Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve

Renowned for its sport fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, Sodwana is situated on the coast within the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park.

The reserve lies adjacent to Africas southern-most coral reefs.The Maputoland and St Lucia Marine Reserves are linked to each other to form a continuous protected area stretching 150 km from the Mozambique border southwards to Cape Vidal and 3 nautical miles out to sea.

Sodwana Bay with its many exciting coral reefs and outstanding climate, has distinguished itself as one of the premier sport diving destinations in the world.

It offers many popular dive sites with a great diversity of underwater seascapes and marine flora and fauna including branching, table and plate corals, beautiful overhangs, drop-offs and mushroom rocks, as well as spectacular night dives. Scuba diving equipment is available for hire.

In summer, loggerhead and leatherback turtles come out of the sea to nest on the beaches. Guided turtle tours are popular with visitors. Aside from Sodwanas wealth of opportunities for diving , boating and angling, a five-km self-guided trail is available for the enjoyment of nature lovers and bird enthusiasts.

Malaria precautions are necessary. 

How to get There

From the north turn off the N2 at Jozini and follow the signs to Mbazwana and on to the park.v From the south turn off the N2 at the Ngweni/Sodwana Bay turn off and travel through to Mbazwana which is 80 km away on a gravel road.

The alternative is to turn off the N2 into Hluhluwe village and take the new SDI road which will eventually be tar all the way to Mbazwana.

The nearest town which has a full range of services is Hluhluwe which is 80 km away.


Sodwana Bay is a paradise for fishermen (shore and ski-boaters), snorkellers and scuba divers.

Fishing - Ski-boaters and shore anglers have the opportunity to catch a number of different game fish. Sodwana has produced record billfish and sailfish.

Snorkellers and scuba divers - The diversity of fish and invertebrates on Africa's southern-most coral reefs attract many scuba divers and there are excellent snorkelling spots along this Sodwana Coast.

Conditions are good throughout the year, but the best diving is from April through to September. On a good day visibility can reach up to 30 metres. The weather is typically subtropical. The water temperature is usually above 20C and can reach 29C in summer.

There are a number of dive sites to choose from:
Two-mile Reef is the most popular with dives ranging from 9 metres to over 30 metres on the outer edge.

Quarter Mile Reef is dived most often in January and February when the Ragged -toothed sharks congregate here.

Stringer Reef is a small reef at a depth of 14 metres and has the greatest diversity of species.

Four/Five Mile is eight kilometres from Jesser Point. This deeper reef has a predominance of branching, table and plate corals.

Seven Mile is 11 km north of Jesser Point and has beautiful overhangs, drop-offs and mushroom rocks.

Nine Mile is the northern-most reef of the Sodwana Complex and ranges from 6 m to 21 m. There is a beautiful creation of hard coral- the green coral tree on the drop-off on the seaward side of the reef.

Night dives offer a whole new world. The coral polyps come out to feed and the invertebrates use the cover of darkness to clamber over the reefs.

Turtles - During the summer months loggerhead and leatherback turtles come out of the sea at night to nest on the beaches. Night turtle tours are provided during December and January. Departure times vary with the tide.

Accommodation in the area would be Sodwana Bay Resort and Sodwana Bay Lodge.

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