Sodwana Bay

Sodwana Bay Travel Blog

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The fishing boats return with their catch

Sodwana Bay is an unusual place - it attacts 2 types of visitors - fishermen and divers! The former, at the risk of stereotyping, tended to be large white South African men and the latter a very international crowd - we met French, Russians, Dutch and German on our boats.

Yet again, it was an early start as we had to be at the dive shop at 7.30am to sort out our kit and meet our personal kit bitch, George, who basically did all the kit carrying and rinsing - this really is holiday diving! Unfortunately, this is the type of PADI operation where experienced divers and novices get lumped in together, so off we went to our first dive site, "Four Buoys".  I can't remember a huge amount to note on this dive, other than the 3 Russians who had not taken any lessons in how to (a) control buoyancy or (b) preserve the coral.

the beach at Sodwana
I do remember a black beauty, a lobster and a large tuna type fish.

The weather had most definitely changed and the hot African sun was baking down during the lunch break - what a shame we hadn't purchased any sunblock, we realised with hindsight!!!! I enjoyed a cheese toastie with the Dutch couple and Tom sunbaked (literally!)

The second dive was Antons - a very good dive, particularly as my camera was working this time - I saw a guitarfish, a swimming moray eel and best of all a whale shark just as we surfaced. This was a 3m baby but I got to see it underwater. Tom had managed to photograph the sharks gill, which we are going to e-mail back for identification purposes.

After the dive, we waited around for a while for a lift back to the hotel, but were kept entertained by watching the fishing boats coming in to the beach through the surf.

The whale shark!!!
George pointed out one with a black flag - that means "marlin on board" so we went over to have a look. Indeed, they had caught a 3m one which filled the deck of the boat.

The following day, we were promoted to the "more advanced" group, where at last I met the first Brit of the holiday - Brian, who was a fluent french speaker and guiding 4 French people. We had Greg, a seasoned diver in Sodwana, leading the dive. Fortunately, Brian was outvoted and we ended up a 7-mile reef.  The journey out to the reef entertained us with a humpback whale sighting - a mother and calf heading south to their feeding grounds. We also saw a turtle track where a loggerhead had beached to lay eggs. On the dive itself I was kept busy trying to photograph a blue spotted ray and some lionfish. I found the coral a little disappointing after the red sea, but there were a lot of fish species to identify.Sadly we didn't see a turtle swimming around, only one in a hole.

We quickly packed up and checked out after the dive and drove to our next destination.

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The fishing boats return with thei…
The fishing boats return with the…
the beach at Sodwana
the beach at Sodwana
The whale shark!!!
The whale shark!!!
Guitarfish
Guitarfish
Sodwana Bay
photo by: cath_shafto