Thursday, April 2

Diving our East Coast

The mighty Whale Shark
I hope you are all well and enjoying the change of seasons in your part of the world. Here, as always with a “late” Easter, winter made a fleeting appearance on the Tuesday, briefly disappeared, but now the cold fronts sweeping up from the Antarctic via the Cape are starting to make regular appearances again and the night time temperatures have dropped significantly and the wind has a distinct chill no mater how sunny the day.

It’s even cooled down in Kruger in the mornings and evenings – on my last safari I was wearing my fleece quite regularly! I definitely have acclimatised to the hot and sticky low veld summers – any air temperature less than 25 degrees C feels decidedly Antarctic to me!

My month long break was really great. Had lots of fun helping out at the Dive School, on a Rescue course and getting back “in touch” with all my friends there. Also good practice to refresh my own CPR, First Aid and rescue management skills of course. (Applicable to the bush as well as the sea!)
Late afternoon on the beach at Ponta Malongane, Mozambique
Then I packed up my diving gear, camping equipment, food and booze and lit off for the coast! Ahhhh…. how I love the deep blue Indian Ocean and those glorious, endless green sand dunes and white beaches of the African east coast. 

Looking over Sodwana Bay, KZN, South Africa

The first four nights were at Sodwana Bay in a wooden chalet with a stunning tree top view over the bay itself, and 3 days of diving on it’s pristine coral reefs – in my opinion the best in the Indian Ocean. 


Two bar anemone fish

Teardrop butterflyfish

An incredible underwater sighting of the Whale Shark

We were incredibly lucky and had a whale shark cruise in over the top of us on dive number 4, and then first thing the next morning we snorkeled with another whale shark and then a whole school of dolphin on the way out to “7 mile” reef.

Inshore Indian Ocean Bottlenose Dolphins

Afternoons I spent on my balcony, catching up on my reading, enjoying the view and the antics of the Samango monkeys in the tree tops around me. Pure peace – though I must admit to wanting to share many of the moments with some good friends.

Camping at Parc Malongane

On Day 5, I packed up again and headed north, through the border, to Ponta Malongane in southern Mozambique to join my friends from the dive school for another 4 nights of sand dune, beach and coral reef diving. This time we were camping - a lovely, densely treed camp ground hidden behind a low sand dune from the beach. It was hot and screaming with mosquitoes, so our anti bug juice was fully utilised – but only when we weren’t diving or relaxing on the beach.
The last day we had to pack up in the rain and we all considered ourselves very lucky that was the only rain we had!

For the last part of my months break I headed back south, down the KwaZulu Natal coast to Durban, where I spent day a few days each with various members of my extended family. The previous 15 months had been so hectic on safari that I found it very hard to believe that it had been that long since I had last seen everyone.
But I was there at last and made the most of it. There was no way I could predict when I would next make it to Durban........

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