Africa Guide
Link to this trip
View all trips in South Africa print

Itinerary: Sardine Run Upper Wild Coast of South Africa

Sardine Run Upper Wild Coast of South Africa

The Sardine Run in South Africa is one of the world’s top wildlife spectacles during May, June & July. Vast shoals of sardines travel from the cold-waters, northwards to the sub-tropical seas of the Wild Coast. A caravan of predators, seabirds, sharks & whales follow the shoal.

Operator rating 5/5 from 8 reviews
add to wish list on wish listx
Sardine Run Upper Wild Coast of South Africa
Sardine Run Upper Wild Coast of South Africa
Sardine Run Upper Wild Coast of South Africa

Thousands of common dolphins charge after the shoals, separating them into densely packed bait balls. Easy picking not only for them, but also for schools of hundreds of bronze whaler, dusky and black tip sharks which attack the bait ball from below. The aerial assault on the sardine begins when thousands of cape gannet begin their spectacular plunge diving display. The 2018 season proved to be spectacular with excellent activity and Orca Whales were also seen.

Join your shark expert who will be one of your skippers and one of your dive-guides on this wildlife spectacle. This is marine wildlife watching at its most spectacular, a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something that many of the world’s top wildlife photographer and filmmakers consider the most intense and spectacular marine wildlife event in the world.

With 20 years’ experience, your shark expert for this trip, will be available with expert advise on your Sardine Run 2019. Two 8m semi-rigid boats are used with space for 8 people on each boat.

Day 1:
On arrival to Durban, you will be met by our local operator and transferred down to Mbotyi River Lodge which is approx.a 4 hour drive. It is best to arrive before midday as we do not like to drive on the roads in the dark. You will settle in and prepare your gear for the next day’s action. After dinner you will discuss the next day’s plan with your skipper and Micro Light Plot usually they will have a good idea of where and what the action has been and will make a few recommendations to choose from.
Overnight - Mbotyi River Lodge, DBB

Day 2 – Day 6 (a 10 day sea option is available)
Commence on our 5 days or 9 days adventure in search of Sardines. The aim is to locate shoals of sardines to view the feeding activity of dolphins, seals sharks and migrating humpback whales. You will launch at approx. 06h30 to 07h30 (depending on the light and breakfast). You will return every afternoon, after about 5 hours at sea, to your accommodation for a welcome hot shower. After an action filled day at sea, those more adventurous would want to enjoy the countryside by various means here are a few examples:

Micro light Flips
Take a ride in the Micro light and see the action and the coastline from a different perspective the first 10 min is free, if you would like a longer flight you can negotiate it with the micro light pilot.

THESE ARE THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES that are offered at the lodge and are available to all clients that would like to do something in the afternoon instead of relaxing. There will be a small service charge levied by the Lodge and all bookings need to be done in advance.

The walks are all graded from professional hiking to the casual and there are experienced guides who will show you the way safely.

Here are some of the walks:

Indigenous Forest – Walk through the biggest coastal Indigenous forest in South Africa. The forest forms he transition between the Kwa-Zulu Natal sub tropical climate and the Eastern Capes more yellowwood trees with some unique formal and flora only found in this particular area.

Waterfall Bluff – for the serious hiker a 4 – 5 hour walk to the top of Waterfall Bluff one of only 3 places in the world where you have a fresh waterfall falling into the sea. So for those no launch days this is a must.

Shark Point – A short walk along the coastline to a majestic point of rocks called Shark Point and watch the fishermen battle with large sharks or bring in a huge salmon or kingfish.

DRIVES: - in the area there are 3 of the most amazing waterfalls and gorges to be found anywhere some have been cause d by erosion other by seismic events.

Magwa Falls – This is a seismic split in the earth that goes straight down for approx. 100m
Spectacular, approx. 10 minute drive.

Fraser Falls – These have been caused by the traditional erosion method. Although not as spectacular as Magwa Fall the Gorge that follows is truly awesome, plugging some 100m into some of the most unspoilt indigenous forest left on this coastline.

End the day with dinner and share some photos and storytelling of the day’s action with others in the group.

Overnight - Mbotyi River Lodge, DBB & packed lunch

Day 7
Transfer back to Durban International airport after breakfast or to your accommodation in the Durban area if you are extending your trip to do a Shark Diving trip to Southern Mozambique or onto a Big 5 Safari.

Warm clothes – Windbreaker and beanie for the boat is recommended. Also recommended is a hat, sun glasses, sunscreen etc. Bring along your passport and credit card phone cards and credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country.

