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Underwater fun: The best snorkelling spots in South Africa

With South Africa’s magnificent and expansive coastline, there’s no shortage of marine diversity. Immersed in a world of fascinating sea life, and other squishy things that wriggle and blow bubbles, snorkelling gives you the opportunity to explore a world millions of people don’t get to experience. Here’s our favourite snorkelling spots in South Africa.

Sodwana Bay

You don’t always have to travel abroad to see some of the most vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. Sodwana Bay is situated on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 400km north of Durban and 100km south of the Mozambican border. With its warm waters all year round, Sodwana Bay has been one of the most popular scuba diving and snorkelling destinations in South Africa for years. Enjoy world-class diving in Sodwana.

Aliwal Shoal

Aliwal Shoal in KwaZulu-Natal is home to a world-renowned reef system, promising a world-class diving experience. Both scuba divers and shark enthusiasts will be equally impressed with their diving experience at Aliwal Shoal. Additionally, it is close to central Durban, so you can hire a car with Durban car hire making it convenient to visit other popular places.

Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay along the Garden Route is filled with plenty of invertebrates like sponges, anemones and nudibranchs. These organisms offer a brilliant array of colours for a dose of fun underwater discovery.


Situated in the heart of the famed Garden Route, Knysna is littered with a collection of scenic snorkelling spots and an outstanding underwater marine life. Water temperature varies between 15 and 23 degrees celsius, and visibility up to 15 meters deep. Knysna boasts brightly-colored coral reef, kelp forests and historic shipwrecks.


Maputaland in northern KwaZulu Natal has Cape Vidal near Saint Lucia village for sheltered snorkeling at low tide. Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, at the mouth of the Kosi Lakes, on the Mozambique border, is a lovely spot for aqua exploration! The warm waters over the only coral reef are gorgeous, in the underwater world to be found within an estuary. iSimangaliso is the perfect place to visit for bountiful flora and one of the most well-protected coasts of South Africa.

Snorkelling is one of the easiest and most fun ways to explore the magical underwater world. You don’t need any training and it’s a great family activity, too – just put on your goggles, a snorkel and flippers and you’re good to go.

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