During our Sardine Run packages you will experience scuba diving the sardine run at the amazing Port St Johns in South Africa offering hundreds of dolphins, sharks, diving birds, whales, game fish, seals and millions of sardines during the Sardine Run, as well as diving one of the top-10 dive sites in the world, Aliwal Shoal, South Africa.

DIVING ALIWAL SHOAL

On the first day of our all-inclusive Sardine Run package, you will dive the Aliwal Shoal which gives you a chance to check your dive gear, get your weights sorted and also to dive with the sharks found on the Aliwal Shoal in South Africa.

During June & July, the main shark species found on the Aliwal Shoal include Ragged Tooth Sharks, Blacktip Sharks, Dusky Sharks & more. The Aliwal Shoal is rated as one of the top-10 dive sites in the world and is where we operate our shark diving packages year-round. Before each dive we give a briefing to help you to understand the behaviour of sharks, ensuring you have a safe and knowledgeable dive. This involves observing the sharks, learning how to identify the different species and find out how sharks interpret your behaviour in return.

After the diving, we will return to Blue Ocean Dive Resort, where we will enjoy lunch at the lodge before we transfer south to Port St Johns. The Aliwal Shoal is also home to a huge variety of other marine life including but not limited to whales, dolphin, turtles, rays, eels, game fish and reef fish. Between dives, we often see Humpback Whales & Dolphins from the boat.

DIVING Port St Johns

The Sardine Run is amazing, you are often surrounded by hundreds of dolphin, sharks, diving birds, whales, game fish, seals and millions of sardines. The noise of the diving gannets, the speed of the dolphins and the sharks and whales coming in to take part in this awesome event, all enjoying a huge feast is amazing!

We enter the water as many times as possible during the day, sometimes just on snorkel and other times scuba diving – depending on how fast the action is moving and how comfortable the animals are as sometimes the bubbles from scuba diving chases the action away. During the Sardine Run, the annual Humpback Whale migration passes Port St Johns, offering some amazing up-close sightings of the Humpback Whales in the water, close to the boats and when the whales are breaching.

Based at Cremorne Estate in Port St Johns, each morning we receive updates about the Sardine Run movements before deciding about the Sardine Run diving for the day. We launch from the Umzimvubu River in Port St. Johns and operate north and south depending on where the action is. We are holders of MPA scuba diving permits which allows us access to SCUBA DIVE during the Sardine Run.

Typical Day at Aliwal Shoal

Breakfast

We meet at 7am for breakfast and we receive updates about the days conditions so we can decide where the best diving will be.

Kit-up and dive briefing

Our dive centre is on-site and once breakfast is finished, we move down to the kit-up area to get ready for the days diving.

Our dive team are there to help you with your gear, load the boat and to brief you on the boat launching and days diving at the Aliwal Shoal.

Dive dive dive

Jump on the vehicles and we are off to the launch site, where you will experience an exciting surf launch on our 8m RIB.

The diving is planned around the best sites for the conditions each day, get up close with the different types of sharks as well as the rest of the marine-life found on our coastline.

Our dives are for advanced divers and the depth varies from around 15 to 35 meters depending on the dive sites.

While our main focus is to get your gear sorted for the Sardine Run, we will also be scuba diving with some of the sharks found on the Aliwal Shoal. We do also see a huge variety of other marine life including whales, dolphin, rays, turtles, eels and much more.

We do two dives on the Aliwal Shoal before heading back to the dive centre at Blue Ocean Dive Resort.

After the diving

Back at the dive centre at Blue Ocean Dive Resort where there are hot showers, rinse tanks for the gear and we pack the gear ready for the transfer to Port St Johns.

After lunch we make our way south to Port St Johns for the start of the Sardine Run portion of your adventure.

The drive takes about 5-hours and is through some really rural areas that have some great sights for you to take in on the way.

When we arrive our team will be there to get you checked into the lodge, Cremorne Estate in Port St Johns.

The Evening

In the evening we will do a briefing on what to expect during the Sardine Run.

If you are not completely tired by your days diving and traveling, then you can enjoy a drink, watch TV [Satellite] before you retire to your bedroom with en-suite facilities to enjoy a relaxing nights sleep, ready for the next days action on the Sardine Run!

Typical Day at Port St Johns

Breakfast

We meet at 7am for breakfast and receive updates about the sardine run action and the days conditions so we can decide where the best diving will be.

Once breakfast is finished, we kit up for the days action. The dive team are there to help you with all your diving needs, to brief you on your days diving and the action you are likely to see.

Sardine Run Diving

We launch from the Umzimvubu River in Port St. Johns and operate north and south depending on where the sardine run action is.

We spend most of the day at sea, launching at about 8am and generally we are back by about 3pm.

The day is ruled by the Sardine Run action, we follow the dolphin as they work together to create the bait balls and then the action begins, the dolphin, birds, sharks and whales all enjoying a huge feast.

The noise of the diving gannets is amazing as they surround the boat, diving for the sardines.

We enter the water many times during the day, sometimes just on snorkel and other times on scuba, it really depends on how fast the action is moving.

The action is amazing and you are often surrounded by hundreds of dolphin, sharks, diving birds, whales and more.

We also have many opportunities to watch the Humpback Whales on their annual migration.

Rest of the day

In the late afternoon we return to the lodge at Cremorne Estate, where you can choose to relax, download photos & video footage or you can opt to go sightseeing in the afternoon.

We are always available to take you on local excursions to show you more of the area.

Our dives are for advanced divers and the depth varies from around 15 to 35 meters depending on the dive sites.

The evening

In the evening we enjoy dinner at the restaurant.

If you are not completely tired by your days diving and sight seeing, then you can have a drink at the bar, watch TV [Satellite].

After all this you retire to your bedroom with en-suite facilities to enjoy a relaxing nights sleep, ready for the next days diving.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Check on availability and bookings for your preferred package date.

For more information, please contact us, read the latest news or view our FAQ’s.

For inspiration and additional motivation make sure you view the spectacular images in our gallery.

Most divers seem to favour 5-mm wetsuits, if you feel the cold then gloves and a hoodie are a good idea.

If you do feel the cold then a 7-mm wetsuits or a shortie to put over your wetsuit is a good idea.

We use 12-liter steel cylinders which are available as A-clamp [international] or DIN so will suit all divers.

Dive gear is available for rent. Once we have your booking, you can just let us know what dive gear you will need.

Mornings are fairly cold but the general daytime temperatures are calm and warm.

We do from sometime experience winter storms which can make it fairly cold and wet with rain.

Generally warm and dry – Sea conditions are generally calm.

Winter : June & July

Daytime Temperature : 12 – 23°C

Water Temperature : 18 – 22°C