Sodwana Bay Diving - Our Reefs at a Glance

Sodwana has undoubtedly the best coral reefs in South Africa, These reefs are of the most southerly coral reefs in the world and are fed by warm water sweeping South by the mighty Algulhas Current. 

There are no rivers entering the sea for 100km on either side of us, no silt, sediment, nutrients or pollution.  

Corals need a firm base to grow on and 2, 5, 7 and 9 mile are all solidified dunes from previous lower sea levels providing a perfect base for coral growth, these ancient dunes date our coral reefs to over 4000 years old.  Add to this the fact that there are many canyons close to the shoreline which effectively intercept sand and dump it in the deeper waters instead of washing it onto the reef system.  All of these factors create perfect conditions for coral growth.

Quarter Mile Reef - 8-12 metres

A shallow reef, consisting of sponges and soft corals.  Because it is so shallow the swell really affects underwater conditions but if you get a chance to dive there you could see plenty of turtles, game fish, firefish, rays, giant sand sharks, paperfish, pipefish and scorpion fish.  During the summer months of December to March the pregnant sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), grey nurse shark, spotted ragged-tooth shark spend some time on the reef whilst they gestate.  During this time the sharks are monitored and quarter mile is closed for diving until they are settled.  Do not despair if the reef is closed during your stay.  We know plenty of other secret spots where you can see them.

Two Mile Reef - 9-38 metres

There are approx twenty well known scuba diving sites on two mile reef and if you want there are always lesser dived spots that we can explore too.  The topography varies hugely from flat and sandy on the off shore side to pinnacles, caves, cliffs, big sand patches and nice ledges with a massive diversity in corals and marine life. You can see tiny shrimps and decorator crabs to paper fish, pipe fish, many species of scorpion fish, over 400 documented species of nudibranchs and sea horses.  Across two mile reef on average, every 50 metres, a diver will see 201 fish within a 5 metre radius and on the shallower parts of the reef that number goes up to 281. Our larger species include brindle bass, potato bass, marbled leopard groupers, many different species of Rays including the majestic Manta Rays, whitetips, black tips, duskys, zebra shark, sand shark, spotted sand tigers, bull, tiger and even occasional great white sharks can be spotted.  There are 5 turtle species and the leatherbacks and loggerheads nest on this impressive coastline up to Mozambique.  

Four Mile Reef - 16 - 20 metres

This reef is commonly called Teddy Bears because all the plate corals make it look like the bears had a picnic and then stacked all the plates.  At Triton it was first called Mark on a Plate after one of our skippers jumped in to see what the reef looked like and had to hide from an inquisitive Tiger Shark.  There are amazing acropora and turbinara plate corals that go on for days.  It's best when the visibility is good.  You can expect to see king fish galore, juvenile marbled leopard rays, juvenile clown triggers, pipe fish and lots of anemones especially magnificent anemones housing shrimps and occasionally orangutang crabs.  

Five Mile Reef - 15-48 metres

Five mile reef is massive and for the most part unexplored with some interesting 30 metre areas that we are always happy to explore if you are keen.  The known sites that we often dive and can't get enough of are Pothole, Fusiliers, Ribbon, Lettuce or Uniform, Gotham and Seamore Ledge.  Each reef is stunning in its own right.  Pothole has amazing corals with a good chance of seeing reef sharks, Fusiliers has a plethora of schooling fish, Ribbon named after the ribbon eels that live there has pipefish, cleaning stations, occasional weedy scorpion fish, huge groupers and firefish.  Lettuce is a deeper reef and what is special about this reef is that the coral is one massive animal, a huge pachyseris coral literally the size of two tennis courts which on a good vis day is breathtaking to behold.  There are some special fish that only occur around this coral and depth which are the guilded trigger fish, swallowtail and tiger angelfish, you can also spot marbled leopard groupers, smooth rockcod, millions of chocolate dips, elongate surgeons and lobster hiding under the coral.  Gotham and Seamore ledge are firm favourites at Triton.  Gotham starts on the northern side with coral rubble and feather stars, Bulls and Oceanic Blacktips like to hang here on the start of Seamore ledge - as you drift south you will cross patches of pachyseris with layers of snappers and fusiliers above the coral in clouds, on the Southern end (some charters call pachyseris reef) there are schools and schools of slingers, groupers and sometime schooling scalloped hammerheads. The offshore and North edge of Gotham is a ledge which is part of the old continental shelf we call Seamore Ledge.  Here the depth maxes out at 48 metres which we dive with technical dive groups, you can see basket stars on the massive ledge and magnificent fire gobies on the sand, eagle rays, all your big sharks and amazing deep water corals such as goniopora and massive gorgonians can all be found here.

