iSimangaliso – A Day in Sodwana Bay

Yup, I know … there’s no way you can properly do #Sodwana in a day (especially when it is bucketing with rain, and with the ocean in a contemptuously wild and pissed-off mood).

Unfortunately, this is what our #iSimangaliso shoot programme boiled down to, so we got stuck in and milked every moment in between the downpours. Fortunately, we were based at the beach-side #MseniBeachLodge, with easy access to all local amenities and activities.

The wild weather meant that the world-class #scuba diving here was on hold, but this ocean town with it’s edgy, frontier feel delivered heaps of options nonetheles -:

1) A great way to get to orient yourself is at the ‘Ocean Shark Centre’, which offers a great land-based introduction to the rich and diverse marine life here in the #iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The kids loved the sharky exhibits, and spent a happy (and dry) hour trawling past shark fins, jaws, puffer fish in formaldehyde and really informative displays.

2) Snorkeling is a must, even in the worst possible conditions, with waves bashing over the reef and rain sheeting across the bay. The good news is that the water temperature hovers in the mid-20s, and that fish abound even in the murkiest of conditions. I eventually dragged Beth and Robs out of the Indian Ocean after a good hour of aqua play.

3) Definitely base yourself at the extensive #MseniBeachLodge, which offers direct access to #CoralDivers for snorkeling, scuba and other ocean activities. Comfortable log chalets, a stylish beach-view house, a quality restuarant and dozens of private camp sites cover every accommodation base, but I’d warrant a guess that things get pretty hectic here during the peak season. Check out www.mseni.co.za for more info.

4) Top of the pops was an exhilarating night-time adventure with #Ufudu #TurtleTours. We set off with Pieter around 8PM in search of leatherback and loggerhead hatchlings, but the pounding tides were not in our favour. Never fear, as the sight of literally tens of thousands of stalk-eyed ghost crabs scuttling along the beaches was fantastic. Add to this the feeling of stopping off at Nine Mile Point for hot chocolate on a deserted coast line, and the ocean surging at our vehicle on the home run, and you can bargain on an exceptional outing.

5) Good coffee … that is the one thing we could not find in #Sodwana. The so-called cappucinos we did find were made from weak drip-trough brew, but then I suppose it was out of season, and it could be that all the baristas had gone to ground. Cue the #FigTreeCafe on the road out of town, situated at the ever popular Ilala Weavers. Exceptional food, top class caffeine fix, plus I spotted a cool green water snake in their giant fig tree.

The Isuzu South Africa #KBbakkie once again safely negotiated the gravel roads, while the TomTom #Bandit captured some great moments while snorkeling. All other images on the PENTAX SOUTH AFRICA #PentaxKseries Kit, together with my Clik Elite SA #ProExpress pack and Peak Design #Slide straps.

Click here to view the pics

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