Sodwana is a name that evokes images of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. This renowned dive spot in South Africa became famous in 2000 after the first modern photos of the prehistoric coelacanth were captured at a depth of 104m (341 feet) in Jesser Canyon.

Yet, there’s no need to dive deep to experience the wonders of Sodwana. Just beneath the surface, divers can encounter a thriving underwater ecosystem, easily competing with the best coral reefs around the world.

A group of small, colorful fish hang out near a coral reef bommie in Sodwana, South Africa
Image courtesy of Gunnar Oberhösel

Dive Sites in Sodwana

The dive sites stretch nearly 20 kilometres (12 miles) towards Mozambique. Explore the dive site Pinnacles, where hard coral competes for space, or witness pregnant ragged-tooth sharks seeking shelter at 9 Miles. Don’t miss out on the dive site Stringer, where you’ll often find captivating loggerhead turtles.

Nestled in a small coastal village in Kwazulu-Natal, near the Mozambican border, this year-round diving destination is the perfect spot for ocean enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

The landscape of Sodwana Bay in South Africa.
Image courtesy of Gunnar Oberhösel

How to Get to Sodwana

Reaching Sodwana can be a challenge. A shuttle can make the journey safe and comfortable. Accommodations are suitable for every budget. Guest houses, lodges, and backpackers offer great packages with dive centres.

A sea turtle swims over a reef in Sodwana South Africa
Image courtesy of Gunnar Oberhösel

Other Things to Do in Sodwana

Beyond scuba diving, the area offers a wide range of things to do – such as turtle walks from November to April or the opportunity to spot hippos on a stroll through the town of Saint Lucia.

Sodwana might be one of the only places on Earth where you can find yourself on a game drive admiring elephants one day and diving through vibrant coral reefs the next.

A pregnant ragged tooth shark swims past divers in South Africa

Sodwana Hosts a Marine Protected Area

Remember, you are diving in the marine protected area of iSimangaliso. Buoyancy control is vital not accidentally to kick the coral reefs from accidental fin kicks. Improve your diving experience by taking advantage of the courses offered in Sodwana, such as the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification course or the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course.

As currents can sometimes be strong, and the nearest decompression chamber is hours away, safety is paramount when diving in Sodwana. Keep a watchful eye on the divemaster, and always carry a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) in case you lose your buddy.

Two anemonefish hang out near an anemone in South Africa
Image courtesy of Gunnar Oberhösel

Get ready for an unforgettable journey and immerse yourself in the wonders of Sodwana, a true dive paradise in South Africa.

A scuba diver floats through clear waters over a coral reef in Sodwana, South Africa

This blog was written by Guest Writer Gunnar Oberhösel, a PADI Freediver and PADI Pro based in South Africa. For more information about diving in Sodwana, reach out to Gunnar here.

Share This

Related Posts