You must bring your own wetsuit we strongly recommend that you bring 5m wetsuit with a vest and a hood, Regulator, mask, fins, BC and snorkel. Weight belt and cylinder will be provided as well as air fills, diving gloves and diving hood if required

BOATS – One 8m RIB and one Cat with all safety gear and radio contact.

INSURANCE: There is an optional Dan Insurance to cover your stay with us for all dive related accidents. This does not cover the out of water activities.

Due to the expeditionary nature of this event there will be no refund for any Fly or No Launch Days.
Please Note: Bait-Balls are rare and we cannot expect to dive on these every day.

Expedition 1: 7 Day Package 7 June – 13 June
Expedition 2: 7 Day Package 13 June – 19 June
Expedition 3: 7 Day Package 19 June – 25 June
Expedition 4: 7 Day Package 25 June – 1 July
Expedition 5: 7 Day Package 1 July – 7 July
Expedition 6: 7 Day Package 7 July – 13 July
Expedition 7: 7 Day Package 13 July – 19 July

PLEASE check on availability prior to booking your flights, as space is limited and books up quickly.

To receive the full details of this trip via email please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information to peruse at your leisure. Please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information.

Ooops! Please correct the errors below

Are you a travel agent? Yes No
Your name:
Your email address:
Your country of residence:
Number travelling: Anyone under 16 years? Yes
Under 16's ages:
Date travelling:
A specific date or an idea of when you would like to go
Additional information: Any extra travel or tour related services you may need.
If you would like a brochure please include your postal address here.


Similar Trips

African Insight - Pretoria to Victoria Falls
African Insight - Pretoria to Victoria Falls

7 days
was $1,087
pp in USD
Mobile Friendly
Privacy Policy • Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved.
site mapTour Operator Log In


About Our Reviews

Our reviews are Fully Qualified

We do not take reviews from unqualified sources

Since 1996 we have been working with the best tour operators in Africa. Our unique relationship with those operators ensures only people who have participated in a trip after making an enquiry for it at can leave a review.

The email we send you when you make an enquiry has full instructions for registering a booking and leaving a review - both are free services.

Feel free to read through the reviews for any trip you like the look of.

Trips with no reviews are usually new to but are normally operated by a tour operator who is established here and has gained operator reviews for you to read.

Thanks for visiting, happy travels and don't forget to send us your reviews...

Travel Team
Africa Guide

About our trip providers and reviews

Our Trip Providers

We carry out extensive company checks on all our providers, over 20 years we have built strong personal relationships with each of them, which assures you of an unparalleled service, great value and the trip of a lifetime.
We have participated in many of the trips found here (we have a nice job) and make our own independent assessments of the services provided, ensuring they meet with our own high standards.

All the trips are supplied by the end provider of that trip.
You may find the same or similar trips elsewhere, usually these are offered by an agent.
We prefer to give you direct access to the trip provider for reasons outlined below:

  1. Best price.
    The price you see here is the direct trip price set by the provider, the same price as purchasing directly with them (which is how it works), there are no added commissions.
    This means you are not paying an agents commission and the provider is receiving their fully budgeted trip cost.
    (agents can demand discounts from providers as well as adding commissions to the providers trip price)
  2. Easy customisation.
    By booking directly with the end provider, making changes is quick and easy.
  3. Fast problem solving.
    On the rare occasion that an issue may arise before or during your trip, by dealing directly with the end provider, problem solving is quick and efficient.
  4. Helping Africa help itself.
    The most straightforward way to assist the economic opportunities and conditions for local people across Africa, is by direct financial interaction with people in Africa. In a nutshell "Tourism".
    This kind of direct tourism gives opportunity to local people.

We limit the number of providers we work with in order to strike a balance between a good choice of trips and to be sure we can honestly recommend the service and validity of each provider.
Because the majority of trips can be customised by the providers, the choice of trip configurations is in the tens of thousands.

Our Reviews

We have 3,000+ reviews for our trips and providers.
All our reviews are fully qualified, we do not take unqualified reviews.
We show all reviews, the good and the critical (very few). Our providers have the ability to respond to reviews and those responses are shown alongside the review.
Acquiring genuine reviews is actually very hard, for our genuine travellers we make this an easy process but many people although satisfied with the service they received do not leave a review.

Many reviews on the internet can be left by an open process with little or no checks.
At best unqualified reviews are worthless, at worst they are misleading. We never take unqualified reviews.

We hope you find a trip to your liking and we are here to assist.

Wishing you happy travels...

Travel Team
Africa Guide


Sardine Run Upper Wild Coast of South Africa

Links make the web work

If you like this trip please feel free to place a link to it at your website.

The html code below is ready to go:

select code (select code then ctrl+A to copy)