Dive Plett

Sardine Run Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth, The Best Sardine Run Sightings

Port Elizabeth has some of the best sardine run sightings along the coast, where thousands of dolphins can be seen chasing shoals of fish into tight bait balls, which results in a feeding frenzy attracting penguins, sharks, whales, seals, game fish and sea birds. This incredible phenomenon is famous with photographers, divers & adventure seekers from around the globe.

Port Elizabeth is also characterized by colourful soft corals and the concentration and diversity of marine species is unbelievable. Sightings of whales, dolphins, seals and jackass penguins are common.

The Port Elizabeth Sardine Run Experience

Snorkeling is ideal, as the sardine bait balls often move quite fast and with snorkel gear, it is easy to gain quick entry and exit on the boat. This also allows the boat to keep up with the action. If a bait ball is big enough and static there will be the opportunity to enter the water with scuba and observe the action from below.

If conditions allow there will be opportunities to snorkel with Penguins which is a unique experience only possible in Port Elizabeth.

The flight school which is based in Port Elizabeth assists us with aerial location information. Used in combination with local spotters, fishermen and ocean users we are able to pinpoint the best Sardine Run action.

What makes Port Elizabeth unique

What makes Port Elizabeth unique is that not only is it home to the largest breeding colony of African Penguins & Cape Gannet’s in the world, but is also on the migratory route of numerous whales and dolphins. There are a variety of excellent dive sites in the bay (home to Ragged Tooth Sharks), adding great value to your Sardine Run experience.

What to do in Port Elizabeth on the off days

Besides the rich marine life, there are a fine collection of Big 5 Game Reserves including Addo Elephant National Park, located nearby offering Malaria-free game viewing. Numerous untouched beaches, hotels, restaurants and other attractions in the area embraces the complete South African experience.

Sardine Run Port Elizabeth Tour Information 2022

25 March – 24 April 2022


6 Nights / 5 Sea Days :  R 30 950 p.p.s
7 Nights / 6 Sea Days :  R 36 550 p.p.s
8 Nights / 7 Sea Days :  R 42 150 p.p.s
9 Nights / 8 Sea Days :  R 47 750 p.p.s

Single Supplement: R 1 000 per night

Daily charters available at R 4 500 per day

Arrival:   Arrive in Port Elizabeth and transfer to your hotel.

Meet up in the late afternoon for a full expedition briefing and to meet the crew.

Ocean Days:   Spend time out at sea looking for Sardine Run action.

Daily Itinerary: 

After breakfast transfer to the launch site where you will kit up, load the boat (8m semi-rigid RIB) and prepare for a full day out at sea.  Refreshments and lunch are provided on the boat.We use a combination of aerial information, local spotters, fishermen & ocean users in the area to locate information regarding Sardine Run action. During the day, there will be opportunity to enjoy a dive on one of the numerous dive sites in the hope to see the Ragged Tooth sharks and other marine life.

Return at approx. 3pm and transfer back to the hotel enjoying the beachfront or taking part in optional activities e.g. additional diving, kayaking, cultural activities, shopping etc.

Departure:   Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight home or sign up for one of our extensions such as Cape Town to see the Great White Sharks, Shark Diving in Aliwal Shoal or visit the Kruger National Park.

There is a wide variety of accommodation available along the beachfront, from B&B’s, hotels to 5 star options. Our preferred choice is the wonderfully located Courtyard hotel. It is situated on the beachfront within walking distance to many shops and restaurants as well as most importantly to the dive center.

– Please contact us for a quote on alternative options –

Hotel Services

  • Spacious & comfortable twin / double ensuite rooms
  • Air-conditioning
  • Wifi
  • Intimate lounge area
  • Bar and Club Lounge
  • Fitness room
  • Secure parking
  • Sparkling pool in landscaped garden setting
  • Full English and Continental breakfasts daily
  • In room dinning by arrangement with local restaurants
  • Same-day laundry and dry cleaning service, weekdays only
  • Launderette 24 hours
  • Woolworths personal shopping service

Tour Includes:

  • Return Airport Transfers
  • Beachfront Accommodation
  • Breakfast Daily
  • Lunch packs on diving days
  • Transfer to the launch site
  • Ocean Safaris (weather permitting)
  • 8m Semi-Rigid Dive Boat (SAMSA Licensed – 40 miles offshore)
  • Hire of Tanks & Weights
  • Experienced Skipper
  • Shark & Reef Diving
  • On non-diving days group transfers will be provided for local excursions e.g. Addo Elephant National Park, Seal Diving in Plettenberg Bay, visit to Tsitsikamma National Park, Sundays River Sandboarding and River Cruises etc. All entrance fees and other costs related to the activities will be for the clients account.

