The Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa

Sodwana 17-21 April 2014

We had three dives, one per day. There were eight divers in total, so we had our own personal launch. Sea was relatively calm and warm 25 degrees. The 3rd dive was by far best, we went out to 7mile where there are cliffs and over hangs. It is lovely to see the reefs so full of life, so colourful and beautiful, as you see in picture books. On way out we spotted dolphins, the skipper started getting their attention and making donuts around them. We put snorkels masks on and got into water, the skipper kept going in circles around us, the dolphins eventually came from underneath us and came to have a good look at us and see what was going on. They stayed for a few seconds had a good look at each other, what an awesome experience. There was also a giant manta ray in area, after much looking, we couldn’t find him.

People that didn’t dive spent morning on beach, permits to take cars onto beach were easily obtained. We would meet around 12noon at camp site have a quick bite to eat and head out to Lake Sibaya, stopping at Drunken Tree for a Tequila, on our way. Head out in convoy taking in lovely views of Lake, choose a spot to stop and have sundowners and watch sunset. We would head back
to camp to tunes of Sodwana FM, with DJ Diesel Daveļ and stopping at other Drunken Tree. Evenings were spent around camp fire.

Headed back home with fond memories of a great few days, met some awesome people and had great fun in a beautiful part of country.

Look forward to next time indeed,

Fondest regards,

Len and Louise

Destiny Muirhead’s Version

Well, here I am again telling you about a wonderful diving weekend we spent from the 17th to 21st April. Pity my birthday was only the following day so I missed out on plenty spoiling. Just kidding, my family spoiled me rotten by taking very special people, and me of course, out to dinner in Illovo. What a fabulous day and night I had, the whole day in fact.

Louise Botha, with her hubby Len, organised a diving weekend in Sodwana. Now anyone who knows me will realise that there is no chance in hell that I will go swimming on top of the water, never mind down below but that was not going to stop me enjoying a weekend at the sea trying not to think of what can happen to the divers down there.

We left on Thursday the 16th in the afternoon after collecting our daughter, Jo-Anne from work. The trip down was totally uneventful except for the usual potholes, and we overnighted in Piet Retief at a place called Riverside Lodge. The place was absolutely fabulous. Beautiful room and a nice sized bathroom with all the amenities you require for an overnight stay. Lovely comfortable beds, and a beautiful clean room.

We left bright and early the next morning, not as early as the rest of the group of course as we were already halfway there and the rest still had to break their beauty sleep and travel through the day to join us. Had breakfast somewhere and then off again on the last leg of our journey.

For the life of us, we could not find the C camp where we were booked. Fortunately, being female, I had no problem asking someone where it was and we duly arrived at C camp. We set up camp nice and early and explored the place again, buying the odds and ends we needed for the weekend.

Louise & Len Jenny, Kelly and Dave, Marguerite & Peter Bronwyn & William and children arrived during the afternoon and set up camp as well then after greeting and chatting for a while, some
hungry divers went to Coral Divers for a hamburger or something. I stayed home as I had eaten a lot of junk and couldn’t face any more food.

Once everyone was ready for the dive, we went to the beach – absolutely beautiful – and the crazy ones left for the ocean, probably hoping to see a shark or something. They did not see the missing Malaysian plane down there so Australia doesn’t have to send their ships there. I had to buy myself another costume so that I could lie in the sun and soak up Vitamin D. My book kept me busy whilst they were diving so I was perfectly fine. They had a wonderful time swimming around the ocean, but Jo-Anne and Kit agreed that there were not a lot of fish to see. No sharks either.

Now because I was very lax and did not make notes as we were going, I cannot remember what we did on which day. We had a fabulous braai with everyone around the fire on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The monkeys were little blighters as usual and opened my ammo box and swiped a whole packet of sweet potato which I was going to cook on the camp fire. One also came into the tent and looked through a plastic bag to see if there was any food there as well. They trashed Louise and Len’s tent and swiped milk which spilled out all over the place. We had to guard our food with our lives.

Then as if the monkeys were not enough, the mongoose and big family descended on us en masse. Fortunately, they only looked through the dustbins and didn’t jump onto the tables and ammo boxes etc. We went to Lake Sibaya and had the ‘indigini’ dancing and drumming for us in their tribal clothing. The old man manning the gate has not lost any of his friendliness and penchant for liquor since we first start going there. The sunset was fabulous and we all sat around quenching our thirst and chomping on snacks as the sun went down. What a beautiful country we are blessed to live in. On the way there, we stopped off and glugged a couple of tequilas which gave us energy for the trip to the lake.

The crowd dived again on the Sunday and managed to have more fish sightings. I decided to stay at camp and walked to the shop which was just around the corner and up a little way. On my way back, I took a wrong turning, duh what a clot, and spent about an hour plus trying to find my way to the camp site. I turned off at the sign that said C camp which was totally wrong as I should have gone a few metres further for our entrance. Needless to say, I saw just how vast the camp is and managed to come back to the shop. Hehe, silly me, at least I got a lot of exercise. Managed to find my way the 2nd time around.

We broke camp early on Easter Monday and drove home without any problems.

Thank you Louise for organising this outing, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will definitely go with you again.

Destiny Muirhead