Sodwana Bay is one of the ten best diving sites in the world and north of Sodwana Bay, the Manzengwenya and Mabibi launch sites offer rewarding diving experiences. The reef topography includes areas of large fish platforms, pinnacles, gullies and patches of white coral sand. The reefs have 95 known species of 43 groups of hard coral and 11 known groups of soft coral. Over 1 200 species of fish have been recorded. Submarine canyons are found offshore. It was in these canyons at about 110 meters, that coelacanths, the living 'fossils', were discovered.
From June to November, humpback whales pass along the coastline during their annual migration from their feeding grounds in the Antarctic, to calve off the coasts of Mozambique. These phenomenal mammals can weigh up to 45 tonnes, are sometimes visible from the shoreline, however a boat-based whale watching tour is highly recommended
The Elephant Coast is a sub-tropical paradise of sweeping beaches, vivid coral reefs and high coastal dunes fringed with ever-green forest. The beaches are sundrenched and seductively warm. Kosi Bay, Black Rock and Island Rock are remote and require a 4x4 vehicle. Special access permits have to be obtained from KZN Wildlife. Further south, popular beaches are found at Sodwana, Cape Vidal and St Lucia. All these beaches are easily accessible.
The iSimangaliso coastline is an important breeding ground for the leatherback and loggerhead turtles. The ancient nesting ritual starts at the end of October. The female turtle emerges, under the cover of darkness, from the sea, seeking a suitable site to dig a one meter deep nest.
After laying a batch of 60 to 100 eggs, she conceals it from foragers like genets and ghost crabs. The eggs take up to 70 days to hatch. Hatchlings emerge at night and make their way to the sea between January and March. Female turtles return to the beaches where they hatched - how they know the route back to these same spots remains a mystery.