Sardine Run – Wild Coast Contact us..
A WILD COAST WILDLIFE FEAST
The Sardine-Run Expedition is a unique expedition exploring the annual sardine migration on South Africa's rugged Wild Coast. Sardine fever hits the Wild Coast sometime in June/July each year. The "run" or migration of sardines begins off the cool waters south of the African continent where they form into hundreds of large swirling shoals. The sardines then run north east into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and mass into what wild-life film producer Peter Lamberti has dubbed "The Greatest Shoal on Earth". What makes this such a spectacular show is not simply the gigantic waves of silvery sardines but the legions of predators that congregate en masse just off the east coast of South Africa in anticipation of the year's greatest feast. As a result the waters of the Wild Coast boil with sharks, dolphins, Cape Gannets, cormorants, seals, and even, on occasion, Orcas, albatross and penguins that have followed the Sardines thousands of kilometres from the southern ocean. The Sardine Run also coincides with the annual migration of Humpback Whales that move north for the season into warmer water to mate and calve. The spectacular breaches of these leviathan's are a daily phenomenon and it just adds to an already dazzling wildlife extravaganza.
For the advanced scuba diver, this is indeed the greatest dive show on earth. The ultimate highlight is the "bait ball". This is when the sharks or dolphins or both corral a shoal of sardines into a tight ball, then dive into it in a frenzied attack to come away with mouthfuls of unfortunate sardines. However, this is often logistically difficult for the divers and boats to approach as the sardines are very elusive. Luckily the predators are not as bashful. Bronze Whaler Sharks, Common & Bottlenose Dolphins and dive-bombing Cape Gannets are literally everywhere all the time, so any dive is pure adrenaline.
For the non-diver the show is just as rewarding. Most of the action is seen from the boat and there are plenty opportunities to snorkel with dolphins, whales and, for the brave, sharks while being bombarded on all sides by Cape Gannets.
PHOTO & VIDEO
For the underwater photographer/videographer the "action" opportunities are amazing. To be in the middle of this incredible scene where predator and prey fight for their existence, is the ultimate dive. The fact that IMAX, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and dozens of other world renown TV stations, magazines and photographers flock to these waters is testament to the giant status of the sardine run.