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The Sardine Run: The Greatest Shoal on Earth

2 years ago
Scuba Diving
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The Sardine Run: The Greatest Shoal on Earth
Like whale watching in Alaska or swimming with wild dolphins around the mid-Atlantic's Azores islands, South Africa’s sardine run is another a phenomenon certainly worth watching– from land, the ocean surface or underwater. This annual spectacle that takes place on the Wild Coast surrounded by KwaZulu-Natal waters is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view sardines, closely followed by thousands of dolphins, birds, whales and sharks, all taking part in one of nature’s unexplained mysteries.

The annual Great Sardine Run is a natural phenomenon which usually occurs during the months of June and July, when massive schools of sardines are heading northwards to follow their food source. As the colder waters stretch further up the coast, the sardines hug the shore, making their way up along the coastlines to feed on plankton and tiny plants.

But there is a dark side to it for the sardines - the shoals attract many predators which prey on them heavily. Nevertheless, the dive is amazing, and you are often surrounded by hundreds of dolphin, sharks, diving birds, whales, game fish, seals and millions of sardines that make the Sardine Run one of nature's most awesome events - a marine spectacle at its best, so to speak.

One of the official operators for the Sardine Run in South Africa are the ScubaAddicts - based at Cremorne Estate in Port St Johns, a small coastal town that is often regarded as the Jewel of the Wild Coast, the ScubaAddicts have a fully equipped dive centre right in the epicenter - over the years operators offered Sardine Run packages at the Aliwal Shoal, Protea Banks and other locations, but nowadays, the Port St Johns is where all the action unfolds.

A number of high profile television documentaries, including the BBC's Blue Planet series, have featured the Run, as have prestigious magazines such as National Geographic. If you are lucky, during the Sardine Run, the annual Humpback Whale migration gets underway - you will be treated with a view of hundreds of Humpback Whales as they travel north.

Apart from the run, the ScubaAddicts offer Shark Diving packages between South Africa and Mozambique. The focus is to see sharks and they offer a shark Guarantee on their diving packages.  Additionally, they offer extension packages for clients, who'd like to enjoy the big 5 safari and Great White Cage Diving.  All packages are for qualified divers only. For more information visit ScubaAddicts's website.

Photos: © Alex Safonov

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www.scubaaddicts.com
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