Overview

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. Not only will you have 5 incredible days of Sardine Run action but you will also travel the famous Garden Route and visit the world-renowned Addo Elephant National Park, recognised as one of South Africa’s most popular national parks and game reserves. Take advantage of an array of activities available on this route down to Cape Town, which include exploring new surrounds, game driving, canoeing, bungee jumping, wine tasting and so much more. Discover an indigenous forest in the heart of the Garden Route and visit some of the country’s most scenic attractions.

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.

Add to Tour Comparison

Whenever you see this icon, click it to add the tour to your notebook and compare it to other tours.

Pre & Post Tour Accommodation

Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.

Pre Tour Accommodation - Cape Town

From R1,640
  Airport Transfer Available Tsogo Cape Sun

Situated in the heart of Cape Town, the Southern Sun Cape Sun hotel offers world-class hospitality, outstanding service, and breathtaking views of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The hotel has 368 elegantly appointed en-suite rooms and suites, each equipped with amenities like free WiFi, DStv and many more … 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

Cultural Cape Town – Stellenbosch

Set at the south-western corner of the African continent, Cape Town is scenically located at the foot of Table Mountain. This morning we spend or time experiencing some of the rich historical and cultural highlights of the city, those who have opted for the activity package will join a local tour operator for an insight into the life and history of the people living in the Cape. Enriched by our experiences we travel north to the winelands to enjoy a sampling of some fine Cape wines. Our final stop this afternoon is the historic town of Stellenbosch where we will have some time to explore the town on foot. We end this busy day with a dinner out after checking-in to our hotel this evening.

Route
Cape Town to Paarl
Included Activities
Self-Guided Walk through Stellenbosch
Activity Package
Cheese and wine tasting
Cape Town cultural township tour
Optional Activities
Lunch
Day 02

Route 62 – Oudtshoorn

Crossing the Hottentots-Holland Mountains this morning we set out for the Klein Karoo and our overnight stop in Oudtshoorn. We follow the scenic Route 62 today, stopping to experience one of the many farm stalls on the way. One of the more quirky highlights today is Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub! On arrival in Oudtshoorn this afternoon we will visit an Ostrich Farm to learn about these fascinating birds.

Route
Paarl to Oudtshoorn
Included Activities
Ostrich Farm Visit
Day 03

Heart of Garden Route

Our morning starts with a guided tour of the famous Cango Caves, we can only marvel at the astonishing formations that have formed in these impressive limestone caves. Returning above ground we make our way over the Outeniqua Mountains and descend to the beautiful Garden route coastline below. In the coming days we spend time hiking, relaxing at the beach and sampling the many optional activities available.

Route
Oudtshoorn to Garden Route
Activity Package
Cango Caves basic tour
Optional Activities
Dinner
Day 04

Tsitsikamma

The Garden Route is a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, forest walks and an exciting menu of optional adventures. While our morning is set aside for some relaxation on the beaches of Plettenberg Bay, today offers a number of optional activities and your guide will assist you to get the most out the day. This afternoon we have the opportunity to visit the hidden gem of Nature’s Valley, this beautiful village offers us a chance to enjoy a hike or simply relax on the pristine beach in this little paradise. In order to make the most of this day, the truck will run a set schedule and you are free to join or leave at the places that interest you.

Route
Plettenberg Bay to Storms River Village
Optional Activities
Bloukrans Bungee Jump
Sea Kayaking
Township Tour
Birds of Eden
Ocean Safaris
Included Activities
Plettenberg Bay Beaches
Natures Valley Nature Walk
Day 05

Tsitsikamma

Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s premier marine reserves and this morning we set out to explore the rugged coastline on foot. Our hike along the Waterfall Trail sees us cover the first section of the world renowned Otter Trail, this is not an easy hike and those who prefer a more leisurely option can make use of the boardwalks to the Storms River Mouth. For the adventurous the Waterfall Trail offers a spectacular winding path that follows the rocky coastline, an out and back trial we stop for a refreshing swim at the base of an icy Waterfall. For those who wish to get a birds-eye view of the magnificent forests an optional zip line tour through the canopy is offered this afternoon.

Included Activities
Tsitsikamma National Park entrance
Hike with your Nomad guide
Optional Activities
Treetop Canopy Tours
Day 06

Addo Elephant National Park

This morning we set out for the Eastern Cape and the Addo National Park. We make a stop this morning in the surfing mecca of Jeffrey’s Bay, famous for its waves you have the opportunity to visit the small surfing museum, catch a quick wave or simply enjoy a cup of coffee overlooking these famous waves. This afternoon we will make our first visit to seek the Elephants after which Addo is named.

Route
Tsitsikamma National Park to Addo Elephant National Park
Optional Activities
Addo Night Drive
Included Activities
Addo National Park Game Drive in Truck
Jeffrey’s Bay
Day 07

Addo Elephant Park to Port Elizabeth

Today we will leave Addo National Park behind and travel to the coastal town of Port Elizabeth where we will have an afternoon to relax.

Route
Addo National Park to Port Elizabeth
Day 08

Port Elizabeth to Coffee Bay

This morning we will fly 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
Port Elizabeth 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.

  • Cheese and wine tasting
  • Cape Town cultural township tour
  • Cango Caves basic tour

Dates

Reviews

Enquire Now