Dive With the Ocean Creatures in Sodwana Bay
We are not just another scuba diving operator, we live to dive!
Love adventure? Experience the thrill of coming face to face with a raggie; spot a white tip disappearing into the blue; hear the whales singing; as you try to focus on the abundance of corals and turtle that has just awoken from his sleep and is heading for the surface. We are committed to the conservation of our coral reefs and dunes, and strive to give our guests an eco-tourism experience to remember. Scuba diving courses and training can be arranged, either in Johannesburg or Sodwana Bay, including PADI and CMAS. We are serious about what we do, so when we offer you personalised scuba diving at your convenience, with people you would like to share it with, we mean it!
The Boat10 seats, twin board, fun! Safety is our main concern, above and below the waves, so our 7.2m scuba diving boat is fully equipped with safety gear, life jackets, medical kit and oxygen. Lindsay, our skipper, is a qualified dive master, and trained oxygen administrator, and is sure to give you a comfortable launch through the waves at Sodwana Bay.
The EquipmentDon’t Have, we rent! We have a wide variety of equipment for hire. If we don’t have your size, we will get it for you!
Marine and Coastal Management require that you purchase a permit to dive in protected areas. Available from us if you do not have.
All equipment is supplied, if you do not bring any.
Bookings should be made as you will have the benefit of a lower rate, and will be ensured of a space. Diving is available all year round.
All equipment is taken care of afterwards and you can express your gratitude by putting a tip into the tip box in the office of approximately R15 a day or R10 a dive.
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Diving with Sea Escapes offers you the complete experience, adventure, learning, achievement, comfort, and tranquillity on this wild stretch of coast. Huddled in one of the protected Wetlands of Southern Africa, a World Heritage Site, Sodwana Bay is known throughout the world as a dive destination which never ceases to amaze and delight.
Exhilarating launches through the waves before you sink down below the waves to some of the most pristine reefs in the world. We offer scuba training and discover scuba courses to whet your appetite. Our reefs boast 84% of all the fish families and are home to over 50% of soft and hard corals of the world and once under water you will be surrounded by schools of exotic fish.
At Sea Escapes we pride ourselves on caring for our beautiful seas and the animals that have made the reefs their home. All divers are asked to respect the reef by taking pictures and leaving bubbles! Rediscover the simpler pleasures of life – the joy of achievement; the calm of solitude; and the pleasure of good companionship. Rustic and affordable, our Toad Tree Cabins offer you a choice between en-suite wooden cabins or fully equipped self-catering brick cottages for couples or family groups.
Owners, Lindsay and Janice, welcome you to experience diving the way it should be, with comfortable lodging, great reefs, good people and outdoor meals. Come and enjoy a personalised experience with us. We love what we do, are serious about your safety above and below the water, and thoroughly enjoy sharing our world with you!
Situated within the World Heritage Site of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Sodwana Bay is renowned for its scuba diving, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing. 2-mile reef has 14 rocky reefs, covered with coral, and a wide variety of tropical fish. Anton’s at the southern tip of this reef is truly spectacular.
These reefs, estimated to be over 4000 years old, have plenty of caves, overhangs and pinnacles. They are covered with soft and hard corals, and can be dived all year round. Most species of shark have been spotted at Sodwana, and recently three coelacanths approximately 1.5m in length were photographed at a depth of 115m. The south flowing Agulhas current hits the continental shelf a few kilometres offshore, and this deep water is home to marlin and sailfish.
In addition Sodwana Bay is home to 30% of the hard corals and 60% of the soft corals. For the adventurous diver, sightings of sharks, whales and whale sharks are not uncommon, and dolphins, turtles and rays are easily found on the reef.
There are excellent snorkelling spots at Sodwana Bay and Mabibi.
All the dive sites at Sodwana Bay are named by their distance from the Jesser Point Lighthouse. Because of the lack of fringing reefs the trip out to sea is a real adrenalin rush through rough rolling waves. And if you go out to 5 mile or beyond, you will usually have an opportunity to snorkel with the bottle-nosed dolphins that love to bow-ride in front of the boats. The humpback and southern right whales can be seen up and down the coast, and the occasional whale shark, spinner dolphin and humpback dolphin.
¼ mile – This very shallow, bland reef is the hunting ground for large rays and guitarfish. In the summer you can dive with pregnant ragged-tooth sharks for about 2 months, after which they make their way up to Mozambique.
2 mile – This reef is about 2km in length with very interesting topography consisting of large rocky outcrops, arches, cliffs, pinnacles, overhangs, caves and swim through’s. It is a shallow dive from 8m reaching a maximum of 16m covered with soft and hard corals and an abundance of fish life. Anton’s is the most renowned dive site on this reef amongst 9 other very popular dive sites, and no wonder, as you will see snapper, zebra fish, moray eels, turtles, goatfish, fusiliers, clownfish, squirrel fish, wrasse, octopus, surgeons, emperor angel fish, triggerfish, damsels, blennies, crayfish, and plenty more.
Stringer reef – This is the nursery for the larger reef fish and home of the paper fish, relative of the scorpion fish. From the sponge covered walls blennies will peer out at you, while cleaner shrimp and cleaner wrasse are caring for a large variety of rock cod. There are magnificent anenomie with attendant clown fish, potato bass, groupers, manta rays and plenty of sea goldies. Stringer is also home to the Honeycombed Moray eels.
Sponge reef – A 30m deep reef where you will see the rare map puffer – one of the largest of the puffer fish whose beautiful patterned body is usually more than half a metre in length.
Five-mile reef – With a rugged topography of large rocks, deep gullies, pinnacles and grottos, this 18m deep reef is most well known for its bright red anemone. The pothole is the most popular spot on this reef, and is swimming with life. Scorpion fish, swallowtail triggerfish, huge crayfish, moray eels, paper fish and even the magnificent manta ray.
Seven-mile reef – Best known for its mushroom rocks, northern mall and amphitheatre, this reef is a popular choice with divers. Besides the prolific fish life, you will very often spot a black tip reef shark.
Nine mile – Divers come to see the magnificent coral tree (Tubastrea Micrantha) home to dark grey mature domino damsels, several species of crab and many smaller coral fish. There are many overhangs and caves home to large moray eels, lemon fish, moorish idols, nudibranchs, cuttlefish and snappers.
There are seven species of marine turtles, but only the loggerhead and leatherback females nest along our shores during the night in the summer months. Having found a suitable site well above the high water mark the female excavates a pit with her hind flippers in which she deposits between 100 and 120 soft white shelled eggs. She then disguises the nest by throwing sand in all directions with her four flippers and returns to the sea. Leatherbacks can return up to 7 times and loggerheads up to 4 times in a season to deposit eggs.
Between 55 and 65 days later the hatchlings are ready to emerge cutting their way free by means of a special egg tooth on the end of their beaks. Once most of the eggs have hatched the hatchings start digging at the side of the nest until the sand collapses into the hole left by the empty shells making it possible for the hatchlings to climb to the surface. The lighter sea horizon at night guides the hatchlings towards the water where they can escape the ghost crabs and other land predators. They then go into a swimming frenzy to reach the Agulhas current which sweeps them down the east and southern coast of South Africa.
During the first three years of their lives, the hatchlings drift with the currents, feeding on blue bottles, jelly fish and storm snails and avoiding predators who kill 98% of the hatchling population, so only about 1 out of a 1000 hatchlings reach maturity. After 12 to 20 years they return to the beach on which they were hatched to lay their eggs.