ROAD TRIP – Sodwana Bay (5)

Sodwana Bay @ Coral Divers (on the beach)

Welcome to our road trip of December 2021. We are travelling by car across South Africa (from the west coast → north coast → KZN south coast → back to the west coast). The distance we will cover, will be around 5,000km (3,106 miles).

Our main purpose for this trip, besides seeing places we have not seen before, is for Berto to scuba dive in Sodwana Bay and then to be a little more adventurous … diving with sharks in the ocean in Umkomaas on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. We hope to share lots of pictures to show you our beautiful country.

Accommodation – Day 4 to Day 10:

Coral Divers at Sodwana Bay

So, here we are … at Sodwana Bay for a wonderful week to have fun on the beach and for Berto to go scuba diving!

In this post we will introduce you to the beach, as well as more pictures form Coral Divers. In our next post, we’ll take you under the sea to see beautiful colourful fish, reefs and maybe a surprise appearance by a friendly sea mammal.

But let’s get to the beach! And what a welcome we received on our first morning … a massive thunderstorm!

While Berto headed to the beach for his first dive (in the rain), I hanged on for a while in our cabin. Fortunately, it seemed the rain storm was on its way to the next town … and within an hour, the rain disappeared and the sun came out. Happy days and I’m off to the beach … in Coral Divers’ unique ‘taxi’ 😄.

A tractor with a trailer takes all divers and their families down to the beach … this is such a fun trip!

Sodwana Bay’s beach is pristine and I love to sit under the covers of Coral Divers and watch all the activities … beach goers, divers going in and coming back, tractors assisting with boat launching – you name it, and it’s all happening at Sodwana Bay!

A shallow river mouth, with the sea in the background
Tractors on the beach assisting boats into- and out of the sea
Scuba diving boats on the beach
While the smaller kids love the river, the others enjoy the waves in the sea

If there is one animal you have to be on the lookout for, it’s monkeys! These sneaky buggers are amazing acrobats when it’s coming to the stealing of food!

As mentioned before, Sodwana Bay is unspoiled … no beach resorts, restaurants and bars. At the beach you’ll find only two shops. The one is basically just a kiosk selling something to eat and drink. There are a few tables where you can sit down or get take-aways – we loved their toasted sandwiches!

The Beach Kiosk

The other shop (the Beach Shop), sells beach clothes and other accessories that might come in handy, especially when diving. You might also be in luck to find a t-shirt or hat that can protect you from the hot sun!

The Beach Shop

While Berto was diving, I had long walks on the beach. There were not a lot of holiday goers yet, as the summer holidays are only due to start officially in a week’s time. I therefor had the beach sometimes almost to myself.

These trees give much needed shade should you arrive without a beach umbrella (but don’t you dare)
Coral Divers’ spot on the beach – look at that thunderstorm approaching!
Boats with scuba divers on their way to the colourful reefs

Diving at Sodwana Bay:

The diving operations at Sodwana Bay is fascinating to watch … it’s like a well-oiled machine! Divers are scheduled on the different boats in different time slots. Divers have the opportunity to do two dives per day which is scheduled early morning and then another one just before lunch – diving conditions are generally good in the morning. In the afternoon the wind is picking up and the sea is getting rough, but it’s still great to spent time on the beach.

The dive schedule at Coral Divers
Every morning, the staff at Coral Divers pack out chairs for divers to use and relax in-between dives
Divers’ diving kit is packed into crates with the designated boat’s name and taken down with beach buggies to the boat

Before each dive, a dive master will call his/her diving buddies together where they will give an overview of the next dive and explain safety procedures.

The divers walking to their boat to enjoy another dive
The tractor pushes the boat into the water

It’s organised chaos on the beach – tractors waiting to put boats in the water or waiting for boats to come out of the water. But funny enough, it never seems as if anybody is stressed about the commotion!

