Sodwana Bay is part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park which is a world heritage site. The area has been a protected reserve for many years, ensuring large fish populations as well as pristine corals.
Sodwana Bay has an impressive fish diversity on the reefs, with over 1100 species having been positively identified. These reefs are of the most southerly coral reefs in the world. The fact that no silt-bearing rivers are close to the area ensures that the corals are pristine and the visibility good.
Sodwana Bay is rated by international divers as one of the top 10 dive destinations in the world. The maximum summer water temperature is 28°C with an average of 26°C while the minimum winter water temperature is 17°C with an average of 22°C. Visibility ranges from 8m to 40m (depending on the time of the year) with an average of 12m. Visibility is reduced in winter due to the increased plankton in the water. This however leads to increased sightings of Whale sharks and Manta rays.
Humpback whales are a common sighting during their annual migration from June to November. Sodwana is also one of the preferred aggregation sites of the pregnant ragged-tooth shark from November to March.