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Sardine Run

The Sardine Run is an adventure scuba diving and sea safari expedition which takes place off the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa, in the June & July. Area of Operation: Coffee Bay – Port Edward, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Our Sardine Run range of operation spans the area north and south of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape area of South Africa - dependant on the animal activity.


9 days (8 nights, 7 days on the water and general touring)

  • For recreational scuba divers, a 7 water-day Sardine Run expedition will offer the best possibility of success. This time period will allow for bad weather scenarios and variable degrees of marine activity.

Expedition Dates for 2017:

  • 19 June to 27 June
  • 27 June to 5 July
  • 5 July to 13 July


  • Technical Difficulty - Scuba:             3/5
  • Technical Difficulty - Snorkel:           2/5
  • Physical Difficulty:                            4/5
  • Mental Difficulty:                               5/5
  • Expedition Comfort (on diveboat):    3/5
  • Accommodations:                            4/5
  • Expedition Safety:                            5/5
  • Expedition Security:                         5/5

SharkQuests Team Guide

Each expedition is led by a dedicated full-time SharkQuests Team guide with a mandate to create the best possible experience for all SharkQuests guests.

Boat Size

  • 8 divers + 2 staff per boat (unless otherwise stipulated – licensed for 12 pax).
  • We have several 32’ twin-engine dive boats available - each fitted to accommodate 12 divers. We typically limit the number to 8 divers per boat + 2 staff, for everyone’s comfort.


Mbotyi River Lodge is our aaccommodation partner and base for our Sardine Run scuba diving expeditions. The lodge is 3 star luxury with full amenities and excellent service

Of the several accommodation options available for Sardine Runners, Mbotyi is by far the most luxurious and the best situated being just south of the infamous Waterfall Bluff (where the sardines mass before running up the coast) and being surrounded by the spectacular Mbotyi hills and the magnificent Magwa Tea Plantation with close proximity to Fraser Falls and Magwa Falls – 2 of the finest African sundowner experiences imaginable J!

Spectacular vistas over this wild and undeveloped part of Africa, wonderful cuisine and warm South African hospitality make for an incredible atmosphere for our GoSharkDiving Teams in this beautiful region.

Weather & Conditions

  • June/ July are winter months on the Wild Coast and wet weather is possible (though not always the case).
  • Temperatures (Air) : 59 – 75 F/ 15 – 24 C
  • Temperatures (Water) : 59 - 70 F/ 15 - 21 C
  • Conditions will vary from glass-like seas to flying through giant rollers in pumping winds – very exciting and sometimes strenuous. Safety is always the priority when on the water and the GoSharkDiving skipper will navigate accordingly.
  • Visibility - Varies from 2 – 20m/ 6 ft – 60ft.
  • As a safety precaution, we generally don’t enter the water in less than 15ft of visibility.


  • U$ 4295 per person sharing.

Comments from Past Clients

For comments from clients of past trips - click here.

Expedition Includes

  • Guide - Dedicated full-timeguide
  • Diving - 7 days on the water or alternate activity as determined by conditions
  • Meals - Full or packed breakfast as determined by launch time, light lunch and refreshments on boat, 3 course dinner
  • Air Support - Dedicated Microlight spotter aircraft to call us onto the action
  • Guest Flight - Each guest will get to fly in the microlight and see the Wild Coast from the air (weather dependant)
  • Arranged afternoon activities when not diving
  • Equipment - Airfills, cylinders, weightbelts
  • All Transfers
    • Arrival - We will greet guests at Durban International Airport and transfer to our dive location in the Eastern Cape (approx 6 hours drive)
    • Departure – We will transfer guests from Eastern Cape back to Durban International Airport on Day 9 (do not book departure flights ex Durban before 15h00)
    • All international flights enter and depart South Africa through 3 airports:
      • Cape Town International
      • Johannesburg International
      • Durban International

Expedition Excludes

  • Dive travel insurance – required (DAN recommended)
  • Dive Equipment – BCD, regulator, mask, fins, snorkel
  • Alcohol and Soft-drinks – For guest account
  • Porterage – Excess baggage penalties and transportation
  • Gratuities – At guest discretion

Client Requirements


  • We cater for all levels of diving/non-diving experience:
  • Scuba - Advanced Scuba Diver Certification only. Divers will be required to present their dive cards and/ or log-books to GoSharkDiving upon arrival. Scuba-diving the Sardine Run is for experienced scuba-divers only
  • Snorkel/boat-based viewing – almost anyone can snorkel the sardine run (75% of the total diving is on snorkel)


  • Dive travel insurance is required for all guests – must be organized in country of origin. DAN insurance recommended as they are GoSharkDiving’s first-response service provider in South Africa
  • General travel insurance recommended


  • Wetsuit, mask, fins, snorkel
  • BCD, regulator
  • We strongly recommend divers bring their own gear rather than hiring on location. Having gear that you are familiar and comfortable with is important for this type of adventure diving. If however you require gear for rental we do provide this service on location. Please inform us on booking if you require rental of dive gear.
  • The Indian Ocean is the warmer of the 2 oceans bordering South Africa. We’re diving in the winter season where water temperatures will vary between 59 - 70 F/ 15 - 21 C. A 7mm wetsuit will most often suffice with booties, hoody and gloves recommended.
  • Our staff will be on hand to carry equipment in transit, re-fill tanks etc.
  • Rinse facilities are provided post diving.


  • Vaccinations
  • Hepatitis A – Recommended for all travelers
  • Typhoid – Recommended for all travelers
  • Routine Immunizations
  • All travelers should be up-to-date on:
  • Tetanus-diptheria
  • Measles-mumps-rubella
  • Varicella
  • Physical
    • The Sardine Run can be physically challenging and a base fitness level is recommended though not essential. The more fit the participant the more enjoyment of the experience.
    • Divers with pre-existing medical conditions must stipulate when signing the expedition waiver documents.
    • A full medical is recommended for divers with pre-existing health conditions.


  • Passport - Required for US citizens traveling to South Africa and Botswana – (no visas required)
  • Clothing - Wind/ Rain proof active wear, smart casual wear
  • Miscellaneous - Sun protection, headwear, eye protection, binoculars, camera
  • Power Supply
  • Voltage in South Africa is 230 – 240 V, 50 Hz. Guests may require a voltage converter depending on their country of origin.

Safety Promise

The Sardine Run is the most challenging of our suite of Expeditions. That said, the accident potential is minimal, largely due to our knowledge of the environment and our taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of our guests, both on and off the water.

Our equipment and communications technologies are state of the art and include:

  • Oxygen and first-aid kit onboard
  • VHF Radio
  • Cellular phone

Our staff is skilled and experienced for the variable weather conditions of open ocean scuba diving and first-aid trained – We have a full-time paramedic on staff with support medical equipment on site.

Though highly unlikely, all possible accident and treatment scenarios are planned for - Team safety is always the number one priority.

We have a 100% safety record on the Sardine Run

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Customized Travel Options

Customized Travel Options
SharkQuests has already established itself as a premier shark diving tour operator for Southern Africa. We have built up a comprehensive network of operators, lodges and resorts and are therefore able to offer you the convenience of a one-stop, tailormaking holiday service. We will take you right up close to the ocean's most vicious predators on unforgettable diving experiences... See up to 18 different shark species off South Africa's coastline. From the stormy Atlantic Ocean - home to the Great White Shark… Enquire Now!