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Just Africa Scuba Dive Trips

Dive Travel

Wild Coast Student Tour - Sardine Run 2020

19-30 June 2020

The Just Africa Scuba Career Development students along with the Just Africa Life Skills Preparation Year students will be touring with us to Cintsa on the Wild Coast, 45km north of East London in the Eastern Cape.

The Sardine Run is an annual migration of sardines up the East Coast of South Africa from the Southern Cape to Kwa-Zulu Natal, where the fish spawn. They follow a cooler than usual counter-current which passes close in-shore and there is an array of marine predators ready to meet them, from thousands of Cape Gannets, huge pods of Common Dolphins, several shark species, such as Dusky sharks and Copper sharks all the way up to the impressive Brydes Whales. We will spend five days per week at sea, following the incredible marine action and getting you into position to experience the sardine bait balls from the boat or in the water, where you will witness birds, dolphins, sharks and whales all working together feeding off the bait balls. We will have one rest day where we also include a game drive to see the BIG 5 and an Elephant interaction at Inkwenkwezi Game Lodge.

During this time of the year, the Humpback whales migrate up the coast and they can be spotted daily, moving in pairs or small family groups. Southern Right whales can also be seen occasionally, but it is the Brydes whales that really get involved with the sardines and it’s an incredible spectacle to witness a Brydes whale engulfing a bait ball in a single mouthful. We also see Bottle-nosed Dolphins and have also seen the shy Humpbacked Dolphins near the shore. Aside from the Cape Gannets, there are several other bird species that have been spotted: African Penguins, Cormorants, Yellow-nosed Indian Albatross, Sub-Antarctic Skuas to name a few.

We base ourselves in Cintsa near East London and launch our boat directly off the beach there, sea conditions permitting. On days with larger swells, we divert to the East London harbour which allows a safe launch in almost any sea conditions.

Cintsa is a beautiful location and gives us an effective range of some 150 km of the South African Wild Coast, from Hamburg in the West to the Kei River in the East. Our base is the charismatic Buccaneer’s Lodge on the Cintsa river mouth, where our guests are accommodated in en-suite rooms with beautiful sea and river views. Meals are delicious and generous: full hot breakfasts and health breakfasts are served daily, delicious packed lunches are sent out with the boat and our evening meals are buffet style themed dinners.

 

 DETAILS

We will be driving from Gordon’s Bay with the Just Africa Scuba tour bus to Buccaneer's Lodge.

This road trip will add 4 days to this incredible tour exploring our beautiful country, visiting different towns, new activities and experiences along the way and enjoying the scenery.

Please Note:
Diving on bait balls is rare. The sardine run relies on the coming together of many different variables: weather and currents, predators and of course, the sardines! Some days are going to be quiet and some days will be very busy. Our tour operator is Pisces Divers and they do their utmost to get us into the best position to appreciate this event, either from the boat or in the water.

 ITINERARY

06:30 – Breakfast overlooking the stunning Cinsta valley
07:00 – Kit up and walk down to Cintsa beach
07:30 – Launch boats just before sunrise
07:30 to 15:00 – We spend the day on the water searching for visible signs of sardines which includes bird action and birds diving. During the quiet periods, we’ll scuba and/or snorkel with dolphins and whales.
15:00 – Return to the beach at Cintsa
16:00 – Late afternoon and evening at leisure.
19:00 – Delicious theme dinner.

INCLUDED

  • Road trip 2 days form Gordon’s Bay to Buccaneer’s Lodge and 2 days back.
  • Sightseeing and activities.
  • Overnight stays at B&Bs and meals.
  • Shared accommodation for seven nights on a full-board basis.
  • Five days at sea.
  • One rest day.
  • Equipment rentals.
  • Activities on non-diving days will be arranged.
  • Big 5 Game drive and Elephant interaction at Inkwenkwezi Game Lodge.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Dive Certification Card
  • Towel and drybag for the boat
  • Warm waterproof jacket, beanie and sunhat Sunblock and personal medications (such as seasickness tablets)
  • Cameras (topside and underwater)
  • Own dive equipment, other than cylinders and weight-belts

 

 

Wild Coast Student Tour - Sardine Run 2020

The Just Africa Scuba Career Development students along with the Just Africa Life Skills Preparation Year students will be touring with us to Cintsa on the Wild Coast, 45km north of East London in the Eastern Cape.

The Sardine Run is an annual migration of sardines up the East Coast of South Africa from the Southern Cape to Kwa-Zulu Natal, where the fish spawn.
They follow a cooler than usual counter-current which passes close in-shore and there is an array of marine predators ready to meet them, from thousands of Cape Gannets, huge pods of Common Dolphins, several shark species, such as Dusky sharks and Copper sharks all the way up to the impressive Brydes Whales.

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