The South African coastline has numerous reefs along its length. Fed by the warm Mozambique current along the East coast, the more tropical and colorful reefs can be found close to the Mozambican border. One of the most popular diving venues is Sodwana Bay, a remote secluded area approximately two hundred kilometers north of Richards Bay on the Kwa-zulu Natal north coast.
There are a number of dive camps, self catering chalets and standard campsites available as well as a more up-market lodge. The camps are located high up on the densely vegetated dune, approximately a kilometer from the beach. The launch through the surf can be quite hectic and as a diver you are required to help push the boat into the surf and hold it there until your skipper instructs you to jump aboard. Any hesitation on your part will result in you being left behind so you need to have your wits about you.
Once behind the breakers you should have a more moderate ride out to the dive site, depending on which one you are going to. The most commonly dived reef is Three mile, which is the closest, but more experienced divers will enjoy Five, Seven and Nine mile reefs. The choice of site will depend largely on the dive group's experience and the prevailing currents and diving conditions. The water temperature is generally between twenty two and twenty five degrees centigrade and visibility on a good day can be more than thirty metres.
In my first qualifying dive at three mile reef we saw Moray Eel, Stingrays, Potato Bass, hundreds of colourful reef fish, a wide variety of soft and hard corals and a nurse shark. Such is the quality of diving at Sodwana.
Cherelle | Dec 8, 2009 | Category: General