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SOUTH AFRICA SARDINE RUN

Are you ready to join me on an expedition of discovery, diving and adventure? If the answer is yes, then you have to join me on our next Sardine Run expedition with my shark diving company – Blue Wilderness. Here you will open yourself to one of the worlds most challenging but rewarding SCUBA diving expeditions!

The Sardine Run in South Africa is recognized as one of the world’s most spectacular marine events. The run occurs annually between May and July. Vast shoals of sardines migrate from their temperate-water home off South Africa’s southern coast and travel north-east into the sub-tropical coastal waters of the Eastern Cape. Following these immense shoals are masses of marine predators including seabirds; sharks; game fish, dolphins and whales.

When the predators meet the prey, a feeding event of unmatched proportions kicksoff. Hundreds of common dolphins charge after the shoals, separating them into packed bait balls and driving them to the surface. Watched by the hovering Cape gannets, an aerial assault on the sardines occurs when thousands of gannets begin their spectacular plunge diving displays. Below the birds, the bait balls are easy pickings not only for dolphins, but also for shivers of bronze-whaler, dusky and blacktip sharks. The final player, is the behemoth Bryde’s whale. Its huge mouth can decimate an entire bait ball in a single lunge.

In the late 90′s, my company, Blue Wilderness pioneered diving expeditions to follow and film the Sardine Run. We were instrumental in epic productions such as the Emmy Award winning BBC film “The greatest shoal on Earth”. Today I guide our team on expeditions to track down the sardine shoals, we you can enjoy what is one of natures truly incredible events.

Quick Info

PLEASE NOTE. I am honored to guide all expeditions I advertise on my site. Bookings and communications will still occur through my company website – ‘Blue Wilderness’ for this expedition. Please ensure you inquire about the expedition on the dates I will be guiding. 

Expedition Dates

30th May – 6th June 2021

Max Clients

This Sardine Run expedition is limited to 8 clients total

Expedition Location

The Sardine Run expedition launches from Chintsa in South Africa’s Eastern Cape

Eligibility

The Sardine Run involves 5 straight days of 4-8 hours at sea daily. Adventurers require physical fitness and strength, and should have experience of being on the ocean for extended periods. Openwater SCUBA diving qualification is required for SCUBA divers, whilst free divers need to have a high degree of experience. 

Video clips of the Sardine Run

Expedition Highlights

South Africa Sardine Run - black tip sharks

Sharks

From around South Africa, sharks migrate to the sardine run. Black tips, bronze whalers and dusky sharks are some of the most abundant. 

South Africa Sardine Run - sardine

Sardines

The sardine is the main bait player, but often the shoals are joined by numerous bait species including anchovies, red eye and mackerels . 

South Africa Sardine Run - humpback whale

Whales

Moving coastwards on their reproductive migration – 100’s of humpbacks are spotted on each sardine run expedition. When the baitball are good, the shy Bryde’s whale may make an incredible appearance. 

South Africa Sardine Run - dolphins on bait ball

Dolphins

Common dolphins are brains of the sardine run, working together to shoal the sardines into tight baitballs

A gannet peers downwards at schooling sardines on South Africa's Sardine Run

Cape Gannets

Cape gannets lead us to the massive bait-balls. From the sky’s they plummet into the ocean, diving, swimming and chasing down the darting baitfish. 

South Africa Sardine Run - Cape fur seals

Cape fur seals

Always playful and curious, the Cape fur seals are acrobatic as they pull out their signature twists and turns to capture sardines. 

South Africa Sardine Run - seabirds

Seabirds

As we venture further a field, elusive seabirds, such as the wandering albatross or giant petrol come and pay our boats a visit. 

South Africa Sardine Run - gamefish

Gamefish

Tuna, Kingfish and other predatory game fish never miss out on such a feeding opportunity as the sardine run

Sardine Run Expedition Photographs

South Africa's Sardine Run

Come face to face with the greatest concentration of ocean predators on the planet.  

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