Sodwana Bay National Park, South Africa
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Sodwana Bay National Park may be one of the smallest reserves in iSimangaliso Wetland Park but it is the gateway to its largest playground, Africa's southernmost coral reef. Fish, snorkel and dive. More than 1200 species of fish are found here! Watch sea turtles - leatherback and loggerhead - nest and hatch. Watch humpback whales from shore. Hike a self-guided birding trail. Explore coastal forests and dunes. Search for ancient shell middens. Spot small mammals - bush babies, genets duikers and striped mongoose. Or simply relax; there are miles of pristine beach from which to choose.
Whale Shark Facts

There are lots of fun facts about whale sharks. Did you know that?

  • The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is the largest fish species and largest species of shark. The whale shark is not a whale.
  • Whale sharks inhabit the warm waters of the world's tropical oceans and subtropical seas. They are found offshore and along the coast. Whale sharks spend most of their time near the surface.
  • The whale shark has a huge mouth and more than 3,000 tiny teeth. It has a wide, flat head, two small eyes and five pairs of gills. Each whale shark has a unique checkerboard of yellow stripes and spots on its thick gray skin.
  • Whale sharks can measure 60 feet (18 m) in length and weigh as much as 27,200 pounds (12,337 kg).
  • The whale shark is a slow moving animal. Unlike other species of shark that propel their bodies with their tail, the whale shark uses it whole body to swim.
  • Whale sharks eat plankton, krill and small squid but they don't seize their prey nor pick it off the ocean floor. Whale sharks are filter feeders meaning they strain their food from the water.
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