Everything you need to know about Sodwana Bay

 

Sodwana Bay Climate

Sodwana Bay has a sub-tropical climate, which means our summers are hot and our winters are mild. Our summer months are our rainy season with the most rain during February, this brings the late afternoon showers and with it hot and humid conditions. Our winters are considered cold for us locals and we are generally in our foul weather gear, but for the normal human, you can still get away with your board shorts and flip-flops during the day and a light jacket at night – we highly recommend packing a few extra layers for just in case.

Average minimum air temperature: 12⁰C / 53.6⁰F
Average maximum air temperature: 32⁰C / 89.6⁰F
Average minimum sea temperature: 20⁰C / 68⁰F
Average maximum sea temperature: 28⁰C / 82.4⁰F

 

What to bring

General - Depending on where you are staying you might need the following:

  • Bedding
  • Food & Drinks
  • Towels & Toiletries
  • Torches/Camping Lights
  • Plastic/metal glasses for your sundowner sessions at Lake Ngoboseleni or Lake Sibaya
  • Doom – Always a clever idea to spray your tent again while having dinner so that any mozzies are rid of before going to sleep
  • Mosquito Repellent – I personally recommend Peaceful Sleep Spray for adults – not great for kiddies
  • SUNCREAM AND HAT AND SUN GLASSES – Yes, our Zululand Sun is HARSH
  • Due to the unusual amount of rain we have experienced we recommend that you bring along a rain coat of sorts and/or an umbrella should we have an occasional downpour
  • International adapters – not many accommodation facilities have on site
  • Extra cash for tips (Beach staff, petrol attendants, waiters etc.)
  • Binoculars are great for viewing our many species of Birdlife and for watching whales breaching on the horizon
  • A shovel – there are many sand roads in Sodwana Bay – getting stuck happens to the best of us.

Scuba Divers Checklist

  • Dive qualification cards and Logbooks are important. If you have misplaced them, let us know and we will do an online check prior to your arrival.
  • Dive Permit – This is needed to dive in the Sodwana Bay Marine Protected Area, they come in the form of a fishing permit and can be purchased from your local Post Office prior to your arrival.
  • Is your dive equipment all accounted for and in working order? We highly recommend maintaining and servicing your equipment on a regular basis. Let us know beforehand should you need to hire any equipment from us.
  • Is your computer set to sea level? Most do so automatically, but it’s worth checking if you are unsure.
  • Is your computers battery ok and ready to dive?
  • Make sure you bring along seasickness tablets – unless you are ok with feeding our fishies.
  • Make sure your dive insurance is up to date – See below for the contact details for DAN (Divers Alert Network)

 

General Information

Shopping
Silversands located in the park is a mini Spar and sell everything from fresh produce to beachwear.
Mbazwana (the nearest town) has developed over the years and now boasts a “shopping centre” with a Spar, OK, Pep Stores etc., which is convenient for all visitors to the area. Tourists no longer need to be well stocked when they arrive in Sodwana Bay, and can now purchase all their groceries whilst on holiday.

Petrol Stations
In the national park and Mbazwana town . Petrol (Unleaded and LRP), Diesel, Gear Oil etc.

Medical
Mseleni Hospital: For serious injuries. Mseleni is renowned for the high calibre of its doctors, many of whom have chosen to serve this small, rural hospital through their interest in Scuba Diving.
Dr. Nkosi Clinic: For general illnesses. Situated in Mbazwana, opposite the Chemist. Treatment includes medication and costs around ZAR 350.
Chemists: There is a chemist selling basic medicines in Mbazwana. The nearest Pharmacy is in Hluhluwe.

Banks
There are 2 ATMs in the Park at Silversands, 1 ATM inside Leatherbacks Restaurant.
Mbazwana has a Capitec and Ithala Bank as well as ATMs.

 

Non-Diving Activities

Beach Driving
Sodwana Bay is one of the only beaches in South Africa that you can access via your 4x4 vehicle. You can do so on weekends and all public, long weekends and school holidays. Deflate tyres to 1.2 Bar. You can travel for 4 km North and enjoy pristine beaches by yourself.

Snorkelling
Open Ocean Excursions/Ocean Explorations sight seeing and snorkelling trips are a must for divers and non-divers alike and are fun for the whole family (little ones included). Experience our beautiful marine life in a unique interactive way with our trusted, knowledgeable and experienced guides. Enjoy our superb snorkelling in the shallow bay and rock pools.

Microlight Flights
Flights are available over the ocean where you have the chance to ‘birds-eye-view’ the oceanic Big 5, as well as the costal dunes and Lake Sibaya where hippos and crocodiles wallow in the shallows.

Whale Watching -Seasonal View migrating Humpback whales with the chance sighting of a calf, through the sole concessionaire holder in Sodwana Bay

Deep Sea Fishing
Sodwana Bay is host to some of the most prestigious deep-sea fishing competitions in the country, and there are many world-class charter operators based in Sodwana Bay. They provide an all-in service right down to meals on board.
Prices and availability on request.

Turtle Tours
Experience the prehistoric Leatherback Turtle females as they make their way up our coast line looking for the perfect spot to lay their eggs, the same beach that they emerged as tiny little hatchlings crossing the treacherous beach dodging gulls and game fish heading for the security of the deep. Join us on this experience of a lifetime.
Seasonal and availability dependent.

Local Craft
The beach craft market at Sodwana Bay offers beach sarongs, hand-made beach bags, Sodwana Bay ice cream (pineapples) and locally produced handmade items for sale.

Game Reserves
Within an 80-km radius of the Lodge are the Tembe Elephant Park, with its giant black elephants, Mkuzi Game Reserve and Bird Sanctuary, Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve and Ndumu Game Reserve, a bird watcher’s paradise. There is also Zulu Croc, which is a reptile park and considered an educational adventure

 

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