• Shark Guardian

Sardine Run Expedition - South Africa 2018

Updated: Oct 16, 2020


The purpose of Shark Guardian dive expeditions:

  • To have awesome encounters with sharks and other marine life

  • To learn more about sharks through educational presentations

  • Get involved with research and record your observations

  • Upload observation data for research projects for the purpose of conservation

  • All expeditions provide a donation to Shark Guardian UK Charity

Highlights from the Shark Guardian Sardine Run Expedition 2017

Overview of the Sardine Run Expedition

The trip starts with 3 days diving on the Aliwal Shoal prior to leaving for the Wild Coast to dive the Sardine Run. Like any expedition, a dive trip of this magnitude requires some preparation time. In these three days, we will make it our business to ensure you are fully prepared to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. You will arrive at the Wild Coast ready to dive, and having remedied any of those little diving related set-backs that we all know can ruin a trip.

The Aliwal Shoal in itself is enough to keep any diver happy with hundreds of pristine dive sites spread across the 1.5km wide, 5km long shoal. The shoal is also home to over 1200 different species of fish, some of which are endemic to the shoal and found no where else in the world. Also making the Shoal their seasonal home are a range of apex predators. Oceanic Black Tip sharks, Grey Nurse and Tiger Sharks are three of the main attractions on our shark dives. Along with the sharks, you will also encounter dolphins, turtles, stingrays and a variety of smaller wonders of the sea.

You will be transported to Port St. Johns where you will spend 6 days experiencing some of the best diving and snorkeling that the world has to offer. While on the Sardine Run we will be following dolphins, whales, seals, penguins, sharks and birds chasing bait balls formed by hundreds of thousands of sardines, red eye anchovy. This phenomenal congregation of predators occurs annually from May to July.

We offer a boat based adventure for everyone, whether a diver or non-diver. All nature lovers, bird watchers, photography enthusiasts, dolphin and whale enthusiasts, snorkelers and scuba divers will thoroughly enjoy this incredible event of nature. The sardine run has been likened to the land based “Wildebeest migration of the Serengeti” and the marine equivalent of this has since been called....

"The greatest shoal on earth!"

Diving the Aliwal Shoal

The Aliwal Shoal is a rocky reef which is the remains of an ancient sand dune approximately 5km off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The reef is inhabited by many kinds of hard and soft corals and a variety of tropical and subtropical fish species. This abundance of food makes the reef a paradise for a variety of shark species and cetaceans.

Aliwal Shoal is home to the Tiger Shark, Oceanic Black Tip, Dusky, and Ragged Tooth shark (Spotted Sand Tiger). Join us for reef dives where you will see the Raggies, who return annually to the Shoal every winter. These ferocious looking sharks are actually incredibly placid, and provide excellent subjects for underwater photography.

Diving the Sardine Run

Nature rules our days as we spend most of our time at sea following the action as dolphins and sharks work together to separate the sardines into bait balls. The birds, dolphins, sharks and whales are all enjoying this feast and are most entertaining to watch from above or under the water.

This fantastic event attracts species like:

Humpback Whales, Bryde’s Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Dusky Sharks, Bronze Whaler Sharks, Oceanic Blacktip Sharks, Game fish like Sailfish, Tuna etc. Seals, Cape Gannetts, Albatros and much more. The action is amazing and you are often surrounded by hundreds of sea creatures and of course millions of sardines and red eyes which make it a spectacular expedition.