Sardine Run - Diving in Africa
Sardine Run 2012
An opportunity for anyone and everyone to witness a genuine ”Natural Wonder”.
Its been dubbed “The Greatest Shoal on Earth” Every year around June and July billons of Sardines “run” or migrate up the East Coast of Africa between Port Elizabeth and Durban.
What makes it a true marvel however is not simply the multitude of silvery fish but the host of predators that congregate en masse for the feasting.
The waters off the breathtaking Wild Coast literally boil as Dolphins, Sharks, Whales, Seals, Penguins, Cape Gannets and even Orca’s (Killer Whales) gorge themselves on the seemingly endless shoals of sardines.
A Typical Day at Sea
The boat carries fuel for +/- 80k per day which equates to +/- 4-5 hours travelling. The other portion of the day would be spent stationary while lunch is taken or while snorkelling and diving or just drifting on backline taking in the breathtaking splendour of the WILD COAST coastline. Waterfall bluff is especially magnificent, so named because of the waterfall cascading from the cliffs directly into the sea, one of only five on the planet.
Common Dolphins are plentiful and almost all day the boat will be surrounded by them as they move up and down the coast feasting. These pods can easily reach 5000 strong and being in the water on snorkel with them is mind blowing. The cape gannets accompany the commons most of the day and from the boat are the easiest indicator of action as they swarm and dive in immeasurable numbers gorging themselves on sardines.
Humpback whales too are abundant as they are migrating north for warmer water to mate and calve. Their courtship displays are awesome with pectoral slapping, tail slaps and at +/- 30 tons to witness these massive leviathans breach is absolutely awesome.
Copper sharks are common place and can easily be seen from the boat or if you are up to it on snorkel as they seem to hardly notice people in the water as they focus on the Sardines. Most of us though prefer to stick to snorkelling with the dolphins and enjoying the sharks from the boat.