Soswana

Sodwana Bay Sunset


This week I find myself in Sodwana for the annual Scuba Diving photographic Shootout, which forms part of the new festival iSimangoliso has begun to promote and sponsor. Great to see the locals getting involved with all the activities from running marathons to games etc. Not so great thought the harassment of the car park attendants who just put a damper on things. This was supposed to be illegal within the park but for some reason iSimangoliso authorities is again allowing it with the result attendants are asking international people to pay R50 for parking! I chose not to go kiteboarding because of this and probably will not be back as I do not trust their intentions especially the way it has been managed with three to four characters badgering you to let them look after your car and they are the only possible people who could possibly do anything to the cars anyway!

Anyway besides this a great week was had by everyone and some superb scuba diving was had by all with some amazing winning photographs entered, which you can see on the official website : http://www.shootout.co.za/Shootout2012/Info.aspx

I entered the Video documentary category and managed to come second in, which I have posted to YouTube if you would like to watch.

The one aspect I have always loved about Sodwana over the many years I have been. Coming here is the Campsite, which is spacious with each site having plenty privacy. Sodwana is part of the Elephant coast so it has very much the same fauna and flora as the rest of the region from Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique to St Lucia in the south being the second most diverse flora in Africa second to the Western Cape . The one thing it does have though is some incredible scuba diving rated very highly as one of the top international dive sites. This is a great region to visit as you are able to see the big 6, which included whales then of course there are dolphin, whale sharks, manta and sharks you can also snorkel and dive with.

One of my favorite past times though is walking around the camp site and it is stunning at this time of the year being spring time. Just about every tree is flowering at the moment with new bud growth giving you incredible photographic opportunities. I would recommend to anyone doing the photographic Shootout to hone their skills in the camp site especially using macro finding the various small insects, butterfly and flowers to perfect your 3D perception to locate small organisms and depth of field skills for the competition.

Drongo

Drongo

The bird life is also pretty good here though very elusive but very vocal in the mornings, which is great to wake up to. Here is recording I made of some of the mornings celebrations…….. Http

Vervet Monkeys

Doting Vervet Monkeys


As far as wild life goes not much to be seen besides a single red duiker, which was very elusive not like the ones in Cape Vidal. Could possibly be because I noticed a few of the vervet monkeys had bad injuries, which look like snare related. They are a major pest here so I hope it is not the campers, who I have noticed are using Katie’s and even paintball guns to scare them off! Ad naughty as they are they are still great photographic subjects and just love the expressions in these photos, showing a multitude of emotions.

How can so many people not realize that we are all very similar in many ways and we are not the chosen ones sitting at the top of the pyramid but alongside these wonderful creatures who love and dote and ponder and you can see in the pics? I have even had experiences underwater where you know the fish is watching you with a curious eye sizing you up and you wonder just what is going through their minds? I am reading a great book on this issue at the moment related to this by ….. Ecologicial Intelligence For the second time and will probably need a third read to grasp it all and will have to say on this subject in the near future.

Sodwana is a great place to be but stay in the camp site and feel the energy and get close to nature to get back to your roots.

Overall ARL( African Rhythm Lifestyle) rating : 38/40 *****

This is also one of the top range ARP lifestyle regions we recommend for the following reasons : Social 5 (There is so much to do here with friends from sports events to having fun to the early hours of the morning); Family 5 ( Sodwana is reasonably safe so you do not need to worry about kids , the sea is relatively calm in the bay for swimming snorkeling etc.) ; Financial : 5 (Can be expensive if you eat out and embibe a lot so rather purchase your own goods and camp, which is why I have given it a 5 rating. If you stay in self catering and other options are fairly priced! ) ; Spiritual 5 ( plenty of time to spend on your own playing music, meditating, healing with no distractions) ; Health 5 ( There is so much to do here from walks along the pristine beaches to cycling to Mbazwane, course scuba, surfing etc.) ; Intellectual 5 ( if you take an interest in nature the biodiversity of nature here is very high and there are various companies like Reef Teach that offer courses; Accommodation 4 ( campsite clean, ablutions not so great, has electricity -1); Eco Footprint 3 (-1 fuel (to get to the beach you have to drive, which can add up through the week(s) you are there); electricity -1).

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