Sardine Run Ocean Safari


The Sardine Run, dubbed “The greatest shoal on earth” by the BBC, is an annual event that takes place along the ‘Transkei Wild Coast‘, coast line. During the months of June & July, cold currents move inshore allowing the sardines to move along the east coast of South Africa basically a range extension, in the cold nutrient rich water.

Apart from the sardine bait balls that one can see, there is also the annual migration of the Humpback whales that are heading north to give birth. There are super pods of Common dolphin, thousands of Cape gannets, Bottle nose dolphin and sharks galore.
‘The greatest shoal on earth’ is an adventure for everyone, whether you are a diver or a non diver. All nature lovers and adrenalin enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy this amazing spectacle of nature.

Elephantastic South Africa Tours offers either a 5 day 6 night (7 days including travel), or, 3 day 4 night (5 days including travel) package for this Safari.
We will be based in the Wild Coast town of Port St Johns for the duration of this ocean safari.

A typical day looks as follows:

A buffet breakfast at 6:30 am, after which you will get into your wetsuits.

We will then launch the boat and look for sardine action according to the daily sardine reports and updates that we receive.

We will spend the day out at sea looking for and interacting with sardine bait balls and/or other marine life, i.e. whales , dolphins , sharks etc. The action we get will determine how we engage and interact with the animals, ie scuba dive on stationary bait balls, snorkel on fast moving bait balls, whales and dolphins and boat based viewing in low visibility. So there is always something to see.

The length of a sea day is determined by the action that we get and weather/sea conditions.

Things to bring:
Sun block, hat, warm waterproof jacket for the boat, Sea sick tablets

Please note; these tours are seasonal (June & July).
This Ocean Safari can easily be combined with our Aliwal Shoal Diving Tour. Special combination rates apply.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Guided Tours, Nature, Safari, Scuba Diving, Wildlife
    • Activity Level Moderate
    • Group Size Small Group
      4-8 In Group
    All about the Sardine Run Ocean Safari.

    More About The Tour.

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • Transport by road from Johannesburg to Port St Johns and back to Johannesburg.
    • Road transport for the duration of the trip.
    • Fuel for the trip.
    • A qualified nature guide for the duration of the trip.
    • Accommodation.
    • Breakfasts & Dinners.
    • 5/3 Days (dependent on package selected) diving/snorkelling/boat based viewing.
    • Lunch pack & refreshments for boat trip.
    • Cylinder & air fill.
    • Weights and belt
    • Boat fuel.
    • Experienced and qualified team of skipper and dive guide/boat guide.
    • Shared aerial information.
    What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
    • Lunches.
    • All flights and associated taxes.
    • Gratuities.
    • Souvenirs, curios and items of a personal nature.
    • Spa Treatments.
    • Phone calls.
    • Passports & Visas
    • Personal insurance.
    • Beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
    • Equipment Hire of: BCD Regulator, Wetsuit, Mask & Fins. A full range of equipment is available for hire. Please notify us on booking to ensure your equipment needs are met.



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    Do you offer self drive options of your tours?

    Yes we do. All our tours including a tailor made tour can be taken as a self drive option. Transport and guide related costs would be excluded.

    When is the best time to visit South Africa?

    • South Africa generally has a temperate sub-tropical climate with warm to hot summers and moderate to cold winters. With the exception of the south western parts of the Western Cape Province (Cape Town area) we have most of our rain in the summer months (November to February). Other factors such as the return of migratory bird species or the annual sardine run may be of interest to you. We recommend that you contact us and discuss your interests.

    Why do you not show exact pricing?

    • There are many factors to consider when costing a tour. We believe that we can give you better value if we take your circumstances and personal preferences into account.

    Can we bring Children?

    • Yes, in child friendly resorts. Most Wildlife resorts do not allow children under twelve years of age on open safari vehicles. Children over the age of twelve are usually considered as adults. Please contact us to confirm the child policy of the different resorts.

    Can we combine two or more of your tours?

    • Yes, tours can be customised to your taste and preferences. Domestic air travel may become necessary at an additional cost.

    Can we request a specific destination?

    • Most definitely yes. We can draw up a customised itinerary for you.

    Are your tour activities suitable for senior citizens?

    • Please advise us of senior citizens in your group when requesting a quote. We will ensure that all activities are suitable for them.

    Do you cater for people with special dietary requirements?

    • Please advise us of special dietary requirements when requesting a quote.

    You only give an indication of price for 4, 6 and 8 adults sharing double accommodation. What happens if we are a larger group?

    • We cater for groups of all sizes. The pricing on the website is merely an indication of what to expect. Please contact us for a quote.

    Do you cater for disabled tourists?

    • That is dependent on the nature of the disability. We are not in a position to give specialised care at this point in time. Please contact us to discuss this.

    What about malaria?

    • The high risk malaria area in South Africa is generally confined to the north-eastern regions. We would however strongly recommend that you consult a health care professional on this matter prior to coming to South Africa. Anti-Malaria medication usually reduces the risk considerably. Other measures such as insect repellents can also be effective.

    How do we pay you?

    • Use the payment function on this website.

    More Information

    For more information on any of the above topics or other questions please contact us at

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