Sardine Run South Africa

with Walter Bernardis from African Watersports and Nina from NiCe Dive & Trips

**für deutsch hier klicken**

When: June 19th - June 25th, 2024 (3 spots available)

Join us for one of the GREATEST MARINE MIGRATIONS IN THE WORLD, the Sardine Run in South Africa.

Every diver in search of a life-changing and unforgettable adventure has likely heard of South Africa's Sardine Run along the Wild Coast. There are other runs in Mexico, the fjords of Norway, and the Philippines, but the Sardine Run in South Africa surpasses them all.
We'll be accompanied by the ultimate shark expert, Walter Bernardis, and Jason from African Watersports.

For more information on the Sardine Run, please read below.

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Record: Sardine Run Online-Information-Event

For those who missed it or those who want to relive the experience, we have fantastic news:

The recording of the event is now available! Dive into the fascinating world of the Sardine Run, experience the excitement, and feel the thrill whenever it suits you.

Click here or on the image to the right to go directly to the event.

We want to express our sincere thanks to all participants of our online event, "Sardine Run – South Africa"! 🌊

We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed hosting this event.

Wild Coast Sardine Run
Sardine Run Wild Coast
Südafrika Sardine Run

What can you expect at the Sardine Run on the Wild Coast?

An unforgettable week above and below the water.

The ocean boils, and the sky is a flurry of activity. Seabirds like gannets plummet from heights of 20 meters into the sea, dolphins corral thousands of sardines into formations known as "Bait-Balls," and sharks seize anything that's not swift enough. Whales also participate in this natural phenomenon, engulfing tons of sardines in a single gulp.

Highly likely sightings include:

Sharks:

  • Copper Shark, also known as Bronze Whaler Shark (Carcharhinus brachyurus)
  • Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus)
  • Blacktip Sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus)
  • Dusky Sharks (Carcharhinus obscurus)

Whales and Dolphins:

  • Common Dolphin (Delphinus capensis)
  • Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)
  • Orcas (Orcinus orca)
  • Bryde's Whale (Balaenoptera edini)
  • Humpback Whales

Birds:

  • Cape Gannet (Morus capens)
  • Storm Petrels and Shearwaters
  • Black-Browed Albatross (Diomedea melanophiris)
  • African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus)

Rare but still possible sightings:

  • Great White Shark
  • Ragged-tooth Sharks (Sandtiger sharks)
  • Marlin
  • Penguins
  • Fur Seals


This trip is offered in collaboration with Walter Bernardis, the founder of African Watersports in Umkomaas. Walter Bernardis is an absolute shark expert and a luminary in this field. He has been leading expeditions to the Sardine Run with his experienced team for years and often serves as the skipper on one of his Zodiac boats. The experienced guides, such as Jason, and his skippers have an incredible passion for their work, as we witnessed during our stay at African Watersports in February 2023.
Our starting point is St. John's Port, which is about 4 1/2 hours south of Umkomaas by car. From Durban, the drive takes approximately five to six hours.

All five to eight-hour outings are conducted with the large Zodiac (maximum 8 guests per boat) and can be physically demanding at times. We spend between five and eight hours at sea each day. Additionally, we have aerial support. A microlight spotter observes the ocean from a small aircraft and provides us with information via radio on where the action is happening and what course we need to follow to be right in the midst of it. During our outings, snorkeling is more common than diving. There's often no time to prepare for a dive as the Bait Balls disperse quickly. So, it's into the water, back on the Zodiac, and shortly thereafter back in the water – physical activity is guaranteed. If we come across a larger Bait Ball, we'll certainly gear up and dive to witness the spectacle from a depth of about seven meters.

Water temperature in July: between 19 and 22°C
Average daytime air temperature in July: 22°C

Feel free to contact us via email, WhatsApp, or the contact form provided below.
WhatsApp: +436681 817 02 808
Phone: +43 1 367 97 98
Email: [email protected]

Contents of our trip

Sardine Run with Nina
in collaboration with Walter Bernardis - African Watersports


Starting from 3,160 Euros per person
excluding flights - we can, of course, organize these for you upon request

  • 5 days of Sardine Run
  • Daily outings of 5-8 hours with the Zodiac
  • 6 nights at "The Spotted Grunter Lodge"
  • (more information can be found below)
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Transfer to and from Durban
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Lunch on the boat + 1/2 liter of water
  • Tour leader from African Watersports


Excluding flights - we'd be happy to book a suitable flight for you.

African Watersports

Our partner, Walter Bernardis, the founder of African Watersports, is a true authority when it comes to diving with sharks. 

Walter Bernardis and his team are exceptionally professional, providing their guests with a truly adrenaline-fueled and unforgettable experience.

