sardine run scuba diving trip

Divers and Non-Divers

Often referred to as The Greatest Shoal on Earth, South Africa’s Sardine Run is undoubtedly one of the world’s most incredible natural phenomenons. Our trips cater to divers and non-divers alike, giving everyone the opportunity to experience the wonder of the Run firsthand. For photographers in particular, the Sardine Run is an unmissable event.

Winter Dry Season

The Run takes place every year between the months of June and July, as billions of sardines spawn in the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank. These sardines, which are more specifically known as the South African pilchard Sardinops sagax, can only tolerate temperatures of 21°C or lower. At the same time as the spawning, a corridor of cold water opens up along South Africa’s east coast, allowing the sardines to migrate or ‘run’ far further north than their temperature tolerance would usually allow.

The sardines cannot stray outside this cold water corridor, and as such provide easy pickings for pursuing predators. Both temperate and tropical marine species gather to take advantage of this sudden bounty of food, and it is these animals that make the Run so exciting. They include birds, fish and marine mammals, with the Run’s top indicator species being the Cape gannet and the common dolphin.

Port St Johns Launch

Action On The Surface

These two species are always the first to find the isolated sardine bait-balls, and are the ones that we follow when trying to pinpoint the action for our divers. Once a bait-ball is found, divers can enter the water either on snorkel or on scuba to watch as the sardines are attacked from above and below by gannets, dolphins, sharks, and whales. For non-divers, the chaotic feeding frenzy is equally impressive when viewed from the surface.

Sharks At The Bait Balls

Common shark species seen on the Run include the bronze whaler, the dusky and the oceanic blacktip. Enormous Bryde’s whales are often witnessed feeding on the bait-balls, and in previous years we have also seen bottlenose dolphins, orcas, Cape fur seals, and a plethora of game fish. Best of all, the Run coincides with the annual migration of the humpback whale, so visitors can expect to see their incredible acrobatic displays as well.

Package One

Sardine run package one

B+B 3* 6 Days / 7 Nights

6 full days out on the boat (8:00 am – 4pm)
7 Nights accommodation including breakfast at a 3* lodge / guest house (Outspan Inn – or Sunof guest house-


R20999.00 per person sharing
R22499.00 single supplement

Package Two

Sardine run package two

B+B 4* 6 Days / 7 Nights

6 full days out on the boat (8:00 am – 4pm)

7 Nights accommodation including breakfast at a 4* lodge


R26550.00 per person sharing
R29670.00 single supplement

Package Options

Sardine run package three

What is included:

  • Cylinder and weight belt hire
  • Light lunch on the boat (please specify if special requirements are needed)
  • Unlimited refreshments

What’s not included:

  • Flights and taxes
  • Passports and visas
  • Gear rental (can be rented)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Transfers

For the experience of a lifetime, join us on our next Sardine Run adventure. Contact us with our enquiry form below and one of our friendly staff members will contact you shortly.

Enquiry Form


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Date of Arrival

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Accommodation (optional)

Dive Package (optional)

Baited Shark Dive (optional)
yes please

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