Reefs for any interest & experience
Sodwana Bay is home to the southernmost coral reefs in Africa. Each reef in Sodwana in measured in miles by its distance from our sheltered launch site called Jesser Point. Our reefs are special in that their coral is layered up on sandstone and are the remains of the ancient sand dunes – our reefs are believed to be 4000 years old! There are over 1200 species of fish and about 95 species of hard and soft corals, sponges and other invertebrates recorded in Sodwana Bay.
¼ Mile Reef
Maximum depth: 14m
Minimum depth: 8m
This reef has a lot of wave action, but is densely populated with coral. It is inhabited by Turtles, Fusiliers, Snappers, Paperfish, Ghost Pipefish, Devil Firefish, Scorpion Fish and Nudibranchs. Game fish are regularly encountered. Between December and February every year, ragged tooth sharks visit the reef for part of their gestation period.
During this period the reef is only open for dives if the authorities so decide, ensuring an undisturbed ‘human’ impact that it is strictly controlled, with only qualified DM’s being authorised to lead dives here.
2 Mile Reef
Maximum depth: 35m
Minimum depth: 9m
The most popular dive site in Sodwana. 2 Mile Reef is approximately 2km long and about 1km wide. After all our years diving in Sodwana Bay, we still haven’t dived the complete 2 Mile Reef. It is massive with diverse topography. This reef offers everything from walls, pinnacles, gullies and caves to Sharks, Rays, Nudibranchs, Schooling Fish, Dolphins, Shrimps, Paperfish, Potato Bass, Manta Rays, Octopus, Sponge Corals, Anemones, Whip Corals……….. we could go on and on. It is the ultimate dive site that is diveable in most weather conditions as it is perfectly placed in our protected bay. Perfect for students and Advanced divers.
4 Mile Reef
Maximum depth: 20m
Minimum depth: 16m
This is an amazing dive site that is a Pisces favorite. 4 Mile Reef stretches perpendicular to the shore line with a large wall, sand patches, canyons, gullies and bommies. Schooling Snappers, Slingers and Fusiliers treat the eye on your dive. Buoyancy is even more important here, because of the large delicate Plate Coral that cover the reef. We have seen it all here from the tiny Orangutan Crab to losing count of the amount of Bluefin King Fish hunting on the reef.
5 Mile Reef
Maximum depth: 35m
Minimum depth: 15m
The 5 Mile Reef system is made up of many smaller reef systems. The most popular being Ribbon, Pothole and Uniform, both are special in their own unique way. Ribbon is made up of two separate reefs joined together by ‘stepping stones.’ The reef is home to Devil Firefish, big Parrotfish, Moray Eels, Paperfish, Pipefish, both the Raggy and Tasseled Scorpionfish and loads of Nudibranchs. Named after the uncommon Ribbon Eels that reside here. When diving Uniform reef, you feel like you are entering an alien planet. The reef gets its name because of the layers upon layers of Pachyseris Coral. Special fish sightings include, the Tiger and Swallowtail Angelfish, Smooth Rock Cod and Gilded Triggerfish.
6 Mile Reef
Maximum depth: 47m
Minimum depth: 18m
6 Mile reef is also made up of smaller reef systems, our most popular being Snappers College and for our deep divers Gotham.
Snappers College is one of the newest discovered reefs in Sodwana Bay. The reef is named after the large shoals of Blue Banded Snappers. This is a wide-angle photographers dream, where the Snappers are joined by schools of Slingers, Goatfish and Fusiliers.
If you love sharks and depth then Gotham is for you! This site is dived by few because of the depth qualification limits. The ocean offers no guarantees, but you can see it all from the tiny Bornella Valdae Nudibranch to giant Bull Sharks and schooling Hammerheads.
7 Mile Reef
Maximum depth: 25m
Minimum depth: 14m
One of Sodwana Bay’s most popular dive sites and voted one of the Top 10 dive sites in the world. 7 Mile Reef will blow your mind with its stunning topography and abundant fish life. Schools of Snappers, Goatfish and Slingers surround you as you dive along the Northern Wall and make your way into the Amphitheater. From there you get Castle Rock and Mushroom Rocks, huge top-heavy boulders surrounded by sand and home to Batfish, Turtles and Sharks. 7 Mile is the reef with the most sightings of the Great White Shark.
8 Mile Reef
Maximum depth: 29m
Minimum depth: 14m
8 Mile Reef is special because of its unique layout. This reef is ‘L-shaped’ and can be dived by both Open Waters and Advanced Divers. The shallower part running north – south looks like 2 Mile with gullies, swim-throughs, ledges and pinnacles – it has all the fish 2 Mile Reef has to offer packed into a much smaller space. The east – west section is deeper going down to a maximum of 29m, you dive along a small ledge keeping your eyes open for anything macro. Special sightings include Sea Apples, Cuttlefish, Devil Firefish and Octopus.
9 Mile Reef
Maximum depth: 25m
Minimum depth: 3m
The main attraction on this reef is the Green Coral Tree. It stands about 2m high on its own ledge surrounded by Goldies and Rubberlips. The main reef is made up of large swim-throughs and caves. On perfect days, with flat seas you can get the rare chance to dive Breaking waters which is about 3m-10m deep and situated right on the backline. Because it is seldom dived the fish are very inquisitive and love playing in your bubbles. This part of the reef is mind blowing when the sun shines on the white sand through clear water. We’ve been lucky enough to have Bottlenose Dolphins drop in for a visit.