01 March 2005

Scuba dive sites in South Africa: Sodwana Bay

It is widely accepted that Sodwana Bay is the Mecca of diving in South Africa. The bay is situated in a marine reserve that now forms part of the World Heritage classified Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, and makes for safe and relaxed diving. You can expect to see an abundance of tropical fish, hard and soft coral, sponges, moray eels, large schools of pelagic fish, potato bass, turtles (hawksbill, loggerhead, green, leatherback) and depending on the time of year, whales (southern right, humpback), whale sharks and dolphins.

Visibility is rarely less than 15 meters, and the water temperature in summer is 24+ � C and in winter not colder than 19 � C. The depths vary between 12 to 18 meters with 30 and 50-meter sites for the suitably qualified. The dives are all done from semi-rigid boats, with exiting launches through the surf!

Two Mile Reef:
The excellent light penetration and shallow depth have created a beautiful underwater garden with a magnificent range of coral and invertebrate life. Anton's Reef is a favourite site with dense schools of tropical fish and coral heads and overhangs forming interesting topography.

Five Mile Reef:
Five mile is an extremely delicate, large flat reef hosting an astounding variety of fine coral, which is remarkably intact. The multitudes of colourful tropical fish that swarm over the reef and around divers create the sensation of diving in an endless aquarium.

Seven Mile Reef:
This wonderful little reef is popular because of its great diversity of tropical marine life, the drop-offs and mushroom shaped pinnacles. The larger specimens found here include Turtles and Rays, and there are regular sightings of bottle-nosed dolphins. The coral formations are delicate and in good condition.

Nine Mile Reef:
The dramatic scenery of Nine Mile offers drop-offs, pinnacles and big coral trees. Due to the distance from the launch site, this reef is not dived as often as the more accessible ones and is in excellent condition. The marine life is diverse and includes most of the tropical fauna typical of the region as well as big schools of passing game fish.


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