The famous sardine run

Departure Date

09 Jun - 09 Jun


9 days



Maximum Seats



This 9 day trip in South Africa includes:

All tour transfers
8 nights B&B accommodation
2 dives on Aliwal Shoal, tanks & weights
Daily breakfast & boat snacks
6 full water days of sardine run

Sardine Run Safari South Africa

About the Sardine Run

The Sardine Run occurs between late May, June and July along the East coast of South Africa when millions of sardines migrate up the East coast of South Africa from Cape Town. Their sheer numbers create a feeding frenzy along the coastline in what is one of the largest marine events in the world.

Initially the sardines spawn in the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank through spring and early summer. Most of the fish stay in the cooler waters of the Atlantic Ocean and end up along the West coast of Africa.

Sardines group together when they are threatened. This instinctual behavior is a defense mechanism as individuals are more likely to be eaten than large groups. These bait balls can be 10-20 meters in diameter and extend to a depth of 10 meters. The bait balls are short lived and seldom last longer than 10 minutes.

It is thought that dolphins (estimated as being up to 18,000 in number, mostly the common dolphin but also the bottlenose dolphin) are largely responsible for rounding up the sardines into bait balls. Once the sardines are rounded up, sharks (primarily the bronze whaler, but also dusky shark, blacktip shark and zambezi shark), game fish (like shad or elf, king mackerel, various kingfish species, garrick, geelbek, sail fish and eastern little tuna) whales (brydes whale & hump backs) and birds (like the Cape gannet, cormorants, terns and gulls) take advantage of the opportunity.

You could be part of this amazing experience......

What are the accommodation like?

There are lots of accommodation options available, which range from clean, basic en-suite with a relaxed atmosphere, to comfortable guesthouses and upmarket hotels.

All of them supply plenty of hospitality, good vibes and a location dreams are made of.

What’s Included and Not Included in the Trip?

The trip Includes:

8 nights B&B accommodation
All transfers on tours
Permits required for diving within our MPAs
Daily breakfast
Boat snacks during Sardine Run
Weight belts and Weights
Cylinders and airfills
6 Days Sardine Run safari
2 Dives on Aliwal Shoal (reef/wreck dives/baited shark dives)

The trip doesn’t Include:

Flights and taxes
Passport and visa costs
Personal insurance
Dive gear (available for hire)
Lunches and dinners

Planned itinerary - this may vary due to weather conditions or water activity!

Day 1

Arriving in Durban, South Africa

On arrival at King Shaka international, Reef Travel will transport you to where you will check into your home away from home on the KZN South Coast, Umkomaas. It is the gateway to the world famous dive site Aliwal Shoal. (one hour away).
Day 2

2 exciting dives on Aliwal Shoal

​After a quick breakfast, go on two amazing morning dives on Aliwal Shoal with a personal Dive Master (1 Baited Shark Dive + 1 Reef Dive) Tanks and weights Included.

Afternoon Transfer to Port St Johns
Day 3 - Day 8

Sardine run days & overnight in Port St Johns

Full water Sardine Run days with experienced dive guides.

After early breakfast, we get onto the boats, prepare for the launch through the surf and start the hunt for sardines and their predators. Usually we return in the afternoon, if weather conditions allow. Boat snacks will be provided to have lunch while Humpback whales breach in the distance.

In the evening we go out for dinner together while we are entertained by local Zulu dancers.
Day 9

End of your Run

Transfer to King Shaka International airport for flights after 4pm.

After an early start you will be on the road back to Durban’s King Shaka International airport.

Book Tour

Tour Name Price Per Adult Price Per Child Available Seats Departure Date Duration
The famous sardine run R 45,375 R 45,375 20 09 Jun ~ 09 Jun 9 days

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Questions? Ask our Dive & Travel Guide!

Hi, Manie here, to answer any questions you have about the dive trip!

  • 9 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday.
  • 9 am to 2 pm Saturday and Sunday (GMT/UTC +2) phone or by skype.
Otherwise, email me anytime. On average I respond within 3-6 hours.

Manie Eksteen

Dive & Travel Guide

Contact Skype



+27 12 460 9229