Sodwana Diving Tours
I have been diving in Sodwana for the past 25 years and I still love going back year after year. The spot has become a kind of sanctuary for me as it is a mixture of incredible diving, unspoilt beaches and a chilled out atmosphere that leaves me super mellow every time I’m there. You haven’t lived until you have been on a Sodwana diving experience.
Sodwana is one of South Africa’s most impressive marine wonders. Sprawling along the Kwa-Zulu Natal North Coast, it is home to numerous reefs and dive spots that each boast their own incredible spectrum of marine animals, fish and coral.
One of the most popular diving spots is known as ‘2 mile’ reef. Antons proves to be a firm favorite with the local divers. This exclusive dive spot is made up of relatively shallow reef ( 16m) allowing access by novice divers to this under water haven.
The reef is an eco-system bursting with a multitude of hard and soft corals including some varieties unique to Sodwana. Perhaps one of the biggest attractions though is the abundance of marine life. The reef is teeming with Moray Eels, Turtles, Parrot Fish, Clown fish and the occasional black tip reef shark.
The day starts off early by squeezing yourself into your wetsuite and waddling over to the restaurant area for a cup of coffee. Most people take a skip on the breakfast. And then it’s off to the beach!!! 2 dives is usually the order of the day. The first dive is an early one-most likely a launch at 07H00.
Divers need to be on the beach 30 minutes prior to dive for a briefing and to obviously kit up. The morning dives are usually the best- No wind and a relatively small swell. If the conditions are good, the divemasters will take you to the reef further out that boast some of the best diving in Sodwana– But only if the conditions are good. There is nothing worse than a 45 minute boat ride into a choppy and windy ocean.
The dive time is usually about 50 minutes depending on the group, depth and of course what mixture of air you are breathing. The second dive for day is usually scheduled for about 11H30. Which mean divers have a few hours to de-gas some nitrogen and devour one of Sodwana’s best beach breakfasts. And of course a mini siesta in the warm sub-tropical usually follows the full belly of eggs and bacon. At around 11H00 its time to kit up again for the second dive.
The second dive is usually pretty chilled out. Most divers are super chilled from the first dive, taking a cat nap on the beach and the scrumptious breakfast. So the energy of everyone is laid back and sloth like. But that is what holidays are all about right? a Sodwana Diving Holiday is as important for your soul as anything else.
Afternoon siestas and cocktail sundowners
After the diving is done for the day, its back to the lodge for a shower and a siesta- Usually in the form of a hammock in the coastal forest where the lodge is situated. Sodwana has some of the best sunsets in South Africa. There is a number of options to choose from when it comes to sundowners. One of my favourite spots is on the shores of Lake Sibaya where we enjoy a glass of red wine on top of the Landy.
Why on top may you be wondering? Well let’s just say it’s probably best to stay a tad higher than the hippos that can be found frolicking only meters away. And oh yes, the crocodiles may also be a problem. A typical African sunset is what this place boasts!!!!
My second favorite spot is a remote and unspoilt beach just down from Mseni Lodge. A short walk through the coastal dunes sees you land up one what I think is THE BEST BEACH IN THE WORLD!!! This spot just oozes romance and mystery. We sit on top of the dunes gazing out at the ocean reminiscing about the days diving and it seems like we are the only people in the world.
The best time is definitely the end of April, beginning of May. This is when South Africa’s climate is most stable. The rainy and windy seasons of spring and summer are over. This means clear blue skies, calm seas and perfect daytime temperatures.
Summer can get blistering hot and humid. You want to avoid that’ Sodwana Shuffle’- the act of scurrying across red hot beach sand without looking like a weirdo. Busy holiday seasons like December, Easter and public holidays are also a no go time. The beach gets packed!!!! Not cool in our books, Nothing relaxing about that.
All in all a diving holiday in Sodwana is a perfect way to unwind and get to experience the incredible underwater world that has been named as one the top 10 dive sites in the world!!!