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  • Writer's pictureShark 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.

" The largest congregation of predators on the planet"

Getting There

Our package includes all transfers and transport that you will require during the Sardine Run in South Africa. You need to arrive at Durban International Airport where you will be met you and transferred to the Hotel (approx. 80kms).

​Expedition Dates: 01 July 2018 - 13 July 2018

​Program Itinerary & Details:

  • Day 1: Arrive King Shaka (Durban) International AirportAirport – Transfer to Scottburgh and overnight at the Blue Marlin Hotel

  • Day 2: 2 x Dives on Aliwal Shoal

  • Day 3: 2 x Dives on Aliwal Shoal

  • Day 4: 1 x Shark Dive & 1 x dive on Aliwal Shoal

  • Day 5: Transfer to Port St. Johns— Overnight Port St. John's

  • (5 Hour bus ride)

  • Day 6: Full day Unlimited Sardine Run Diving

  • Day 7: Full day Unlimited Sardine Run Diving

  • Day 8: Full day Unlimited Sardine Run Diving

  • Day 9: Full day Unlimited Sardine Run Diving

  • Day 10: Full day Unlimited Sardine Run Diving

  • Day 11: Full day Unlimited Sardine Run Diving

  • Day 12: Transfer to Wildlife Park & Reserve

  • Day 13: Wildlife Park Drive / Airport Transfer to King Shaka (Durban) International Airport​

Package Costs:

Diver Package – per person sharing: 4,420$ USD

Non-Diver Partner – per person sharing: 4,250$ USD

What’s included?

  • 5 Reef Dives and 1 Shark dive

  • Welcome pack from Crystal Divers and Shark Guardian

  • 12 Nights accommodation

  • Transfers to and from airport /accommodation /Port St. John's.

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner with a lunch pack at sea for 5 dive days

  • 6 Sardine Run dive days at Port St. John's

  • Cylinder and airfills

  • Weight belt and weights

  • Diver permits

  • Highly qualified team of Skipper and in-water guide/ boat guide

What's excluded?

  • Dive Gear {can be hired} - Equipment rental of BCD, regulator, wetsuit, fins, mask,& Snorkel. We have a full range available should you require equipment. Kindly notify us in advance to secure your equipment needs

  • Additional land based activities

  • Items of personal nature

  • Beverages

  • Gratuities

  • Taxes / flights

  • Passport / visas

  • Personal Insurance ​

For more information please Contact US


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