Frequently Asked Questions

Below is some of the information that will help when planning your holiday.
If you require any additional information please contact us.

What are the Passport & Visa requirements?

You must be in possession of a full passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of proposed departure, a visa is issued on arrival in South Africa.

Why Port St. Johns?

Many dive operators offer Sardine Run packages at the Aliwal Shoal, Protea Banks and many other dive sites in South Africa with the offer of regular diving when the Sardine Run doesn’t arrive. Whilst this is an easy option, it’s not fair to divers who travel from far to see the Sardine Run, it’s not reliable and it’s the main reason people think the Sardine Run doesn’t happen each year.

We move our dive centre to Cremorne Estate, Port St. Johns rated as one of the best dive sites for the Sardine Run.

What should I bring?

The area is very casual, evening and early mornings are cold so you will need trousers, windbreaker, fleece and jackets. During the day the weather is warm so you will need is shorts, t-shirts and a wind breaker. Shoes or sneakers, sandals, towels, suntan lotion, sunglasses. You will also require personal items such as aspirin, decongestants, shampoo, toothpaste etc.

The Sardine Run does take place during winter so you will need warm clothing, jackets, sweatshirts or sweaters are advisable. A warm water-proof jacket is also a good idea.

Do I need my own dive gear?

We have plenty of dive gear available for rent so you don’t need to bring your own gear. Once we have your booking, you can just let us know what gear you will be needing.

What happens if we miss dives because of the weather?

If diving is cancelled due to the weather or sea conditions, we will arrange local excursions for you to take in some of the highlights of the area. The area is fairly remote but does also offer some great hikes, view points, beach strolls and even some river fishing. The Sardine Run is operated as an expedition and because our costs don’t change if we can’t launch due to the surf conditions or the weather, we can’t offer refunds. If possible we do arrange other activities.

Are the cylinders DIN or A-clamp (international)?

We use 12-liter steel cylinders which can be both A-clamp (international) or DIN so will suit all divers.

What are the average depths of the dives?

The depth of the dives varies from around 8-meters to 20-meters depending on the dives. Most of our dives are drift dives and we do sometimes have strong currents.

What wetsuit thickness is suggested?

Most divers seem to favour 5-mm to 7-mm wetsuits during the Sardine Run, if you feel the cold then a thicker wetsuit, 5mm shortie [to go over your 5mm wetsuit], gloves and a hoodie are a good idea.

Electrical Adapters

Most international adapters don’t work in South Africa. We have a range of adapters that take UK & European plugs which are available for use at the lodge.

What medical precautions should I take?

No compulsory vaccinations are required.

What are the average temperatures in June & July (winter)?

Day time Temperature : 10C to 25C

Night time Temperature : 6C to 12C

Water Temperature : 18C to 21C

What are the general climate conditions?

June & July : The Sardine Run takes place during winter in South Africa.

The mornings and late afternoons can be cold so it is best to bring a water-proof jacket for the boat.

The weather is generally calm but we can have some winter storms which can make the sea rough.

What do the breakfasts consist of?

Breakfast are served over-looking the river and consist of eggs, bacon, sausages, a selection of cereals, yoghurt, fruit-salad, fruit, toast, orange juice & tea or coffee. Please advise if there are any special diet requirements.

Will I get seasick?

We want you to be comfortable, dives are all done from RIBs. Some people do feel a bit seasick if they surface earlier than the main group and have to spend a while on the RIB. There are several medications available if required.

Are tips required?

Tipping is optional, the normal amount is 10% at restaurants etc.

Tips for the dive team and lodge staff are also optional.

Can I come on a trip without a buddy?

Many of our guest travel on their own, we dive in a group so it’s fine.

What currencies are used?

The local currency in South African Rands (ZAR) which is easily available at ATMs, Banks etc.

When paying your final bill, we can accept payment in US Dollars, Euros & UK Pounds. If you would like to pay in other currencies please contact us.

What is the situation with food & water?

Drink lots of water [tap water is safe to drink] to avoid dehydration. There is no reason why you should become ill but often the change in food and environment can cause illness. A combination of too much sun and alcohol can also cause problems. Wash any vegetable or fruit before consumption.

What time zone is South Africa in?

South Africa : GMT + 2 hours.

How much spending money do I need?

The only spending money you will require will be for drinks, souvenirs & tips etc. Most places accept credit cards & there are cash machines available in most places.