Overview

The annual Great Sardine Run is a natural phenomenon which usually occurs during the months of June and July, when massive schools of sardines migrate from the colder waters around the Cape to the warmer waters of Kwazulu Natal to give birth to their offspring. Once they’ve laid their eggs, they return to the Cape, closely followed by thousands of dolphins, birds, fish of prey, whales and sharks. The ocean awakes and the thrill is simply indescribable.

Pre & Post Tour Accommodation

Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.

Itinerary

Our tours come with an "Optional Activity Package".  You will need to purchase this package if you would like to partake in what we consider to be "essential activities" on our tours.  The Activity Package has been written into the itinerary of the tour so please keep this in mind as if you don't book the package, the activities won't be included.  We suggest that you prebook and prepay for your Activity Package to ensure availability.

The itinerary below is indicative only and is subject to change without notice. This itinerary may not reflect the final product you receive on the road. Please ensure that you download your tour dossier one week prior to your tour departure date so that you are guaranteed to have the most up to date version of the dossier as we do frequently update our dossiers. Tour dossiers should be seen as a guide only and are subject to change.

Download Detailed Itinerary (pdf)

  Accommodated
Day 01

East London (Johannebsurg if purchasing our Activity Package) to Coffee Bay

(This morning we will fly to the Eastern Cape town of East London). Leaving the city of East London behind us we travel north along the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape to the small town of Coffee Bay, our launch site for the famous Sardine Run.

After settling into your hotel you will have the chance to explore this stunning area and visit the iconic “Hole In The Wall”.

This evening you will have a full breifing on the operation of the Sardine Run adventure over the next few days.


Please note that during the next few days we will be subject to weather and ocean conditions and may not be able to launch each day. To account for this risk we have created this lengthy stay in Coffee Bay in order to ensure you have the best possible chance. Please also note that Nomad cannot guarantee Sardine Run action at any time and are only able to book tours in the best possible window to the best of our ability.

Day 02

Sardine Run

The annual Great Sardine Run is a natural phenomenon which usually occurs during the months of June and July, when massive schools of sardines migrate from the colder waters around the Cape to the warmer waters of Kwazulu Natal to give birth to their offspring. Once they’ve laid their eggs, they return to the Cape, closely followed by thousands of dolphins, birds, fish of prey, whales and sharks. The ocean awakes and the thrill is simply indescribable.

After Breakfast at 7am you will be transferred to Mapusi, the most spectacular, idyllic river mouth from where we launch our boat. On the banks of this river divers get ready for the launch. The 4 x 4 drives the boat down into the river. Divers and the crew have to push the boat further until there is enough water under the keel and all rocks are cleared. Once it is safe, the skipper gets on the boat and starts the motors. When he has enough water under the keel, he calls all guests on. With speed the boat drives over the sandbank and into the waiting basin. Once all waves have passed, the skipper chooses the safest moment to launch out to sea.

In the meantime our plane has taken off and done a good fly over in search of animal activity. The skipper and the pilot are in constant radio contact whereby the boat gets directed to the best action on hand.

Sardine Run Action consists not only of silver fish but more so of activities such as whales, dolphins, sharks and gannets.

The highly experienced and skillful crew will approach anything interesting with great care and only when it is safe will the divers be allowed to enter the water. More often than not this will be done on mask and snorkel. There is a constant off-the-boat and on-the-boat which requires stamina and a certain fitness.

Obviously it is always the client’s choice if he wants to remain on the boat or jump into the water.

To make a long day out at sea as pleasant as possible we offer sandwiches, fresh fruit, chocolates, cookies, fruit juice and water on the boat.

Each day we will launch (weather permitting) and spend a full day out at sea to give you the best chance of action. We return by latest 3pm each afternoon when you will get a chance to rest, relax, hike the area and charge those all important cameras. Each evening we have a sumptuous buffet and bar for tales of the day just past.

Day 03

Sardine Run

Each day we will launch (weather permitting) and spend a full day out at sea to give you the best chance of action. We return by latest 3pm each afternoon when you will get a chance to rest, relax, hike the area and charge those all important cameras. Each evening we have a sumptuous buffet and bar for tales of the day just past.

Day 04

Sardine Run

Each day we will launch (weather permitting) and spend a full day out at sea to give you the best chance of action. We return by latest 3pm each afternoon when you will get a chance to rest, relax, hike the area and charge those all important cameras. Each evening we have a sumptuous buffet and bar for tales of the day just past.

Day 05

Sardine Run

Each day we will launch (weather permitting) and spend a full day out at sea to give you the best chance of action. We return by latest 3pm each afternoon when you will get a chance to rest, relax, hike the area and charge those all important cameras. Each evening we have a sumptuous buffet and bar for tales of the day just past.

Day 06

Sardine Run

Each day we will launch (weather permitting) and spend a full day out at sea to give you the best chance of action. We return by latest 3pm each afternoon when you will get a chance to rest, relax, hike the area and charge those all important cameras. Each evening we have a sumptuous buffet and bar for tales of the day just past.

Day 07

Coffee Bay to East London (Johannesburg if purchasing our Activity Package)

Today we will retrace our steps from Coffee Bay back to the town of East London (where we will board a flight to the City of Johannesburg. Our tour will end on arrival into Johannesburg International Airport).

Activity Package

Listed below are activities and highlights that form part of an "Optional Activity Package".  You will need to purchase this package if you would like to partake in what we consider to be "essential activities" on our tours.  The Activity Package has been written into the itinerary of the tour so please keep this in mind as if you don't book the package, the activities won't be included.  We suggest that you prebook and prepay for your Activity Package to ensure availability.

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