SARDINE RUN 2024
"The Greatest Shoal on Earth"
Sardine Run 2024 – The sardine run in South Africa is a spectacular natural phenomenon that takes place each year between May and July. It is an incredibly unique experience that has to be seen to be believed. Millions of sardines migrate along the coastline, followed by predatory dolphins, whales, sharks and birds. Witnessing such a sight is truly unforgettable. Not only is it a feast for the eyes, but it is also an important ecological event that plays a crucial role in balancing the marine ecosystem. Experienced guides are on hand to provide information and ensure the safety of participants. Join us for an adventure like no other and experience the amazing sardine run in all its glory.
“Our mission is to provide our clients with an unparalleled nature experience, while promoting the conservation of our unique ocean wildlife and upholding our operations to the highest standards in quality and safety.” SRPA
2024 EXPEDITION DATES
12 May – 19 May
19 May – 26 May
26 May – 2 June
2 June – 9 June
9 June – 16 June
16 June – 23 June
SARDINE RUN 2024 PRICES
All prices include 7 nights accommodation at the stunning Crawfords Beach Lodge, 5 days at sea (weather permitting) and full buffet catering with packed lunches for sea days. Also included are transfers to and from East London (King Phalo) Airport and all SCUBA gear
SINGLE – $2500 USD
SHARING – $2300 USD
ACCOMMODATION IN CHINTSA
CRAWFORD'S BEACH LODGE
- Airport shuttle
- Buffet-style gourmet meals
- Satellite TV
- Ensuite bathroom
- Beach access
- Seaview option
Sea day Itinerary
Each expedition includes 5 days at sea. We hold one reserve day in the case of bad weather.
07H00 – Buffet breakfast
08H00 – Meet on the beach for launch
Lunch packs are provided at sea – dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
14H00-16H00 – Return to the lodge for warm showers and rest
19H00 – Buffet dinner
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The annual migration of sardines up the eastern coast of South Africa is an event no one wants to miss. From May through July, shoals of sardines follow cold, nutrient-rich currents that sweep in-shore up the east coast due to changes in weather patterns. Along with these sardines comes a vast array of hungry marine predators such as Cape Gannets, superpods of Common dolphins, Brydes whales, and several shark species (Dusky sharks, Copper sharks, Black tip sharks, Ragged tooth sharks, Bull sharks, and more). Aside from the incredible shoals of sardines, there is also the annual migration of Humpback whales traveling north where they will give birth. They can be seen daily in small family groups. The Sardine Run is unpredictable – making it the most exciting way to spend a day at sea. You just never know what you will witness next. BBC recognizes this event as ‘The greatest shoal on Earth’, and we couldn’t agree more. Whether you are a certified diver or non-diver, this experience is for you. All ocean lovers and conservationists will thoroughly enjoy this spectacular marine event.
No! In fact, most of the action happens at the surface so 90% of your time will be spent on snorkel. For those who wish to bring a SCUBA kit on board, please contact us for gear rental rates.
It is vital that all adventurers considering joining us on the sardine run understand the realities of this expedition. Go Dive cannot and will not offer any guarantee of sightings. We are meeting nature entirely on its own terms, we are not chumming, interfering, or manufacturing the sardine run, but watching, waiting, and hoping to witness this spectacular event!
On the sardine run we are out in the ocean wild! Whilst near to shore, the only launch site that can be easily utilised is our initial beach site at Chintsa. Often, we are a two hour boat ride away from this site, thus cannot return back to land for sea sickness. If you are prone to sea sickness, it is best to take as many precautions as possible to control it prior to launching.
Bad weather is an unfortunate reality on the Sardine Run. The wild coast of South Africa got its name for being, well, a little wild (weather wise)! Thus, it is likely that we will lose a day or two (or three) on each expedition to bad weather. We keep a ‘floating’ reserve day for any bad weather days. If there is more than one bad weather days, then it is up to you to decide what alternative activities you would like to do. Unfortunately, Go Dive is not able to offer refunds on additional bad weather days for this expedition.
Crawfords Beach Lodge caters for all our meals, and ensures we are well fed and happy at all times. The food is homemade, with buffet style dinners and breakfasts. Meals are a fun social event around a communal table and open fire. On the water, an assortment of high energy snacks and drinks will keep our energy up throughout the day! They can cater for most eating preferences. If you do have special eating or dietary requirements, simply let us know in advance, and we will arrange suitable catering for you.
Yes of course! The sardine run does involve a lot of jumping in and out of our boats, and for this a smaller camera like a ‘GoPro’ is ideal! But when that big stable bait ball arrives, then nothing quite gets the incredible photos like a good underwater DSLR or mirrorless camera!
From our experience with sardine run expeditions, we know that this duration of expedition will maximize the probability of success. Coming for a shorter period exponentially increases the probability that you will not experience the incredible sights that the sardine run has to offer, due to the difficulty of locating great bait balls and the possibility of bad weather spells. Thus, to ensure that we feel morally comfortable that we can deliver the promised service, we do recommend that guests join us for an entire expedition.
The Sardine Run is tough, and anybody joining us on an expedition should have a relatively good level of fitness and be used to spending time on the ocean. Spending 8 hours a day on a small boat is challenging for even experienced ‘seadogs’.
Crawford’s Beach Lodge has a shuttle that will pick you up and drop you off at King Phalo airport in East London – South Africa.
Go Dive has made a great partnership Crawfords Beach Lodge in Chintsa. The lodge is four star quality, incredible activities, stunning meals and we have personally assessed to ensure that they meet the level of service for all our sardine run guests.
Deposits are non-refundable, however, can be redirected to subsequent years’ expeditions in case of forced cancellation – such as travel bans. In case of additional bad weather days following our one reserve day, additional activities can be organized at on guests account (e.g. golf, snake parks, horse riding), but Go Dive does not offer bad weather refunds.