Sardine Run

Every year the Transkei and Kwazulu-Natal coastline experiences a phenomenon fondly known as the Sardine Run. Over the years, the Sardine Run has proved tons of fun for everyone; and by everyone, we mean not only the sardines, but the numerous shark species, Humpback whales, and dolphin super pods that come along for the ride.

If you’re looking to experience the ultimate marine migration, you have got to join us and get in on the action for the Sardine Run 2019! Traveling down to Port St. John’s in the Transkei, ScubaCo wouldn’t miss this yearly phenomenon for the world, and you shouldn’t either!

Based in Umkomaas, ScubaCo is a specialist charter operation focusing on large predator interactions with baited shark diving being a core focus of our business. ScubaCo pride ourselves on catering to discerning clients in the photography & adventure diving industries.

Scuba Co offers a dedicated 7-day Sardine Run package that will take you right into the bait ball action that the East Coast has to offer.

Your first diving day brings with it a baited shark dive and a reef dive on the famous Aliwal Shoal.

Aliwal Shoal is home to the migratory Ragged Tooth Sharks, as well as Black Tip’s, Dusky Sharks and the elusive Tiger Shark. The sharks are initially attracted to the boat through scent as we lay a’ scent slick’ of fish oils and chum in the water. Once we have shark activity in the area to hold their interest, we lower the bait drums into the water to increase the local scent trail. The drum is pierced in places to allow the smell of the fish to be released. The sharks are attracted to this intense smell and will drift with you and the drum for the duration of your shark interaction.

As for the reef diving, there is always something to see in the water, from whales, dolphins and Manta Ray anything is possible. We will always choose the best spot for the day, conditions dependant. We also have great wrecks to dive on, if you are advanced certified or higher. These can be amazing and although are current dependant can be a highlight as well of diving on Aliwal Shoal.

Transfer to your next stop, Port St John’s, this is usually a 4.5-hour drive from Umkomaas. On arrival in Port St John’s, you will be met by our team and a full briefing given as to how things will run for the duration of your stay with us. You have the evening free to relax.

The next 4 days are full on Sardine Run diving days with an experienced dive guide. Every morning we receive detailed updates about the marine life movement so that we are able to spend the day at sea following the “action.” This possibly includes the sardines with numerous shark species, Humpback whales and dolphin super pods joining this migration, throw in the hyperactive Cape Gannets to this mix and we have the ultimate Marine Migration. Conditions permitting you will be continuously in and out of the water on snorkel following the marine life. You need to be physically fit in order to keep up, as the fish move pretty fast. Should a static bait ball form, you will be able to get into the water on SCUBA to see this phenomenon from under water.

After your days at sea you will have time to relax at the lodge or enjoy a local excursion should you feel up to it. Overnight at the lodge and be ready and fresh for the following day’s action.

Get in touch today to secure your space on this very exclusive dive adventure!


Daily Itinerary

Please note that this is just a rough guideline

  • 6am Breakfast
  • 6:30am Transfer to boat
  • 7am to 2 pm at sea searching for action (on non-sea days there will be land-based
    activities planned)
  • 3pm to 4pm back at lodge
  • 7pm Dinner and Fire



 Port St Johns
 Season – June/July
 Experienced Divers Only
 From R35 500  (7-night package)


 6 days at sea (weather permitting)
 7 nights’ accommodation
 Meals – continental breakfast
 Return transfers from Durban airport
 Daily transfers to launch site and scenic drives
Cylinders fills and weight belt
Experienced dive guides and skipper