Sodwana Bay - Wikipedia
Date posted: 2012-06-13
Sodwana Bay National Park is a narrow strip of forested sand dunes located along the KwaZulu Natal coast. Proclaimed a national park in the 1950s it is a paradise for anglers and divers.
Sodwana is situated in the Maputaland Marine Reserve and the only scuba diving area along the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park (now renamed to Isimangaliso) coastline. Classified as one of the top dive sites in the world this 50 km reef complex boasts around 95 species of hard and soft coral, sponges, other invertebrates and around 1200 fish species. It attracts 35 000 scuba divers every year. Vast 700m deep valleys, submarine canyons, are strewn over a distance of 2km. It was in one of these that on 27 November 2000 that the coelacanth was rediscovered.
Diving conditions: Visibility: 10-50m, best Sept-March; Depth range: 8-80m; Marine life: Indian Ocean species and cold water species. Humpback whales. Ragged tooth sharks(nesting and hatching reefs); whale sharks; tiger sharks; manta rays, moray eels; Dive qualifications: minimum is Open Water. Technical dive locations available too; Reefs: 1/4 Mile, 2 Mile (ALL LESS THAN 18M) Stringer, Antons, Zambi Alley, caves&overhangs, Coral Gardens, 4 Buoy, Pinnacles, Waynes World, 2 Buoy, Cat,Smarties,Chain), 5 Mile(Hotspot32m, Gotham 44m, Lettuce 30m, Ribbon, Pothole), 7 Mile (Northern wall, 3xAmpitheatres, Mushroom Rock), 9 Mile aka Green Tree. In addition there are secret reefs restricted to locals or good divers.
In recent years fish species have declined significantly in this area of the South African coast. Sailfish, King Mackerel and especially Kingfish have become virtually extinct in these reefs. Sailfish were last reported on 5 January 2007, this decline mainly due to overfishing by the large numbers of ski boats visiting these reefs annually.
In the March 2011 issue of National Geographic Magazine, a short article titled Ancient Swimmers appeared, dicussing the groundbreaking discovery of elusive coelacanths in the depths of Sodwana Bay and the surrounding area. A small section of the written article explains that:
"Since this chance sighting, Latimeria chalumnae have been found in several pockets in [and around] the Indian Ocean. No one knows how many there are - maybe as few as 1,000 or as many as 10, 000. Because of the depth of their habitat, they have mainly been photographed by submersibles and remotely-operated vehicles. Divers first documented the fish [in Sodwana Bay] in 2000; in January and February 2010, a specially trained team dived to take pictures of [another] small colony in Sodwana Bay, South Africa."
Road map to Kosi Bay Manguzi Ponta
Date posted: 2012-06-13
Road map to Kosi Bay Manguzi
Date posted: 2012-05-30
Saved from dune mining, the 332 000 hectare iSimangaliso Wetland Park was listed for its outstanding natural values as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1999. The iSimangaliso Authority was set up to manage the Park, created from 16 different parcels of land – a patchwork of state-owned land, commercial forests and former military sites.
These natural values are exceptional biodiversity, ecological processes and superlative scenic beauty – the sense of place that roused public opinion against mining. iSimangaliso also contains four wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
iSimangaliso has 220 kms of coastline, bringing together five ecosystems and ten unique destinations: Maphelane, Lake St Lucia, Cape Vidal and the Eastern Shores, Charters Creek and the Western Shores, False Bay, Sodwana Bay, uMkhuze, Lake Sibaya, Coastal Forest and Kosi Bay.
Park establishment programs have seen the removal of some 12 000 ha of alien plants and commercial forests. Wetland and dune rehabilitation programs, the introduction of game, runway upgrades, the building of new roads, game fences, new water supply and bulk electricity supply systems and substations have all contributed to building the new Park.
The all-weather Lubombo road (R22) – linked to the N2 from Durban – from Hluhluwe to the Mozambique border, via Kosi Bay has created an easy route for tourists and improved community access. Close co-operation between the Mozambican, Swazi and South African governments has almost entirely removed the threat of malaria from the area.
The visa waiver agreement between South Africa and Mozambique, effective since April 2005, has started to ease access into the region.
The different names for Kosi Bay is:
- Maputaland and Tembe Thongaland is the traditional name (after the king Mabhudu who reigned from Maputo to Kosi Bay).
- Kosi Bay, Kosi Mouth, Kosi Lakes is the popular tourism destination names.
- Isimangaliso and Elephant Coast is the marketing initiative names.
- Manguzi is the small town community name which falls in the Kwangwanase district in the Umhlabayalingana Municipality.