Location: Port St. Johns on the Wild Coast of South Africa

Sardine Run and Wild Coast Shark Safari

“The greatest shoal on earth!”

The South African sardine run

Possibly the most spectacular event you will ever have the chance to witness in the ocean, the world famous Sardine Run is an epic migration of millions of baitfish along the coast of Southern Africa. This yearly spectacle attracts marine mega fauna in their thousands. You may see enormous whales, schools of sharks, super-pods of dolphins and flocks of diving birds, all feasting on the river of fish at the same time. Witness nature in all its glory!


The wild coast shark safari

Weather permitting, when the action is slow we will chum for offshore pelagic shark species. Anything can show up on the Wild Coast but the three species that we regularly attract are bronze whaler sharks, dusky sharks and oceanic blacktip sharks.

If the visibility is suitable inshore, we will also reef dive to see ragged tooth sharks aka sandtiger sharks. There are one or two reefs close to Port Saint John where these ferocious looking sharks sometimes gather in great numbers.


Bait ball diving with sharks, dolphins and whales. Plus expedition style shark diving on South Africa’s ‘Wild Coast’


June 30-July 10 FULL

$5,495 per person double occupancy
$5,695 per person single occupancy

Jennifer Idol

Common dolphins on the Sardine Run


June 30-July 10 6 SPOTS AVAILABLE

$5,695 per person double occupancy
$5,895 per person double occupancy

Jennifer Idol

Shark diving the sardine run


June 30-July 10 7 SPOTS AVAILABLE

$TBA per person double occupancy
$TBA per person double occupancy

Jennifer Idol

Shark diving the sardine run


Land based lodge

Intermediate. Open Water certification required. Must have good buoyancy and be comfortable around big animals.


  • 10 Nights accommodation in Port St Johns
  • All meals while in PSJ
  • Airport transfers from Durban
  • Daily transfers to launch site
  • 9 mornings of chasing bait balls attended by dolphins, whales and sharks
  • Spotter plane
  • Occasional afternoon shark feeds and reefndives whenever logistics permit
  • Professional Dive Guide
  • Weights and tanks
  • All meals & hot and cold drinks


  • Flights
  • Alcohol
  • Personal dive gear
  • Crew gratuities
  • Spotter plane rides (if you want to see the Sardine Run from a different perspective)




Day 1 Pick up at noon at Durban Airport and transfer to our lodge in Port Saint Johns.
Days 2-10 Weather permitting, each day we will head out on our sturdy RIB and hunt for birds diving on bait balls. Even if we do not immediately locate bait balls, we will likely still encounter transiting whales and dolphins to free dive with.

On some afternoons we will head to the reef and look for raggedtooth sharks or catsharks or chum offshore for pelagic species such as dusky sharks, bronze whalers and smooth hammerheads. Our daily movements will be based on the latest reports from our spotter plane and from local boats that we communicate with.

Day 11 Early morning transfer to Durban Airport.
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    Bait ball diving with dolphins on the sardine run

    Delivering world-class wildlife encounters since 2010

    Big Fish Expeditions Founder Andy Murch has spent the last three decades chasing big animals all over the world. Few people have Andy’s knowledge and organizational skills necessary to put together a professional expedition. Have a look through some of the comments from our guests: testimonials.

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