This is your chance to see thousands of dolphins separating groups of sardines into bait balls and driving them to the surface. While they take their pickings from underneath along with sharks and whales, the Cape gannets launch their aerial attacks in astonishing dives of up to 10m / 33ft to feed on the fish.
This marine spectacular happens pretty close to the actual latitude 31° south, and you are travelling in one of our favourite areas – the Eastern Cape and Wildcoast. Also still heartwarmingly referred to as the Transkei, this area was an independent country surrounded by the borders of South Africa until 27 April 1994 when it became part of the Eastern Cape in the Republic of South Africa. This is Nelson Mandela country and he was born not to far away from Port St Johns, in Mvezo near Mthatha. Port St Johns is a town of about 7 000 people that is situated at the mouth of the mighty Umzimvubu River. It is a surreal area and people here might warn you about “pondo fever” – it’s the ‘condition’ of those who show up, expecting to stay a few days and end up staying for months or years. You’ll know why they stay once you enjoy a sundowner on Mount Thesiger, overlooking aforementioned river (this airstrip was used in scenes of the movie ‘Blood Diamond’). Maybe you’ll understand it when you take a walk through the village or to the ‘gap’ and the blow-hole on Second Beach as you experience this part of the ‘Wild Coast’ and more of the raw beauty of the Indian Ocean
Upcoming trip dates:
04 July – 11 July, 2021
18 July – 25 July, 2021
Trip direction: Fly from Johannesburg to Mthatha, transfer to Port St Johns and return.
Sardine Run on the Wild Coast at Port St Johns, Eastern Cape, South Africa
This tour is operated by Offshore Africa in Port St Johns
|Please note that a single supplement of ZAR 2,272 will be added if you prefer your own room. This will bring your total amount to ZAR 41,267|
Included in trip prices:
A typical day on the sardine run ocean safari trip
Daily outings last for approximately 6 – 8 hours depending on sea conditions and the amount of activity about. With the action being fast and furious in conjunction with variable sea conditions, long boat rides and the whole day out at sea , outings can prove strenuous, therefore it is recommended that clients be relatively fit.
Departure time is usually between 07h30 and 08h00 and return time depends on the action on the day. We are usually the last boats in each day, giving our clients a full day out at sea, capitalizing on whatever Nature has to offer.
Each morning at around 07h30, our boats will head out from the Umzimvubu River, Port St John’s and after a typical and highly exciting African surf launch, crew will start looking for all types of action, from whales, dolphins and ocean bird action to the little silver sardine type action. Our skippers will be in touch with our “eye in the sky” gyrocopter pilot for an update on sightings. Sardine activity is usually sighted from large flocks of cape gannet sightings or by the more trusted large pods of common dolphin activity. Our communication with our pilot and other networks is vast and we are also in communication with Natal Sharks Board members that conduct regular flights further afield. Our local knowledge of “hiding” places also comes into play here and all avenues are explored to find action for you.
Once action is located, our experienced crew will determine whether this action is fast moving, necessitating snorkel viewing, or more static, whereby we can go straight onto scuba equipment for those wishing to use scuba gear. First hand action will be experienced by snorkellers, divers and boat based passengers, which ensures an exciting day out for everyone where no one is left out of all the excitement that nature brings with her.
Boat Trips Enjoy a sunset booze cruise on the mighty Umzimvubu river.
Whale Watching Get close and personal and experience these gentle ocean giants during the sardine run.
Guided Walks and Hikes There are beautiful walks and hikes you can explore. River mouths, mountain trails, romantic walks on white sand beaches… the list goes on.
Traditional Village Tours Experience a way of life far removed from yours by roaming the hills with a guide. He’ll introduce you to his home village where you can also sample the local food. This is a great way to learn more about one of the 11 different cultures that make up South Africa’s rainbow nation.