We love Park Rynie, or Rocky Bay as it's better know! This is probably one of the better snorkelling spots on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast and very popular area for snorkeling in South Africa during school holidays. As a result, we advise visiting Park Rynie outside of South African school holidays! it's just a magic spot to snorkel when there are no crowds.
Rocky Bay is about 45 minutes south of Durban just off the N2 highway near Scottburgh, take the Park Rynie off ramp, and head South for a few kilometers on the R102, you can find safe parking at the boat launch site at Rocky Bay. As with most snorkeling in Kwazulu-Natal, the best time to snorkel Rocky Bay is during the winter months when the water visibility is excellent, the strong onshore winds in summer can make visibility poor. Having said that, snorkeling in Kwazulu Natal, anywhere all year round is great, snorkeling visibility is just that much better in winter. In winter months you may want to include a wetsuit in your snorkel gear as the water can be chilly. summer snorkel gear should include a rash vest to protect your back from the sun.
There are three primary snorkelling spots around rocky bay. the first is about 300m South of the Rocky Bay Caravan Park. Take you snorkel gear and go for a stroll, there are many smaller pools you can investigate, but once clambering over the large boulders, you will find a very big open protected pool, snorkeling in this pool gives you a good variety of fish and invertebrates. This is one of our favorite snorkeling spots in South Africa for seeing Blue Spotted Ribbontail Rays. This pool is best to snorkel at any low tide (even neap tides) but can go through sandy stages and be rather shallow, as for snorkel gear, this is one of those spots where you do not need fins, just a mask, snorkel and float about.
The next spot to make sure you go snorkeling in Rocky Bay, Kwazulu-Natal is just in front of the last campsite (Southern most campsite) at Rocky Bay. A deep, long gully runs in front of the big granite boulders and an excellent snorkeling spot for Nudibranchs and we have even seen Guitar fish here in the past, loads of sponges and pretty colours to enjoy if snorkeling here. you may want to include a pair of booties in your snorkel gear here as the rocks can be treacherous to walk over.
The final and best snorkeling spot at Rocky Bay is right in front of the boat launching area, (pictured above) a long rocky reef runs out to sea and at a good low tide (below 0,4m) the bay is very safe and clam to snorkel, in fact, it's not just snorkeling along the rocky reef that is good, the entire bay is full of shoals of fish. Snorkeling along the rocky ledge gives you an array of surgeon fish, Semicircle Angelfish and always good for Nudibranchs and other sea slugs. just behind the rocky ledge is another spot to snorkel if you follow the channel into the shallow rocky pools to the south, excellent for a chance to see octopus on your snorkel!
We love snorkeling Rocky Bay and certainly one of our favourite snorkeling spots in Kwazulu-Natal and have over heard many folks say it's their favorite spot in South Africa!
The Rocky Bay Caravan Park has beautiful campsites right on the beach and the prefect spot for folks coming snorkeling in Rocky Bay to set up camp. Scotburgh town is less than 10kms away and has a full range of facilities from hotels to restaurants and shops selling snorkel gear if you need.
We would love to hear any of your experiences from snorkeling at Rocky Bay, please leave a comment below if any of this information needs updating or you have other snorkeling spots in the Rocky Bay and Scotburgh area that are worth snorkeling.