One hundred kilometers south of Mozambique lies the Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve. Forming part of an extensive conservation area incorporating the Lake St Lucia Wetlands, Kosi Bay and several private game reserves, this coastal reserve is second only in size to the famous Kruger National Park. In recent years proposals have been made to extend the reserve to join up with Mozambique, creating one vast nature conservation area in the Maputaland Corridor.
Sodwana Bay Reserve and Campsites
The map on the left shows where Sodwana Bay is located, at the northern tip of the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park.
I mentioned the campground was large. This map of the ground from kznwildlife.com gives an idea of the size and the facilities.
The camping ground is secure. A perimeter game fence surrounds the entire resort; the nature reserve is just outside the fence and large game including rhino and hippo can be found.
Wildlfe inside the camp grounds is limited to small game. One thing for visitors to remember – Sodwana Bay is snake country, with some of Africa’s most dangerous snakes, Black Mamba, (possible Green Mamba), Boomslang, Spitting Cobras, Adders and others, as well as many less dangerous species. Campers are well advised to keep things closed up – no-one wants to find a snake in the tent after a days fishing.
Snakes however are not really a problem – they try to avoid confrontation with humans, so as long as you look where you are going, you should be safe. The Vervet Monkeys are in fact more of a problem. Idiotic visitors insist on feeding them, in defiance of park regulations, and they have no fear of humans. These pests will ransack your possession, so it is wise to tie things up tightly – including cooler boxes, bags and the entrance to your tent!
Sodwana is a malaria area! Visitors should consult a doctor and get prophylactic medication before visiting.
I hesitate to say this place is safe from a criminal activity point of view – this is after all South Africa 2012… However, during our time at Sodwana, fishing in remote locations and at night, I must admit neither Jen or I ever felt uncomfortable or threatened while alone on the beaches. Possibly because it was outside of holiday peak periods, so there is little to attract the criminal element.
The area is also well patrolled by the game rangers, and the fence is maintained.
Ray the Fisherman