Six Mile Reef - 24 metres 

Snappers College has an abundance of fish congregations that will blow your mind!  Because of the depth it's best with Nitrox because scuba diving here doesn't get much better and you will not want to return to the surface.  The reef itself is shaped like a peninsular with a small ledge down one side and sloping sand on the off shores side.  You will see schooling snappers galore, slingers, goatfish, squirrel fish, big eye stumpnose, baardmen and fuseliers.  On a good day the King fish, groupers and Twin Spot Snappers in the mid water will be hunting and chasing around the snappers and bait fish.  Smaller critters found are cleaner shrimps, plenty of paper fish, harlequin shrimps and long nose flatheads (crocodile fish).  This is one of our favourite scuba diving sites in Sodwana Bay

Seven Mile Reef - 16-24 metres

The topography and fishlife at seven mile reef for scuba diving is mind blowing, huge ledges, turrets and swim throughs punctuated by amphitheatres where all the snappers and trumpet fish congregate.  For the best dive we try nor to exceed 18 metres and if the current is north-south we drop and drift either the inshore or seaward side - both sides are spectacular, inshore has the amphitheater and offshore has huge ledge.  There are an abundance of schooling fish on the very North ledge with snappers, slingers and coachmen.  Here the marbled leaopard groupers change their colours to hunt and you can watch them flash between vivid blue and purple and dark brown.  On top of the reef there are tonnes of soft thistle coral and sea goldies making it very pretty for photography.  If there are schools of neon fusiliers then you may get to see the big bluefin kingfish hunting, spot the brindle bass and twin spot snappers patroling for prey.  The Southern end of seven mile is called Mushroom Rock and on a good dive you will finish at these majestic rocks that sit at about 22 metres and rise up to 16 metres on top.  There is way too much to write about you will have to come diving with us and we can show you!

Eight Mile Reef - 14-18 metres

I love love love this dive site!  Ramseys Ledge has the best of both worlds from macro to big stuff.  It is unbelievably pretty and not dived too much.  I can promise you that you will finish this dive with a massive smile on your face.  Under the ledges there are ghost pipefish, paper fish, cleaning stations, two resident dragon morays, pygmy sole, tube anenomes, juvenile razor wrasse, juvenile rockmover wrasse and the occasional lobster.  There is a huge swim thorugh as if someone laid a massive table top that we often find sharks, turtles, pipefish, groupers and rays under.  If you cruise slightly offshore towards the end of your dive you will see the biggest school of coachmen ever.

Nine Mile Reef - 3 -22 metres

The main attraction of nine mile reef is the green coral tree (tubastrea micranthus) which is full up with juvenile domino fish and sea goldies with rubber lips and coral rockcod also hanging out there.  The main reef has lovely cliffs and ledges and plenty of caves that you can swim through and explore.  You will see turtles, brindle and potatoe bass, marbled leopard groupers, paper fish, pipefish, often reef sharks and baardmen.  Its a beautiful dive and well worth the boat ride.

If conditions allow and the sea is flat we can take you scuba diving to breaking waters, its an adventurous dive as we drop inshore of the surf as it breaks over a shallow reef slightly offshore, spend some time in the very shallow water before gliding underneath the breakers and dropping down the other side to around 16 metres, there are lots of gullies, caves and tunnels to explore on the deeper side of the reef.

We have lots of technical dive sites at 45 metres +