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“Good value for scuba and wildlife in KwaZuluNatal” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sodwana Bay Lodge

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Sodwana Bay Lodge
Sodwana Bay, Sodwana Main Rd, Sodwana 3960, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Sodwana
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Good value for scuba and wildlife in KwaZuluNatal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

My husband (scuba diver) and myself (non-diver) stayed at Sodwana Bay Lodge when we visited KwaZuluNatal in October 2012 and my husband wanted to scuba there. The Lodge is on the coast of South Africa just south of Mozambique. We bought a very affordable 5-day package that included lodging, food, and diving for my husband. Our private chalet was rustic but perfectly comfortable with a deck and chairs overlooking the forest. The staff was very nice and helpful. This is a dive oriented spot so the food was OK, sometimes fine, sometimes not so - don't expect gourmet dining. My husband said the diving on the Indian Ocean coral reefs was excellent and the dive boats and masters very good. While he dived, I hired a local birding and wildlife guide, Jabalani, to show me around. (The hotel will help you contact him.) On our last day we hired him to accompany us into a drive-through wildlife park where we saw lots of animals including both black and white rhinocerous - very exciting! All around this was a nice, welcoming, safe, comfortable place.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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55 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, USA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Stayed 3 nights. The room (a one roomed cabin) I stayed in was well appointed and comfortable, with a TV, but the walls are (I guess traditional) stick construction and give no sound proofing whatsoever, so you could easily hear what was going on with the neighbours.
Dining room had limited menu but what they had was very good ( I had the Eisbein one night - very good).
Dive shop reasonable. They charge extra (in addition to the dive fee) for everything; weights, tanks. Most other places I dive are all inclusive, the dive fee includes tank & weights, this may be a South African thing. Divemaster seemed a little inexperienced - he missed the reef on one dive which wasted 10 minutes worth of air. Not trivial, as they only do two dives a day, in the morning, as the wind/swell makes diving later problematic. Reefs were excellent, lots of life.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

Excellent location, great scenery.the dive club was excellent, great staff, friendly and very helpful....we enjoyed 6 dives each my wife and I, and will definitively do that again;)
Restaurant has a limited menu, especially on the seafood side..

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yorkshire
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Stayed for two nights and would like to have stayed a while longer.
Accomodation was good and the food in the resaurant was good quality and varied.
Staff at reception were very helpfull and efficient.
My youngest son arranged scuba diving through the on-site diving centre and all trips were on time and well organised.
Some lovely walks within the site, which is a bird watchers paradise, and Sodwana Bay itself is ideal for "beach walking"

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Eindhoven, The Netherlands
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

The dive organization is good. The rental equipment is ok, not very good, but acceptable if you don't have your own equipment. The staff is friendly (especially Mika, thank you) and willing to help.
The rooms are only average. When there is wind outside, there is also wind inside the rooms. When we arrived, there was no electricity and while taking a shower, the gas bottle became empty so the shower went cold.
The restaurant was very bad, bad quality meat and the lasagna was hot on the outside, but frozen inside. After reporting this problem, it was offered to deliver a new one: same problem. So apparently the people in the kitchen do not even know how to warm a plate of lasagna. The following days we decided to have diner in the Lighthouse restaurant, just outside the gate, on the opposite side of the road which is really good.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

I really enjoyed my time at Sodwana Bay. The huts are basic but good, the bed are comfy and everthing is very clean. Each hut has it's own veranda so nice to sit outside and listen to the birds.

Diving was great too! Bradley was a great dive instructor and after 5 dives I succeeded for my PADI Advanced. Nice! Atmosphere in an around the diveshop is also relaxed, laid back and helpfull. Definitely a place to recommend. The material is a bit dated but everything works fine.

If you're not into diving and fishing: only go here if you want to do absolutely nothing ;-)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Durban, South Africa
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

We booked Sodwana Bay lodge for the 'Shootout special' which was good value for money. My only gripe is that the dates for the shootout were 3-6 Oct and the special was for 4-7, so we only got two dives in before the photos had to be submitted for the competition and we missed the whole registraton/orientation evening. The bathroom in the family unit was better than the one we stayed in last time, bed very comfortable, clean, we could actually regulate the water temp but the showerheads need to be changed! they are inexpensive to change and the lodge would find their water consumption would decrease if the direction of the water actually went where people needed it.

The restaurant was the same, adequate, and excellent staff as usual. I asked reception for a needle and thread to do a quick repair but no chance, this is a simple thing that surely one of the housekeeping ladies has in the laundry? but no. I find at this lodge after two visits that the reception staff are pleasant enough but not willing to put in any extra effort to help guests.

For families who don't want to self cater this is still one of the best choices and if you get a special like we did R1650 for 3 nights dinner, bed, breakfast and 5 dives per person its really good value.

The dive centre is excellent, Ben runs a great operation, helpful and friendly (and loves to tease!) the skippers, DM's and helpers all good fun and knowledgeable. We will surely be back.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sodwana Bay Lodge

Address: Sodwana Bay, Sodwana Main Rd, Sodwana 3960, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Sodwana
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Sodwana
Also Known As:
Sodwana Bay Hotel Hluhluwe
Sodwana Bay Lodge Africa

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