African Watersports is based directly in Umkomaas, specifically in an upscale neighborhood called Widenham.

Walter and his wife Sandy run several guesthouses, such as Seascapes, as well as the diving center African Watersports.

Nina Dittrich

Everyone who knows me is aware that I always bring action and plenty of fun with me. I'm constantly in search of the unique, the individual, and the unforgettable. It can never be exciting enough, and a "can't be done" is not in my vocabulary. My open and positive attitude allows me to make the most out of everything and turn the impossible into reality.

Sardine Run 2023
Sardine Run Südafrika
Südafrika Sardinenwanderung

Information about the Sardine Run on the South African East Coast

Sardine Run Südafrika 2023

Sardine Run South Africa

The Sardine Run commences in the waters of the Agulhas Bank and extends along the eastern coast of South Africa, northwards to the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, constituting a pivotal event for the ecosystem. The convergence of two ocean currents at the beginning of South Africa's winter sets the stage for the captivating Sardine Run. The warmer Agulhas Current collides with the cold Benguela Current, transporting nutrient-rich waters from the Antarctic. As a result, a cold-water strip forms along the eastern edge, extending as far as Durban. The Sardines are irresistibly drawn to these nutrient-rich waters teeming with plankton, following them for over 1,000 kilometers northward.
The Sardines move in vast shoals, at times spanning kilometers and reaching depths of up to seven meters. The Sardine Run is considered one of the largest marine migrations globally, attracting an array of marine predators such as sharks, whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds. For these creatures, Sardines are an exceptionally important food source. Each year, the water comes alive during this particular time, with thousands of marine inhabitants congregating. The Sardines form massive shoals to protect themselves from the sea's predators. Due to their echolocation abilities, dolphins are often the first to arrive at the buffet. They are among the ocean's most intelligent inhabitants.
Dolphins, for instance, are incredibly intelligent. They hunt in teams, separating so-called "baitballs," which are small shoals of Sardines, from the mass, subsequently feasting on them.
The Sardine Run, also known as the Sardine Migration, along South Africa's east coast is a spectacular natural phenomenon occurring annually from May to July.
The Sardine Run not only attracts thousands of other marine creatures but also tourists who flock to the coast to witness the incredible spectacle and participate in leisure activities such as diving and snorkeling.
Despite the significance of the Sardine Run, there are concerns regarding its sustainability. Overfishing, environmental pollution, and climate change are all factors that can negatively impact the Sardine migration along the South African east coast. To protect the Sardine Run, strict regulations are in place to control the scale of fishing during the migration. This includes restrictions on the size of nets that can be used and the number of boats allowed in specific areas.
In summary, the Sardine Run along the South African east coast is a remarkable natural phenomenon. The Sardines' migration attracts a diverse range of predators and contributes to the preservation of a healthy marine environment while also serving as a significant source of income for local communities. However, it is vital to ensure the sustainability of the Sardine Run by taking measures to protect the migration and the marine ecosystem. With proper management and protective measures, the Sardine Run will continue to be a fascinating and valuable part of South Africa's east coast in the future.


Entry Requirements for South Africa:

Please refer to the entry requirements on your country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

African Watersports

Walter Bernardis, the founder of African Watersports, was one of the first to recognize the potential of Aliwal Shoal and establish himself in this captivating diving area. Walter Bernardis and his team have an absolute passion for adrenaline-fueled dives with various shark species and the crocodiles in Botswana.

Our Accommodation: Ntaba River Lodge


Nestled amid towering cliffs and ensconced within lush tropical gardens along the banks of the Umzimvubu River, N'taba River Lodge stands as a welcoming family resort, seamlessly blending Wild Coast hospitality with exceptionally comfortable accommodations. For vacationers yearning to reconnect with nature, this idyllic retreat offers an array of experiences.

A haven for nature lovers, N'taba River Lodge invites guests to unwind during leisurely days by the flowing river, partake in invigorating canoeing excursions, bask in the sun at the nearby beach, explore hiking and walking trails, engage in horseback riding along the sandy shores, and immerse themselves in the vibrant local communities while savoring a traditional Pondo lunch.

Amidst the diverse and rugged landscape, the sheer beauty of the surroundings, and the lush vegetation enveloping the lodge, birdwatching enthusiasts are sure to be captivated throughout their stay. The opportunity for capturing breathtaking photographs and creating indelible memories awaits, making N'taba River Lodge a destination that truly celebrates the wonders of the natural world.


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  • Sardine Run 2024
  • Number of travelers
  • Diving certification & logged dives
  • Special requests and preferences
  • If desired: Flight connection quote - preferred airport
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