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“Never looked back”
Review of Coral Divers

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Coral Divers
Certificate of Excellence
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
“Never looked back”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I've been here now for the third time this year, already have a fourth booked.
It's perfect especially when bundling it with PADI courses, very affordable.

The food is great (the prawns were dry though on all 3 occasions).
The budget tents are perfect, wooden frame beds with a mattress, a light and a storage chest as well as a line to hang all wet towels or wetsuits.

The diving is always amazing and the marine life is so diverse, a couple of staff members who are genuinely enthusiastic,friendly and who will recognize you on return.
The skippers are great (Jerry being a favourite for sure)

Self catering works very great as well with a fully equipped communal kitchen and braai area.

Best value for money in Sodwana.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bryan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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392 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
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Brisbane
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

visited sodwana many times before but this was the first time as a foreigner and paying in $$$...
very affordable when compared to price elsewhere in the world...
facilities have been upgraded an ensuite cabins are the best option...
breakfast average but dinner is great...
hired gear is average but OK if you cant travel with your own equipment...
shuttle to beach is best perk as you dont have to stress about being at the beach on time...
DMs are inexperienced but very keen... if you have never dived at Sodwana it might be a problem...
other staff and beach helpers are very friendly...
BEST TIP... go there in the LOW season to avoid the crowds and get personalised service...

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hermanjvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I recently got my PADI diving certification here and had a great time. The beach was beautiful, diving conditions were great and the instructors/staff were all friendly and helpful. It's nice that they have different tiers of accommodation, I stayed in a tent which was perfect because it was economical and good enough for me, although if you wanted a more luxurious cabin ones were available.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ketracel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Namibia
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Coral Divers offers really good diving. The Sodwana reef is a stunning place to visit. The staff is enthusiastic and passionate about diving. We were really lucky with the diving conditions, but generally conditions are easy.

Accommodation is basic but sufficient. You can do self catering or order from the restaurant. Food is good.

Room Tip: The standard cabins are good value for money
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marki663
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Coral Divers is certainly first and foremost about the location. It is a slick, well-run operation and early May was a good time to visit (though the rates were still peak). I can imagine that in summer, the heat and crowds would be unbearable.

We chose the highest tier accommodation and it was perfectly clean, comfortable and rustic, with a lovely outdoor shower. Don't expect 5-star linen though (or brand new pillows). The accommodation perfectly suits the surroundings and we were quite happy for 3 nights.

We enjoyed the food very much - simple, plentiful and really welcome after 2 dives in the morning! The snack bar (serves food almost all day) made some of the best toasted sandwiches with chips that I have ever tried. I also saw some great pizzas and wraps leaving the kitchen. Alcohol is quite marked up, but you'll be so tired after the day's diving and in bed by 8pm.

The staff were very friendly and welcoming. It takes one dive to learn the ropes of how the operation works. Although everyone will explain it to you when asked, there are no signs indicating the procedure from start to finish, so it's best to ask about timing and how everything runs. I think Coral could probably save a lot of time by printing a big information board with a few FAQs, but perhaps they don't want to remove the human element of it all. The staff had some great stories about sightings, the history of the place, etc. so it is well worth speaking to them and interacting with other divers, who are all interested in sharing experiences of the sites they've been to, etc.

We did 6 dives which were absolutely amazing. The variety of coral and fish is quite unbelievable (one could take a cross-section of any of the reefs we saw and count well over 30 species of life just in one spot). We were even lucky enough to see a dolphin and her young one - apparently absolutely rare, even in Sodwana. The skippers have some great skill and it's very enjoyable navigating the surf. I would not recommend wasting too much time on the boat at the start of the dive though, as the boat can really move around quite a lot and the surface is often quite choppy. Beneath the surface was always tranquil, so rather have your gear sorted out properly on shore (i.e. no faulty o-rings, missing masks, etc.) and descend as soon as possible.

