Sardine Run South Africa.
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Sardine run -Predators' feast off the coast of South Africa

The spectacular migration of sardines (Sardinops ocellatus) occurs annually during the cooler months of June and July off the eastern coast of South Africa. Seemingly endless number of sardine move in concentrated shoals, attracting hordes of opportunistic marine predators. Sharks, dolphins and gannets feast on the sardines to the delight of visiting divers who come to the Wild Coast the two months that the spectacle lasts. It is a feeding frenzy of note, the gannets plummeting from the sky, dive bombing the surface of the water in pursuit of sardine. For the diver closely following the shoal and positioned close to the sardines, the sound of the birds hitting the surface often resembles the sound of gun shots, followed by spiraling tracks of swimming gannets crisscrossing the dense bait balls for a pick of the lot. The ever present dolphins, ostensibly unaffected by the company of divers trying to shoot their best photos of the activity, skillfully snap sardines out of the bait balls with supreme effort. Lurking beneath and at the outskirts of the bait balls are sharks, principally the copper shark (Carcharhinus brachyurus) which have come to the area from far north to take part in the feast. Like the dolphins, yet not nearly as coordinated, they shoot in to gorge on the sardines, impervious by scuba divers, sometimes even accidentally bumping into us during the heat of the moment. As divers we are merely spectators, which makes this grand natural phenomenon so appealing, and the opportunities of great footage abound for the trigger happy person.

We travel to Cintsa, outside East London, a rural part of South Africa with striking scenery and many environmental gems. For scuba divers, a 7 day sardine run expedition will offer the best possibility of success as this length of time will allow for bad weather scenarios and variable degrees of marine activity.

Accommodation is typically in comfortable three-star hotel/lodge and we use large rigid inflatable boats, launched in the morning, to take us out to the center of feeding activities at sea.

June/ July are cooler months on the Wild Coast and wet weather is possible (though not always the case).
• Temperatures (Air) : 59 – 75 F/ 15 – 24 C
• Temperatures (Water) : 59 - 70 F/ 15 - 21 C

The dives:

Prerequisites: This is a dive trip for the more experienced diver as we operate in open sea and sometimes under far less than flat sea conditions. Conditions will vary from glass-like seas to flying through giant plunge waves in pumping winds – very exciting and sometimes strenuous.

Water visibility varies from 2 – 20m/ 6 ft – 60ft.

The dives are quite shallow and often best done snorkeling. The lifetime of a baitball can be quite short, so swift entry and exit is essential for successfully getting the most out of the action when our boat zip from one bait ball to the next.

Price: From R31500 (USD 2,250) sharing.

Price includes:
6 nights accommodation.
5 days at sea.
Airport transfer.
All accommodation with breakfast and lunches.
Scuba tanks & weights.
Air fills.NB: For trip extension please enquire.

Price excludes:
Hire of diving equipment.
Travel insurance.
Meals not specified.
Tips and gratuities.


Please note that all marine excursions are weather dependent.

All divers must present certification card and logbook as proof of experience.

Humback whales are often spotted during the annual sardine run off South Africa.

How to book:

Contact us for a booking form and we will send you a proforma invoice along with the necessary registration forms.

How to pay:
Payment can either be done by electronic money transfer or cash.

Please make sure to read our Terms & Conditions.

Sardine Run South Africa

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June 2 , June 23, and June 30 are the sardine run starting dates for 2020