Overview

Can you just not get enough diving? Do you want to spend all of your holiday with your head under the water? You want it all, the sharks, the dolphins and the incredible Sardine Run? Well look no further. This tour combines our amazing Sardine Run tour with the Shark Adventure of a lifetime. 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. As if that wasn’t enough, join the marine world’s APEX predators in their natural environment on the reefs of Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. No other species are as powerful and graceful as sharks, as they glide past you in the water. These amazing animals are inquisitive, not aggressive towards divers and spending time with them under water will be a cherished memory.

Featured Highlights

Some of the activities listed above form part of an "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 can be pre-purchased or bought through your guide on day 1 of your tour.  We do recommend that you prebook your Activity Package to ensure availability.

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Pre & Post Tour Accommodation

Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.

Pre Tour Accommodation - Durban

From R890
  Airport Transfer Available Garden Court South Beach Hotel

Situated in the warm subtropical city of Durban, on the lush coastline of KwaZulu-Natal, Garden Court South Beach is the ideal home away from home for our travellers. The hotel lies within easy reach of Durban’s popular South Beach, and provides an ideal springboard from which to explore Durban and … Read More

Post Tour Accommodation - East London

From R1,400
Garden Court East London

The Garden Court East London hotel, located on the city’s spectacular Eastern Beach Promenade and close to the East London CBD. The hotel’s 173 en-suite rooms feature contemporary décor that is pleasing and calming, reflecting the tranquil moods of the ocean. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, free WiFi, … Read More

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.

Download Detailed Itinerary (pdf)

  Accommodated
Day 01

Durban to Margate

Leaving the city of Durban behind us we make our way south along the dolphin coast of KwaZulu Natal. About 2 hours north of Durban is the launch site for both Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, home to some of the best Apex Predator shark diving. We arrive at the Dive House and settle in for our stay. This afternoon we will check all dive equipment, ensure the correct gear is allocated and have a dive briefing for the following days.

Route
Durban to Margate
Included Activities
Dive briefing
Kwazulu Natal coastline
Places
Durban
Day 02

Protea Banks Diving

Over the next three days we will have 5 dives on the Protea Banks Reef where we hope to see some of the worlds largest marine predators. During these three days you will also be offered a Baited Shark Dive. Diving both North and South Pinnacles we will have the chance to collect Sand Tiger Shark teeth and explore caves, swim-troughs and tunnels. An optional Tiger and Bull Shark baited dive at Protea Banks will be offered during our stay. This dive takes place in open water, hanging in the blue whilst possible Tiger, Bull, Hammerhead and Oceanic Black-Tip sharks come in to investigate the scent trail around us. A full safety briefing and training session is included and this is a breathtaking experience.

Route
Ifafa to Shelley Beach launch area
Activity Package
Protea Banks baited dive
Included Activities
2 Recreational dives on Protea Banks
Day 03

Protea Banks Diving

Today we will enjoy 1 Dive on the Protea Banks Reef, allowing for us to have the afternoon at Leisure and be fully rested for our 2 x Dives tomorrow.

Included Activities
1 Recreational dive on Protea Banks
Day 04

Protea Banks Diving

Today we will have our last 2 dives on the Protea Banks Reef, with this being our last chance to possibly see some of the world’s largest marine predators.

Included Activities
2 Recreational dives on Protea Banks
Day 05

Aliwal Shoal

The following two days we spend diving the equally famous Aliwal Shoal. Renowned for Raggie Tooth Sharks congregating in their hundreds, dolphins and the baited shark dive. Each morning we will travel the hour from our Dive House in Margate to the launch site for Aliwal Shoal. Over the two days we will do 3 recreational dives on the Aliwal Shoal, including the famous “Raggie Cave”. The optional baited shark dive is well worth it, with Oceanic Black-Tip Sharks gathering in large numbers and Tiger Sharks investigating the bait. Today we enjoy 2 Dives at Aliwal Shoal.

Route
Ifafa to Umkomas
Activity Package
Aliwal Shoal Baited Dive
Highlights
Diving Aliwal Shoal
Included Activities
2 Recreational dives on Aliwal Shoal
Day 06

Aliwal Shoal

Today will be our last diving day and also our last night in South Africa. Please make sure to make the most of your 1 Diving activity today as this will be the last chance to spot the Raggie Tooth Sharks.

Route
Ifafa to Umkomas
Included Activities
1 Recreational dives on Aliwal Shoal
Day 07

Durban

Durban has long been the favourite holiday destination for South Africans, the golden mile with its warm seas and safe swimming beaches attracts visitors throughout the year. Although your tour ends upon arrival in Durban, this afternoon we have time to spend on the beaches of the golden mile or make an optional visit to the world-class aquarium complex at Ushaka Marine World.

Included Activities
Half day Durban City Tour
Optional Activities
U-Shaka Marine World
Dinner
Day 08

Durban to Coffee Bay

This morning we will fly from Durban to the Eastern Cape town of East London where we will meet our new crew. 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 operating of the Sardine Run adventure over the next few days.

Route
Durban to Coffee Bay
Included Activities
Dive briefing
Day 09

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 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. 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 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.

Included Activities
full days of Sardine Run action (weather permitting)
Day 10

Sardine Run

Full day diving (Weather permitting)

Included Activities
full days of Sardine Run action (weather permitting)
Day 11

Sardine Run

Full day diving (Weather permitting)

Included Activities
full days of Sardine Run action (weather permitting)
Day 12

Sardine Run

Full day diving (Weather permitting)

Included Activities
full days of Sardine Run action (weather permitting)
Day 13

Sardine Run

Full day diving (Weather permitting)

Included Activities
full days of Sardine Run action (weather permitting)
Day 14

Coffee Bay to East London

Today we will retrace our steps from Coffee Bay back to the town of East London.

Route
Coffee Bay to East London

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.

  • Protea Banks baited dive
  • Aliwal Shoal Baited Dive

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