We will definitely return and can highly recommend Coral Divers to other scuba enthusiasts. You won't be disappointed, regardless of what the weather is doing above the surface!

Room Tip: Ask for a cabin away from the roadside. It's not a problem when accommodation isn't full, bu...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kirsten M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2013 via mobile

Comfortable dive lodge. Accommodation is basic but clean and it works well. Don't expect anything fancy but the diving makes it worthwhile. Cabins have fans and netting n the windows to keep the monkeys out, so don't expect aircon. A convenient lodge close to the beach with a reasonable restaurant and pool are which will keep the kids entertained if they don't dive. Tractors run between the beach and lodge regularly and beach assistants are available to help with gear and kitting up. Breakfasts and dinners are buffet and not unreasonable.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Nick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

This place is all about location; it is quite stunning. Sodwana Bay is one of worlds top dive sites, plus the beach and surrounding bush are also beautiful and full of wildlife to watch. From your cabin you will see monkeys, mongoose and duiker. Actually the monkeys will take any chance they get to come into your cabin to steal food, so pay attention. We had the en-suite cabins which had comfy beds, a fan and a mosquito net. To the rear was an open-air bathroom with shower - a real experience!
Food was quite basic but plentiful and the pool deck was a good place to relax after dives.

Divers should note that conditions at Sodwana can be challenging, as I now also see from other reviews here. One days diving was called off due to the swell conditions and quite frankly the day I did dive was very borderline in terms of safe and enjoyable conditions. Surface swell was 2m+ and the ground swell at 18m was very strong and viz rather poor. This impacted upon my visit but the sea state cannot be forseen. I would really think twice before diving here again and would really prefer to go along with a trusted buddy before diving these reefs again in ordet to get the most out of it. Personally I am not into the PADI system of 'group' diving, however our dive master conducted the dive well. I took along my DSMB but was quite suprised that apart from the dive master none of the other 8 or so divers seemed to carry one or was this actually mentioned at all in the briefing! Water temp was nice and warm at around 26C. RIBs were of a decent quality.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank N_Young47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coral Divers

Property: Coral Divers
Address: Private Bag 320 | Mbazwana, 3974, Sodwana 3974, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Sodwana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Sodwana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Coral Divers 3*
Number of rooms: 84
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Coral Divers is a PADI 5 star Gold Palm IDC/CDC Centre situated in Sodwana Bay, South Africa. We are proud to be able to provide all levels of PADI scuba instruction from Bubble Maker to Instructor Development Courses as well as accommodation and dive charters. Lying within the boundaries of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, Sodwana Bay provides the travelling diver with a vast array of unspoilt coral reefs populated with a huge diversity of Indo-Pacific fish & invertebrates. Apart from the great diving & beautiful coral reefs, the area offers fun and excitement for the non-diver too. From quad bike riding, kiteboarding and paintballing to day trips to Makhasa Game Reserve for Rhino or Buffalo tracking on foot, you're sure to find something that appeals to you, your friends and/or family. Coral Divers offers you a very comfortable diving holiday experience while retaining the rustic appeal of an out-of-the-way bush camp. The area is covered with dense coastal forest offering exquisite scenery, bird watching, and a number of small mammals including Bush Babies, Genets, Duiker and Striped Mongoose. Sodwana is accessible by car, however we can arrange transfers from Hluhluwe - Bushlands (The BazBus drop off point) should you not have your own vehicle. Petrol & Diesel are available from the petrol station in the National Park, and there is a small supermarket which can provide you with essentials such as food, drink and sun block. There are a couple of restaurants both within and outside of the Park, as well as our local night club, 'Maak 'n Jol', where you can dance the night away. Sodwana is also within driving distance of a number of amazing game reserves including Makhasa Game Reserve, Mkhuze Game Reserve, Phinda Game Reserve & the Hluhluwe Mfolozi Park. We invite you to take a look through our site to find out a little more about Coral Divers - Sodwana Bay and the diving. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coral Divers Sodwana, Africa

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