19/7 TO 25/7/2020
Join us to the biggest spectacle of the underwater world. See and swim with dolphins, seals, sharks and whales while they gorge themselves on massive shoals of Sardines. See cape gannets dive bombing on the shoals and have a chance to see the elusive orcas! It is the biggest migration of animals in the Southern Hemisphere.
THE SARDINE RUN
South Africa host home to one of the most spectacular bucket list items in the world - the Sardine run. When millions of Sardines travel up the coast to spawn, thousands of predators follow. We will see thousands of dolphins, various whales like humpback or brydes as well as seals, and of course sharks.
It is not easy to find a bait ball, we will be at sea the entire day looking for signs of the cape gannets, who dive down on good sardine action. Whenever we can we roll in on the sardine feast and snorkel amongst the spectacle. If we are lucky enough to encounter a bait ball that does not move, we will get our gear on and scuba it.
This is something for snorkelers and divers who are ready to invest to see the most extreme of nature. The water is cold and the ride is rough. The rewards can be phenomenal.
HOSTED BY - AARON "BERTIE" GEKOSKI
This trip is hosted by Aaron Gekoski award-winning environmental photojournalist, film-maker and TV presenter, specialising in human-animal interactions. "Bertie" has spent years documenting wildlife above and below the water. He lived for several years in South Africa and Mozambique and knows the area well.
Check out his amazing work.
A warm welcome awaits at Mbotyi River Lodge, a classic South African family hotel and holiday resort on the stunning Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Pondoland’s best kept secret is situated at the mouth of the tidal Mbotyi River nestled between the rolling hills, lush tropical forest and the warm Indian Ocean.
It is not a five star resort but a somewhat simple South African holiday retreat - do not expect luxury and you will not be disappointed.
- Twin rooms with private bath room with hot water
- Right on the ocean and river mouth
- Swimming Pool
- Full board incl lunch on boat
- Microlight spotting plane (can be booked at extra costs)
Want to add some amazing shark diving to the trip? Then join us for this extension to Aliwal Shoal and get some of the best shark diving in the world.
Half-way between Sardine Run on the Wild Coast and Durban is Umkomaas. Just off the coast is a submerged reef that is full of Sand Tiger sharks (locally called Ragged Toothed Sharks) which are huge toothy sharks, but very placid and calm. A great dive.
Even more exciting we will also do several "baited dives" where a metal container with fish is lowered into the water. Sharks are not fed with the fish but the smell gets them to come very close. The sharks we encounter here are oceanic black tip - not aggressive and a huge pleasure to dive with. Occasionally we can also get bull sharks (locally called Zambezi) or tiger sharks but that is unfortunately unlikely.
YOUR HOST ON THIS TRIP
Aaron Gekoski is an award-winning environmental photojournalist, film-maker and TV presenter, specialising in human-animal conflict. He fronts environmental film series and is founder of Raise the Red Flag, a global campaign to end cruelty in the Wildlife Tourism industry. Aaron's articles and images regularly appear in the international press and have won numerous awards, including the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
Aaron lived in South Africa and Mozambique for many years and knows the area well. Traveling with Aaron you can count on his expertise and local connections getting you to right spots at the right time. Aaron will also provide free talks on Wildlife Tourism and animal insights.
Arrival in Durban morning time of the 19th July and earliest flight out on 25th of July evening time. If you are doing the shark extension (highly recommended) then flight out on 28th July from Durban.
As they say "South Africa is not for Sissies" - you should know why you are coming here. At times it might be rough at sea and we will spend 8-9hours out in the open ocean. Lots of time we will be idling, scouting the horizon for action. When we find it the captain will gun the engines and a bumpy ride followed by a rough water entry follows.
Why are we telling you this - you should be prepared for the experience. The yield is amazing, but you have to invest.
In terms of scuba experience you should have at least 50 dives and feel comfortable in the water. It is recommended to have your own gear, but of course you can rent it in the dive shop too.
If you get seasick easily, this trip is also not for you.
Otherwise - this will be the trip of a lifetime!