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15 - 22 May 2017

22 - 29 May 2017

Sardine Run 2017

Each year during May, June and July, vast shoals of sardines leave their cold-water home in South Africa’s temperate seas and travel north into the sub-tropical seas of South Africa’s Wild Coast. The shoals offer a bountiful feast to a host of predators including : seabirds, game fish, marine mammals and sharks. It is one of nature’s greatest spectacles. This is the Sardine Run.

Experience marine wildlife watching at its most spectacular! It is an opportunity to be part of something that many of the world’s top marine biologists, wildlife photographers and filmmakers consider the most intense wildlife event in the world. Guests can view from the boat, snorkel on the ocean surface or do a Sardine Run dive with scuba gear.

Our guest, Tony Baskeyfield, wrote about his Sardine Run experience. His report was published in Sport Diver Magazine and can be read here Sport_Diver-Sardine_Run.

Let Apex Shark Expeditions help you experience this wildlife phenomenon from a ringside seat. 

For more information, read a trip report here.





15 - 22 May 2017

22 - 29 May 2017

A trip overview

Day 1

Arrive East London Airport where you will transfered to Buccaneers Lodge.

Day 2 -7

Six boating days. Each day’s itinerary will be as follows:




Transfer to harbour and launch site for The Sardine Run


Kit up prior to embarking on our rubber duck.

08H00 - 14H00

We spend the day on the water searching for visible signs of sardines which includes bird action and bird diving.During the quiet periods, we'll scuba and/or snorkel with dolphins and whales. Please Note: Diving on bait balls is rare. The Sardine Run is the coming together of a number of predators and it is this marine spectacle that makes The Sardine Run special.

Vessel returns to harbour.


Evening at leisure.


Delicious theme dinner.

Day 8

Back up day for weather. Schedule travel arrangements for late afternoon travel.




15 - 22 May 2017

22 - 29 May 2017

Experience the eastern cape

The location for our Sardine Run 2017 is set to be in East London (subject to animal activity), situated in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. A short domestic flight from Cape Town or Johannesburg, this quaint city offers beautiful scenery and is a perfect holiday destination. This location offers guests a less commercial experience than Port St John's where there are many Sardine Run operators.

The Sardine Run 2017 - East London coastline




15 - 22 May 2017

22 - 29 May 2017

Wild Coast living

Just 30 minutes outside of East London, Buccaneers Lodge is situated in a Wild Coast forest right on Chintsa Beach.

The lodge is a haven of tranquillity and natural delights offering guests quiet beach walks, canoe trips up the Chintsa River, or the opportunity to watch birdlife from a secret bird hide on a dam.

Buccaneers Lodge Accommodation overlooking Chintsa Beach

Your accommodation is a private luxury en-suite room with stunning sea views. Facilities include a laundry service, Wi-Fi and a TV lounge. For more information visit: www.cintsa.com.




15 - 22 May 2017

22 - 29 May 2017

Extra information



A 20-30cm silver fish, with a bluish colour on top. Distinguishable by the row of 10-15 black spots on the flanks.


Copper Sharks, Spotted Ragged Tooth Sharks, Black Tip Sharks, Dusky Sharks.

Ocean Mammals

Common Dolphis, Indian Ocean Bottlenose Dolphins, Hump Back Whales, Killer Whales, Brydes Whale, Cape Fur Seal.


Cape Gannet, Petrels and Shearwaters, Blackbrowed Albatross, African Penguin.


Dive depth: Surface to max. 20 metres in water column 50 – 100+ metres.

Dive type: Surface drift dive, snorkelling, scuba, Boat based viewing opportunities available for non-divers
Typical Visibility: Old Transkei Coast and East London 6 – 30m / 20 – 100 ft. Average 12 metres / 50 ft

Water temperature: May, June & July 15 – 22 degrees Celsius. 5mm wetsuit advised.

*Please note: Bait balls are rare and we cannot expect to dive on these every day.


Non-direct international flights into East London.




15 - 22 May 2017

22 - 29 May 2017

Terms & conditions


US$ 2 200.00 per person sharing

US$    115.00 single supplement

Cost includes

  • Seven nights – eight days.
  • Return airport & hotel transfers.
  • Seven nights dinner, bed and breakfast on a sharing basis.
  • Six boating days with packed boat lunches (weather permitting).
  • Daily transfers to and from the launch site.
  • Sardine Run dive guide and skipper
  • Air fills, cylinder and weight belt. 

Cost excludes

  • Flights.
  • Dive gear hire
  • Drinks. 

Booking and cancellations

A 50% non-refundable deposit via wire transfer upon booking, with the balance due 120 days before the start of the expedition.

Cancellation policy:

• Less than 120 days before start date: 100% of the fee.

• No show: 100% of the fee.

No credits will be given for cancellations beyond our control. 

Bad weather days

If we are unable to go to sea on any of the days due to weather or sea conditions, alternative excursions will be arranged. There is no refund on no sea days. 

Numbers of participants

A minimum of 4 guests and a maximum of 7 guests is required for this trip. The trips may include additional guests for costing purposes. 


As we are dealing with wild animals, sightings cannot be guaranteed. In the event of non-sightings, no refunds are available. Due to variable weather conditions and shark activity, diving may not always be possible and is therefore not guaranteed.


Don’t miss the opportunity of lifetime. Book your spot on the world-famous Sardine Run now.

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