Tractors waiting to assist the divers’ boats
The boats run out onto the beach with high speed
Berto’s boat arriving back from another spectacular dive
Once again, the tractor pulls the boat further away from the water and the beach buggies’ team load the diving gear
The guys on the tractors are masters at organising!
Berto finished another great dive

Coral Divers Accommodation:

We loved our stay once again at Coral Divers. The staff is always friendly and helpful. And once again, we had the opportunity of meeting great people from all over the country.

The dive planning for each day are dotted down on a board in the entertainment area at Coral Divers
The inside entertainment area
There’s even a play area for the little ones
And make sure not to miss out on the crystal-clear swimming pool

In our next post, we are doing the “wet part” of our blog, Wet and Dusty Roads! We will take you under the water to see the amazing sea life at Sodwana Bay … make sure you’re not missing out!

The monkeys at Sodwana Bay made pretty sure they were not missing out on anything

41 thoughts on “ROAD TRIP – Sodwana Bay (5)

    1. Thanks Marion! We had such a wonderful time at Sodwana beach … though it was overcast, it was hot and humid (fortunately, those heavy rain showers stayed away)! Yes, you will see in the next post just how much Berto enjoyed his dives – so much colour and fish, it was quite unbelievable! Thanks for popping in and continuing to follow our road trip 🌸.

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    1. That’s true Leighton, tractors are the main vehicles on this beach … purely because it’s a diver’s paradise! There were a few snorkelers and sunbathers, but I probably missed them because I was looking out for the divers’ boats. Loved our accommodation … rustic, but equipped with everything we needed.

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    1. O ja, dit was te lekker om alleen daar op die lang strand rond te loop! Daar was darem mense, maar meer beperk tot die hoof strand gedeelte … jy sal baie van die onderwater foto’s hou – soveel kleur en visse, ek was mal daaroor toe Berto dit vir my gewys het!


  1. This sounds like the perfect beach/dive vacation. We prefer the rustic beaches to the overpopulated tourist ones. Was the first monkey a velvet? They’re so pretty, even though they pests. Can’t wait to see the dive pics! Maggie

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    1. Yes Maggie, we also prefer our beach/dive holidays in the less crowded areas and Sodwana was the perfect choice! I know that vervet monkeys are very common in South Africa and this one certainly has the looks of a vervet – they are pretty and I enjoy watching them (but at the same time also keep an eye on my toasted sandwich 😉). I’m sure you’ll love the dive pics – Sodwana’s colourful fish is simply amazing!

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  2. Grant knows Sodwana. He used to go there quite some time ago. He is from near Durban. I think it must be wonderful to explore the underwater world but I wasn’t even any good at snorkeling! Look forward to dive pics.

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    1. Oh, so Grant is a Durban boy 😉 … well, then he would certainly know Sodwana. We met a lot of people from Durban area that visit Sodwana just for a couple of days to dive (and it’s not a long trip for them)! I’m with you on exploring the underwater world … I usually can’t wait to see Berto’s photo’s and video’s, but I’m definitely no sea baby (though, I love the beach).

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  3. Glad to hear there are still unspoiled beaches on this Earth🙂 So beautiful!!
    I can’t wait to see Berto’s findings under the water! I have never tried to scuba dive, it is hard to learn?

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    1. It is amazing to experience these unspoiled beaches (and hard to believe that it’s still out there)! I’m sure you will love Berto’s footage underwater (I was certainly in awe) 😊. Well, I’m probably not the right person to say whether scuba diving is easy (because I’m not the diver), but Berto will tell you it’s easy and so much fun! He’s been diving now for 27 years and always enjoy his dives.

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      1. That’s true … he’s always saying “Anyone can do it” … and then I’m thinking “No” 😁. Especially now with him diving with sharks in the ocean the past week … my heart wants to stop at just hearing it! But maybe the old saying is true – when you put your heart and mind in something, you can do anything …

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    1. I agree, it is an odd to see … it’s not something you will see easily on any other beach in South Africa. Vehicles are not allowed on most of the beaches (let alone tractors). But I assume, since this beach in Sodwana are mainly for divers and deep-sea fishing, it’s the easiest way to launch these boats.

