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About Kwazulu-Natal

Kwazulu-Natal (also known as "the garden province") is a province of South Africa. It is located on the southeast of the country, beside the Indian Ocean and sharing borders with three other provinces and the countries of Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho. Its capital is Pietermaritzburg and its largest city is Durban. Two areas in KwaZulu-Natal have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. The most popular area for diving is Aliwal Shoal, which has spectacular biodiversity of marine life. Also there are two fantastic wrecks, namely the Produce and the Nebo. The next in popularity diving area is Durban, which has various dive sites such as T-Barge, Fontao, Blood Reef, Coopers wreck and Hawthorne wreck. Marine life includes turtles, eels, frogfish, paper fish, pineapple fish, catfish, nudibranch, crayfish, lionfish, and many passing pelagic. Another diving area is Sodwana Bay, which has 5 well known dive sites: Quarter Mile, Two Mile, Five Mile, Seven Mile and Nine Mile. Sodwana Bay is home to 1200 recorded species of fish, 95 species of coral, sponges and invertebrates.

When to go to Kwazulu-Natal

Kwazulu Natal is characterized by a mild subtropical climate. Summer months are warm and wet, while the winter is moist to dry. The average air temperature is 28C/82F during the months of January through March and 20C/68F from June to August. Rainy weather stays between April and September. June is the driest month. The water temperature ranges from 19C/66F to 26C/79F. The visibility ranges from 5m/16ft to 40m/131ft.

 

What to see

In Aliwal Shoal dives can see an array of pelagic and reef fish, dolphins, whales, potato bass, whale sharks, mantas, devil rays, eagle rays, stingrays, turtles (hawksbill, green, loggerhead), moray eels, guitarfish, ragged-tooth sharks, white-tip reef sharks, huge schools of snapper, batfish, pipefish, pineapple fish, frogfish, nudibranchs, soft corals, anemones, feather stars and many others. Some divers come in May-June on the KwaZulu-Natal coast to see the annual phenomenon of the "sardine run". It is the greatest shoal on earth, when millions of sardines migrate from their spawning grounds along the Eastern Cape coastline toward Kwazulu-Natal, attracting thousands of predators such as orcas, sharks, seals, whales and dolphins.