Getaway (South Africa) - - Travel -

GET­TING THERE We flew to Dur­ban’s King Shaka Air­port with Ku­l­ula for R1 800 re­turn. ku­l­ From there it’s about a fourhour drive to Sodwana Bay. NEED TO KNOW The PADI Open Wa­ter Diver course is for ages 10 and over. The course, which al­lows you to dive to 18m (12m for ju­niors), com­prises five the­ory and five pool ses­sions, an exam and four qual­i­fy­ing open-wa­ter dives. We went in the mid­dle of the June school holidays and were able to find last-minute ac­com­mo­da­tion but sum­mer holidays are likely to be a dif­fer­ent story. COST The course at Coral Divers costs R4 000 pp which in­cludes hir­ing all the div­ing gear, div­ing tu­ition and five nights in tented ac­com­mo­da­tion. The sa­fari dome tents are ba­sic and ex­clude bed­ding but if you are trav­el­ling light linen can be pro­vided at R100 pp re­fund­able de­posit. How­ever there are also op­por­tu­ni­ties to up­grade to other fa­cil­i­ties. DO THIS Take a night tour to see the tur­tles. From Novem­ber to Fe­bru­ary leatherbacks and log­ger­heads clam­ber out of the ocean to lay their eggs here on the same beaches where they were hatched decades be­fore. Tours can be or­gan­ised through Divers ex­pe­ri­ence the colour­ful coral reefs at Sodwana Bay. Coral Divers for R750 pp, in­clud­ing snacks and drinks. 033-345-6531, coral­ Sodwana Bay is only part of the ex­pan­sive and ex­cit­ing Isi­man­gal­iso Wet­land Park. We also ex­plored Kosi Bay in the north. Take a boat trip on the lakes cross­ing to Bhanga Nek beach which lies to the south of Kosi Mouth. We crossed the dunes for a swim, and looked south to­wards Sodwana Bay and Cape Vi­dal. Far in the dis­tance, we saw the splash of leap­ing hump­back whales as they mi­grated north. You can fish, view hip­pos and pho­to­graph flamin­gos against the green back­drop of South Africa’s high­est forested dunes. This is or­gan­ised for guests stay­ing at Kosi Forest Lodge for R475 pp. 035-474-1473, isi­ STAY HERE Coral Divers has cab­ins with pri­vate bath­rooms and sa­fari tents. Guests can choose to self­cater or in­clude meals in their stay. Rates are from R165 pp. Park fees are R95 pp daily. You can buy ba­sic sup­plies at the gro­cery store about 1km from the re­sort. 033-345-6531, coral­ Kosi Forest Lodge in Kosi Bay has rus­tic wooden chalets built un­der the tree canopy in a sand forest. It’s re­laxed, yet so­phis­ti­cated, and the needs of every­one from kids to ro­man­tic cou­ples seems to be mag­i­cally met. Its out­stand­ing hospi­tal­ity was boosted with a visit by the chef from sis­ter lodge Thonga Beach Carl Moller, who was given a stand­ing ova­tion for his tomato soup, fresh beer bread, ten­der chicken and de­lec­ta­ble cof­fee pana­cotta. From R2 010 pp in­clud­ing meals and some ac­tiv­i­ties. 035-474-1473, isi­

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