The Sardine Run & Whales Migration is an oceanic expedition opened to divers, free-divers and snorkelers, in which participants will observe the enormous migration of sardines and whales and the many predators such as penguins, seals, dolphins, sharks, seabirds. The event occurs at South African offshores, where big shoals of sardines, migrating from the Atlantic cold water towards the more warm temperature of the Indian ocean, creates a pressing “hunting” by medium and big predators. The expedition will be enriched with many other activities such as photography lessons and various excursions in the area nearby. Expeditions participants will have the chance to observe the Sardine Run either from the boat or underwater, using diving equipment (if they are scuba AOWD license certified) or have snorkelling and/or in free-diving mode. For this expedition, which will occur from the 20th to the 26th of June 2021, there are 11 spots available.
The Sardine Run: the natural event
The Sardine Run is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Every year, between May and July, huge shoals of sardines leave the cold waters of the temperate seas of South Africa, in which they usually live, migrating to the north, in the direction of sub-tropical Indian Ocean. Many predators will follow shoals of sardines for feeding reasons/purposes, including large bony fish, sharks, seabirds, marine mammals etc. It is an excellent opportunity to observe the large predators in action, especially for naturalists, biologists, photographers and documentary filmmakers.
Animals that can be encountered during the expedition, in addition to several species of sardines, include:
Sharks: Copper shark, Carcharhinus brachyurous; Spotted ragged-tooth shark, Carcharias taurus; blacktip shark, Carcharhinus limbate; Dusky shark, Carcharhinus obscurus; Estuarine shark, Carcharhinus leucas
Mammals: the common dolphin, Delphinus delphis; Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus; Pantropical spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata; Orca, Orcinus orca; Bryde’s whale, Balenoptera edeni; Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae; Southern right whale, Eubalenae australis
Pinnipeds: Cape fur seal, Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus
Birds: Cape gannet, Morus capensis; South African Penguin, Spheniscus demersus; Dung Antarctic Catharacta Antarctica; South ossifrag, Macronectes giganteus; Black eyebrow albatross, Diomedea melanophris
(sightings of individual species are not guaranteed)
Air temperature: 14/22 C
Water temperature: 16/22 C
Visibility underwater: 3/10 meters
Depth: 1/15 meters
The expedition will take place from the 20th to the 26th of June 2021.
Participants must reach East London’s Airport ELS (South Africa) on the 20th of June 2021 and no later than 4 pm. Here they will find the organizers for arranging the transfer to the Lodge in Chintsa.
Five shore trips from the 21 to the 26 June to observe the Sardine Run and whales migration.
7 nights stay at the Buccaneers Lodge in Chintsa SA on “The Tree House” in shared en-suite twin or double rooms.
On the 27th of June 2021, return transferred to the East London Airport ELS for the return flight. No flight is to be booked before 11 am.
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