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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We use 12-liter steel cylinders which can be both A-clamp (international) or DIN so will suit all divers.
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.
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.
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.
No compulsory vaccinations are required.
Day time Temperature : 10C to 25C
Night time Temperature : 6C to 12C
Water Temperature : 18C to 21C
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.
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.
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.
Tipping is optional, the normal amount is 10% at restaurants etc.
Tips for the dive team and lodge staff are also optional.
Many of our guest travel on their own, we dive in a group so it’s fine.
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.
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.
South Africa : GMT + 2 hours.
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.