What To Expect On Sardine Run?

The Spectacular Sardine Run: An Unpredictable Marine Safari


Imagine diving into a mesmerizing world where the ocean comes alive with a breathtaking display of marine life. This is the Sardine Run, an awe-inspiring event that showcases the grandeur of nature's symphony. Recognized as the largest migration per biomass, the Sardine Run is a spectacle where sardines create massive bait balls, inviting a diverse array of predators to feast. In this article, we will delve into what to expect during this incredible event, highlighting the exhilarating encounters with dolphins, sharks, gannets, and even whales, all set against the backdrop of the unpredictable nature of wildlife.

What To Expect On Sardine Run? Sardines

The Largest Migration Per Biomass:

The Sardine Run holds the remarkable distinction of being the largest migration per biomass on the planet. Millions of sardines form massive schools, known as bait balls, and journey along the South African coastline. This migration is a magnet for a variety of predators, creating a scene of underwater frenzy and an opportunity for divers to witness nature's ultimate hunt firsthand.

Diving with Big Bait Balls:

One of the main attractions of the Sardine Run is the chance to free dive or scuba dive alongside enormous bait balls of sardines. These shimmering masses of fish serve as a buffet for an array of marine predators. The experience of swimming amidst these bait balls is surreal, as the water comes alive with movement and colour.

What To Expect On Sardine Run? Dolphins Herding A Baitball

Spectacular Displays of Marine Predators:

Dolphins take centre stage during the Sardine Run, showcasing their intelligence and coordination as they herd the sardines into tight groups. This behavior is not only fascinating to observe but also essential for the dolphins to secure their own meal amidst the abundant prey.

Sharks are another highlight of the event. With mouths full of sardines, they slice through the water, providing a heart-pounding and exhilarating sight for divers. Gannets, elegant seabirds, dive from the sky with astonishing precision to catch their share of the bounty. The surface and underwater world come together in a stunning display of an underwater battle to survive.

Whale Encounters:

The Sardine Run offers more than just interactions with smaller marine life. Bryde's whales and humpback whales make appearances during this time, adding a majestic touch to the event. Bryde's whales indulge in the feast, while humpback whales migrate north during the same time period, making the experience even more enchanting.

What To Expect On Sardine Run? Whale Encounter

The Unpredictability of Wildlife:

Despite the grandeur of the Sardine Run, it's important to acknowledge the unpredictability of wildlife. While the potential for intense action is ever-present, the timing and extent of these events are subject to nature's whims. Participants may find themselves spending days without witnessing significant action or any action at all. The visibility might not always be ideal, and the quest for marine spectacles might involve covering vast distances along the coastline.

The Ultimate Marine Safari:

The Sardine Run is the ultimate marine safari, and for good reason. Just like traditional safaris, this experience demands a degree of patience and adaptability. The rewards, however, are unparalleled. To fully embrace the Sardine Run, one must be prepared to take each encounter as it comes, celebrating the rare moments of intense action and appreciating the sheer beauty of the underwater world. Like all safaris, go knowing you may see nothing but with the hope that you may get to witness the full magic of the sardine run.


The Sardine Run is a testament to the breathtaking complexity of marine life. From the formation of massive bait balls to the orchestrated displays of dolphins, sharks, and gannets, this event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness nature's theater. Amidst the unpredictability lies the magic of the Sardine Run, reminding us that the ocean's wonders are as diverse and elusive as the creatures that inhabit it.

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