Important information about the Adventure - Sardine Run - snorkelling and diving in South Africa , with Expert-Tours.com !
2019 promises to be a awesome year!
The Sardine Run occurs annually from February to August !
The sardine Fishing season starts around the 15th January each year.
It starts on east coast of South Africa between Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth.
First mass bunker, sardines, makrel and garfish gather in shoals until about June , and then with the winter storms hitting the coast, from July, the fish move north along the Eastern Cape up towards Durban. They can cover a distance of about 1000 km along the eastern coastline over a period of 6 month - of South Africa, which makes it defiantly the biggest marine migration in the southern hemisphere.
If the fish is moving, depends on weather and currents and is unpredictable between East London to Durban.
Sardine Run tours start from
February to June (summer) in the area between Mossel Bay - Port Elizabeth
or if the fish moves north from
June to about July (winter) along the coast between Port Elizabeth to Port St Johns.
In that period around Port Elizabeth daylight is longer and the temperatures are generally warmer because there is still summer.
In the Indian Ocean around Port Elizabeth and Port Alfred mass bunker , red eyes , sardines
and mackerel are present all year long. These fish form huge shoals at depths of 100 meters
(then not accessible for diving) , to the surface (these are the schools that we seek, to dive and snorkel with ) .
Predators such as common dolphins, and brydeswhale, minky whale and orcas / killer whales follow the dolphins to also eat fish .
Our Focus is on an area of approximately 100 km x 50 km, searching for dolphin schools. This may take hours. We use often support aircraft's if the activity is offshore to scout for activity.
When the pods of dolphins are found ( between 500 to 2,000 individuals ) , we follow the
Animals , because the dolphins will search the fish.
Snorkelling and diving with Baitballs - depending on the speed of dolphins - we experience their natural behaviour and enjoy their presence, always provided that the sea conditions allow this. The objective is as long as the animals search for fish to follow until a " Baitball " of fish has been formed.
Our boat trips in the "semi ridged boat " last between 4-7 hours. We
move between 5 to 40 kilometres offshore and travel max 100km per day in our area of choice.
Our tours are personalised so that users experience an adventure of a lifetime. Full charter is possible. Through TV documentaries and expectations with respect to the sardine run and shark diving are high and sometimes contrary to what is actually experienced.
Hence we see as responsible operators the need to define the Sardine Run to you as clearly in this text as possible to avoid any disappointments or misunderstandings.
Sardine Run is actually the experience of Boating and searching activities of whales, dolphins and seals.
Our ultimate goal is "security first" diving qualifications and medical certificates must
be active and up to date weather and sea and wind conditions on our tours are
significant issues that need to be considered.
The Sardine Run is about 30 % Diving
and 70 % snorkelling or freediving .
Some days we need to be flexible and move away from weather or sea conditions to other areas.
Weather is unpredictable , if a dive/ Schnorcheltag fails, we provide alternatives such as Shore excursions ( depending on Tour Package with or without additional costs for the participants).
INFO country 's:
Average air temperatures : at night about 13 degrees to 25 degrees during the day
Water temperatures of 19-22 degrees (in our area around Port Elizabeth , year round )
220 volt adapter available in SA
What do I need to bring :
1 waterproof jacket you wear when it's cold on the boat
1 hat or cap to protect the ears
At least 5 mm wetsuit , (better + 7mm semi- dry)
1st Stage 1 and 2 (DIN)
Snorkel and mask and fins
Photo and or video equipment including chargers and batteries
Logbook , Dive Qualification dive certification card, medical certificate
DAN / Aquamed insurance and Health or Accident Insurance highly recomended
Normal clothes :
Long pants and shorts
T-shirts and shirts as well as some warm e.g. Sweaters
Beach towel / recreational boat
Sunscreen ( plus 25 )
There is everything in South Africa !
Regular vaccinations as recommended in Central Europe
Questions / Answers for Sardine Run
How many people belong to the group?
Hard to say , but a maximum of 10 divers per boat plus crew ,
Thus, there is enough space on board.
What services are included in the price
Depending on the tour package , normally : All transfers in South Africa , Bed breakfast .
What type of accommodation is stayed ( hotel, motel , B & B , etc.)? which
Category? Double room / shared room ?
In general, middle class hotels or guest houses .
How does a typical day ?
Here I recommend the website www.expert-tours.com ( travel reports - News ) . Every day is different . In general, we have an average of 5 Hours at sea.
Is other diving possible??
Yes . On reefs and sharks and Baitball situations.
How many dives are done per day or while travelling? -
Number of dives unpredictable.
As is generally the weather this time of year ? Visibility under water?
Everything is always possible in South Africa , temperatures 12-24 degrees.
Visibility from zero to 30 meters.
How is it established , where the sardines are about ?
Via satellite and based on our years of experience , and with aircraft.
What is the probability that you will encounter sardines, Redeyes , mackerel ?
Previously we always had fish, we cant guarantee fish since"The Sardine Run" is a natural phenomenon.