Float with turtles in Sodwana Bay

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With roughly 100 species of hard and soft coral, and more than 1,200 species of fish, taking your first breath underwater at Sodwana Bay is like swimming in a surreal aquarium. Bright colours will blow you away, dazzling schools of fish will entertain, and fairly often turtles come to visit too.

According to reports in 2017, there’s been a significant increase in turtle numbers at a majority of nesting sites around the world, and it’s being hailed as a ‘global conservation success story’. So chances are good that these dashing creatures will flap lazily past your mask, and if you don’t spot them underwater, there’s the possibility of seeing them on the beach during turtle tours in the summer.

Do it

The best diving is between November and May. Long-established Coral Divers is situated inside iSimangaliso Wetland Park and close to the main beach (with daily shuttles to and from it).

Annually, from November to February, leatherbacks and loggerheads emerge from the sea to lay eggs in the sand. All nests locations are recorded by GPS, so that guests can return to the nests when they hatch. The hatchlings emerge from their nests from mid-January to the end of April. See them on an evening Ufudu Turtle Tour for R850 per person – visit ufuduturtletours.co.za for all the information.

Read more about Sodwana Bay in the December issue of Getaway magazine, on sale now.