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.
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
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.
WHAT TO BRING ALONG
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.
SCUBA DIVING EQUIPMENT
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
PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYTHING PLAIN BLACK, NO BRIGHT COLOURS OR SILVER/ WHITE OR YELLOW ETC.
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.