pipe fish, seahorses, nudibranchs, frog fish and a host of many others.
So dive in and discover.
Lifes a beach, then you dive.
Interactive Research in Sodwana Bay
Fortunately people have enquiring minds.
The diversity of the environment in Sodwana Bay is astounding. Both on land and underwater there are numerous creatures that have intrigued people so much, that they want to find out all they can about them.
Being a marine protected area and a national park on land, the animal’s daily routines continue largely unaffected by human interference. Providing an excellent oppurtunity to study them undisturbed in their natural environment.
Current projects include the turtles, the rocky shoreline, corals, nudibranchs, ragged-tooth sharks, whale sharks and a living fossil the coelacanth.
During the summer months between December and March, turtles congregate to lay eggs in the sand on the unspoilt beaches. At the same time, female ragged-tooth sharks move up from the south to gestate their pups on the shallow quarter mile reef habitat before turning back south to give birth to their fully formed babies.
The reefs of Sodwana Bay are incredibly healthy with dense coral cover and a thriving reef community. There are more than one hundred species of coral and over 300 nudibranchs have been seen here, with a few entries completely new to science.
The shallowest known sighting of the coelacanth was reported here in the Jesser Canyon at 58 meters and has been filmed by a submarine and technical divers on deep air mixes.
The largest fish of the ocean – the whale shark is also a frequent visitor to our coastline with over 300 documented sightings between October 2006-2007.