Wordtravels

Wordtravels

The Sardine Run

A sardine catch, South Africa © Purves, M.
A sardine catch, South Africa © Purves, M.

Every year, millions of sardines migrate from cold waters in the Cape to subtropical temperatures in Kwazulu-Natal. The underwater spectacle is comparable only to the Wildebeest land migration in the Serengeti, and is a truly extraordinary occurrence. Many nature documentaries have featured it.

The event is one of the most unforgettable experiences for those brave enough to get in the water with the predators that feed on the sardines. Divers will see seals, sharks, whales and dolphins, among other species. The best way to view the Sardine Run is to get in touch with the many scuba diving companies along the South African coast and see what they suggest.

Some people also go out on boats, but the feeding frenzy can be quite intimidating. Ocean lovers should venture out with an experienced skipper.

Even from land it is often possible to sit with binoculars and watch the feeding frenzy, particularly as thousands of birds get involved in the feast too. They trail the massive schools from the sky and make daring dives into the ocean.

Date: May to July annually