The epic Sardine Run takes place between June – July each year along the “Wild Coast” of South Africa. This spectacle is the largest marine migration on the planet and an uncontested bucket list item for any diver. Bait balls swirl through the water attracting predators from miles away. Sharks, whales, dolphins, marlin and others attack from below, Cape Gannets and Gulls attack from above…and in the middle…is you. Nomad Dive Sardine Run tour is jam packed with excitement and thrills. With full air support, experienced boat captains and crew and an exclusive location you will certainly experience one of the most exciting diving experiences on the planet.

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    Day 01

    East London to Coffee Bay

    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.


    Leaving the city of East London behind, 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 operating of the Sardine Run adventure over the next few days.

    Day 02

    Sardine Run

    The annual Great Sardine Run is a natural phenomenon that 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 Kwa-Zulu 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 an early breakfast, 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. Wherever there is something happening the boat will go.


    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 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 early to late afternoon each day 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

    Full day diving (Weather permitting)

    Day 04

    Sardine Run

    Full day diving (Weather permitting)

    Day 05

    Sardine Run

    Full day diving (Weather permitting)

    Day 06

    Sardine Run

    Full day diving (Weather permitting)

    Day 07

    Coffee Bay to East London

    Today we will retrace our steps from Coffee Bay back to the town of East London, where your tour comes to an end upon arrival at the East London airport.  Please ensure you book your flights for as late as possible in the afternoon.



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