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Sodwana Bay / KZN

Discussion in 'Africa' started by Skuba-doo, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Skuba-doo

    Skuba-doo Angel Fish

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    Looking at being in the area around July. Looking for advice and guidance on diving in the KZN area, Ive heard a little about Sodwana Bay etc, but also want to do safari - perhaps in Umfalozi - so would like to somehow combine the two. Is it advisable to stay for example in St Lucia and travel for the diving (thus central to both Diving and Safari?) or should we stay more toward Sodwana/Cape Vidal
    What will teh water temp be at this time of year, and more importantly what will I see (and whats the vis gonna be like!?)
    any advice gratefully received
     
  2. JB

    JB Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Australia
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    My experience is that Sodwana is OK, (the beach is like a shopping mall car park on a saturday morning, unless they have banned vehicles now). The dive sites are crowded, and the boats take every one to 2 mile reef all day (quick turnaround), but try and get to 5, 7 and 9 mile reefs, if you go there. Looking at my logbook, water temp varies between 21 and 25 degrees C, visibility 10 to 20 meters, sometime more. What you see is colourful coral, and subtropical fish, eals turtles cray's, octopus, stone, scorpion, lion, various angel fish, wrasse, dolphins etc etc. There is better diving, IMHO, is just a little further up the coast in Southern Mocambique, Ponto do Ouro, Ponto de Malongane, Coral Gardens (at Malongane) rates as one of my best dives ever (acres of uninterrupted, pristine coral, at 12 meters, with attendant subtropical fish, and on that dive a whale shark). By now the resorts probably extend a few bays further north. I think you should split the trip into a Safari part where you are based in or near the game reserve ( part of the fun is the 6am game drive), and then a diving trip where you are based at the beach. My info is about 10 years old so hopefully a local will advise you on current conditions. A long way further south is Aliwal Shoal, famous for dives with ragged tooth sharks (I recall a memorable night dive in Raggy Cave!), and a wreck at around 30 meters ""The Produce"".
    Good luck with your plans, whatever you decide it will be great.
     
  3. travel girl

    travel girl Nassau Grouper

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    I live on the KZN coast between Protea bank and Aliwal Shoal. I am a travel agent Specializing in diving and safaris. I agree with J.B. Sodwana has become far too commercial I would suggest time diving at Aliwal Shoal then a game park trip and finally diving in Southern Mozambique I have just put a very similar tour together for someone. send me a mail lorraine@toptravelafrica.com with your budget, how many people and how long you want to spend in KZN/Mozambique and I will put an itinerary together for you
     
  4. SA-Diver

    SA-Diver Barracuda

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    Absolutely agree with Travel Girl and JB!
     
  5. Skuba-doo

    Skuba-doo Angel Fish

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    Hi,
    Weve been looking at Thonga Beach Lodge - anybody have any experiences here?
    cheers
     
  6. travel girl

    travel girl Nassau Grouper

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    Hi Skuba-doo,
    Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the pristine shores of the Maputuland coast, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This 24-bed luxury lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the most unspoilt wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Mabibi is a magical place of coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. Its crystal clear, warm waters offer South Africa’s best snorkelling and fantastic off-shore scuba diving.
    The rates are: Seaview rooms R 2,300.00 per person sharing full board and all non-motorised sports. Standard rooms R 2,100.00 per person sharing full board and all non-motorised sports.
    I can send you more info just drop me a mail; lorraine@toptravelafrica.com
     
  7. kosmonooit

    kosmonooit Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Jouberg, South Africa
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    It's all good - just make sure you dont go during local school holidays, thats when it gets hectic. Anytime April to Sep is mild and pleasant.

    I have stayed at Sodwana Bay Lodge - Diving, Fishing, Game Viewing, Adventure, its okay, although cant say much for the greasy-spoon kitchen, but they do have a self-catering. Dive shop is good, small groups, good rigs and friendly DM's (very cool local guys)

    There is also the KZN Parks Board Chalets which are really excellent, and lots of other diver - lodging operations there.

    Getting up to Southern Moz is a bit more adventurous, will require a 4x4 otherwise for KZN just hire a normal car. There are plenty of camp sites as well.

    I was in Sodwana last July, water temp was 22-23 Deg C and a 5mm full body was fine.
     
  8. travel girl

    travel girl Nassau Grouper

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    Most of the resorts in Southern Mozambique offer transport from the South African border to the resort, you can leave your car in a lock up garage at the border
     
  9. Harry Kreigh

    Harry Kreigh Angel Fish

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    I went to South Africa/Moz several years ago. It was in early July for the Sardine Run. I stayed at Shelly Beach and dove at Protea Banks (saw some raggies, whales and dolphins). Not sure how that compares to Aliwal Shoals. I then drove to the border and stayed at Ponto Malongane. The accomodations there are very basic (tents or round huts), but agree that the diving was pretty good overall. After that, I did a safari at Hluhuwe- Umfolozi Game Park and really enjoyed it (drove around all day long and took the guided drives at dawn/dusk).

    You should probably do diving and safari separately for maximum enjoyment. I understand the best diving is further north in Moz.

    Harry
     
  10. travel girl

    travel girl Nassau Grouper

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    Harry you are right about the diving being better further north from Imhambane up.
    You will not Recognize southern Mozambique gone very commercial,
     

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