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Sardine Run

Sardine Run Cintsa

30 May to 6 June 2021
R27 000 p/p sharing

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Join us for this unforgettable trip to the Wild Coast and experience the Sardine Run up close.

This is an amazing experience that can be enjoyed by anybody that loves the ocean......you DO NOT need to be a Scuba Diver, just an Ocean Lover. Free Divers and snorkelers are also welcome.

Cintsa,
Wild Coast,

East London
Max Depths
5m - 10m
Water Temp
18°C - 25°C
Visibility
5m - 15m
 
 Open Water
(snorkelling
possible)

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 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 an activity from a local service provider: this could be a quad bike trip, a game drive, a cultural tour, zip-lining or a number of other active or relaxing options.

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

Arrive at East London Airport on Sunday afternoon where you will be met and transferred to Buccaneers Lodge on the first day of your trip. We have a full briefing in the evening, where we can sort out equipment and camera issues.

Five days at sea and one rest day.

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. We will do our utmost to get you into the best position to appreciate this event, either from the boat or in the water.

 ITINERARY

06:30 – Breakfast overlooking the stunning Cintsa 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

  • Airport Transfers from East London.
  • Shared accommodation for seven nights on a full-board basis.
  • Five days at sea.
  • One rest day.
  • We supply cylinders and weights, additional equipment rental is extra.
  • Activities on non-diving days will be arranged.
  • Big 5 Game drive and Elephant interaction at Inkwenkwezi Game Lodge.

EXCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Dive equipment other than cylinders and weight-belts (but can be rented).
  • Alcoholic drinks

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

 

Don't miss out on this amazing experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ#1

What is the age limits?

In most regions, the minimum age is 10 years old, however in some areas, local law may require a higher minimum age limit. Young participants need the approval and support of their parent or guardian. There is no upper age limit. To dive, you must be in good overall health, particularly your respiratory and circulatory systems. Mentally, you need a mature attitude, good judgement and the self-discipline to follow diving guidelines.
FAQ#26

What about my ears?

Your ears will not be a problem, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing on your eardrums. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust to pressure changes in our surroundings – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure when flying, you'll most likely experience no problems learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.
FAQ#24

I'm not a great swimmer?

Some swimming ability is required. You need to have basic swim skills and be able to comfortably maintain yourself in the water, but you do not have to be a great or even good swimmer. Your PADI Instructor will assess this.
FAQ#2

Is diving risky?

Diving does present some inherent risks. You can reduce your chances of having problems while diving by following basic safety rules and learning simple skills. Your dive professional takes precautions, uses experience and exercises good judgement to help keep you as safe as possible. People dive safely every day. However, any time people are in the water and are breathing compressed gas underwater, there is the potential for problems to occur.

More FAQs