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    1. Yes, Coral Divers’ been around for a long time and they are such a great asset to the diving industry here in KwaZula-Natal. We will hopefully get the next post out soon … I need Berto’s help with the pictures and he’s most of the time under water 😁. But I can guarantee you that you’ll love the underwater pictures!

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      1. Thanks John … it’s probably only because Berto is diving and then I can take my laptop and sit next to the ocean. And we are staying in places where there is not much to do (except enjoying nature) … but yes, it takes a bit of self motivation 😁!

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  4. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a tractor pull a dive boat in and out of the water before! The beach looks beautiful. How lovely to have had it mostly all to yourself. It’s crazy how quickly the weather can change from clouds to blue skies and then back to clouds again. Looking forward to your next post about what’s under the sea. It’s been awhile since I’ve last gone scuba diving, largely because of this pandemic. It’s something that I’ve really missed.

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    1. Haha 😁, yes the sight of tractors on the beach is quite unique. And I loved my long walks on the beach – not having to worry to trip over someone’s beach towel! I’m sure you’re going to love the underwater photo’s in our next post … really hope you will be getting an opportunity soon to go scuba diving again.

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    1. Indeed, it’s a wonderful place to totally relax and getting away from all the busyness of everyday life! I’m sure you’re going to like our next post – there are so many colourful fish and beautiful reefs. See you there soon ☺️.

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  5. Great to have the beach virtually to yourself whilst Berto was diving, the walks must have been lovely. We saw a similar thing on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, where a fleet of tractors pulled the fishing boats in and out of the water every day. The silence was shattered for about 20 minutes while it happened. Your trip is terrific so far!

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    1. Ah, it’s great to hear tractors are used for the very same thing elsewhere in the world. Oh yes, loved my walks on the beach … the sand is so soft and the water warm. We are enjoying our trip tremendously – nearing the end now, but there’s still more to see and experience! Enjoy your trip in Costa Rica – looks already as if you you’re going to have a great time!

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    1. It is now our fourth visit to Sodwana and every time it’s such a blast! It certainly is the fact that it’s such a great diving spot and a pristine beach … but I think it’s also because of all the amazing people we meet there!

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures and showing how beautiful your country is. As the subsequently closed borders and the shrinking world have been especially depressing for the past two years ( although not being able to travel is a first-world problem, for many the struggle is real), I still get to travel through your wonderful travel posts! Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

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    1. I’m glad you feel you can travel through our posts Aiva. At least we are fortunate to travel in our own country and thus, it’s the perfect time to explore places we have not seen before! Have a great weekend and take care, Corna 🌸


    1. To be 20m under water … hmm, it sounds a bit daunting to me! But to see the footage that Berto brings back every time, is great! Yes, it was hot and humid – the humidity was exceptionally high. It was around 33 degrees Celsius (what’s that in Fahrenheit … probably around 90 Fahrenheit). Nice beach weather 😄.


  7. Glad you got to do some beach-walking, a favorite pastime of mine when I get the chance. Looking forward to hearing more about the dive itself! I love snorkeling, but like you, the dive is a bit too scary for me.

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    1. Love walking on the beach … whether it’s summer or winter! We are in the final process of putting the underwater photo’s together and will post them soon (another way for us non-divers to see what’s happening under the water 😉).

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  8. This is a very interesting report from a great beach, Corna. The rustic tractors are probably very busy because it seems to be a beach specially designed for divers. There are definitely many wonderful and amazing things to see and explore underwater. I have never done a dive, i’m afraid of it. I only did a little snorkeling. I think I would have preferred to take long, beautiful walks on the beach.
    Corna, stay safe and healthy and have a merry christmas time….
    Rosie 🎅☃️🎍🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for enjoying a day on the beach with us Rosie 😉. You are absolutely spot on … this is definitely a beach for divers … though, everybody enjoys a day here! I loved my long walks on the beach – it’s such an unspoiled beach and nature is quite amazing in this part of the world! (You should have a look at our last post – Sodwana Bay (6) – where I’ve posted photo’s that Berto took on his dives … the colour under water is astonishing)!
      Sunshine greetings from South Africa, Corna 🌞

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