Tour Excludes:

  • Flights
  • Dinner & Drinks
  • Equipment Hire
  • Travel Insurance

Aliwal Shoal Extension  

Please contact us for a quote on any of the below extensions or for a tailor made extension of your choice.

Spend a few days in Aliwal Shoal, one of South Africa’s premier dive spots where sightings of Ragged Tooth sharks are common and the possibility of other large pelagics such as, sea turtles, potato bass and numerous game fish can be seen.  Extremely popular with divers is the baited shark dive where you will be surrounded by anything from 20 – 80 bold Oceanic Black Tip sharks and might even have other species such as Tiger or Bull sharks come close.

Package Includes:

  • 3 Nights’ Accommodation at Scottburgh
  • Breakfast Daily
  • 3 Reef Dives
  • 1 Baited Shark Dive
  • Hire of Tanks & Weights
  • Diving Permit

Note:  transfers/car hire on request

Cape Town Extension     

Please contact us for a quote on any of the below extensions or for a tailor made extension of your choice.

A visit to South Africa would not be complete without a stop in Cape Town – the “Mother City”, known to many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  An awesome 4 night extension that can be added on to any of the standard South African packages where you will get to experience Great White Shark Cage Diving, Penguins & the scenic beauty that Cape Town has to offer.
Tailor made packages are also available.

Package Includes:

  • 4 Nights’ Accommodation
  • Breakfast Daily
  • Full day Great White Shark Cage Diving – Gansbaai (incl. lunch & refreshments)
  • Full day scenic tour of Cape Town including Cape Point Nature Reserve
  • Free Day for sightseeing, visit to Robben Island, shopping etc.
  • Conservation Fee

Note: transfers/car hire on request

Kruger National Park Extension

Please contact us for a quote on any of the below extensions or for a tailor made extension of your choice.

The Kruger National Park is world famous for the Big 5, travelers from all over the globe come to pay a visit to one of our national parks to tick the box for this bucket list destination. Our country works very hard at preserving its wildlife, and we work with renowned safari lodges and suppliers to ensure your holiday will be one that will never be forgotten.
Tailor made packages are also available.

Package Includes:

  • 3 Nights’ Full Board Tented Accommodation at Rhino Post Safari Lodge
  • 6 Game Drives with optional bush walks
  • Qualified Ranger & Tracker

Note: transfers/car hire on request

Frequently asked questions

When is the Best Time?

Port Elizabeth: March & April

Port St. Johns: Mid June – end of July


Is it Guaranteed?

Like any wildlife encounter it is not guaranteed, however a day out on the ocean can bring about anything anytime and you are sure to be rewarded with awesome encounters with marine life.


Scuba or Snorkel

We do both – whether you are a snorkeller or a diver you can still partake in the action.  However, it all depends on the size of the baitball and how fast it moves as to whether we use scuba or snorkel.. Your skipper will be your guide and advise you what to use.


Minimum Diving Certification
Like any adventure the more experience you have the better, however we can cater for all levels of experience. It is however mandatory to have a diving qualification to use scuba, where for snorkelling no experience needed.  On your first day, if the conditions allow we will be doing a check dive to make sure that you are comfortable with your equipment, have proper buoyancy control and to familiarise yourself with the conditions.


Port Elizabeth versus Port St. Johns

Over the years we have had excellent action both in Port Elizabeth and Port St. Johns and do not believe that one area is necessarily better than the other.   Your choice will need to come down to preferred time of year and the overall experience that you are looking for.


Water Temperature & Wetsuit Requirements

The water temperature varies between 14 & 20 degrees Celsius and we recommend 5mm- 7mm wetsuits, including a diving hood & booties.  Dry suits are not ideal as they create drag on the surface of the water when snorkelling and are quite cumbersome when it comes to getting on and off the boat on a regular basis.


Diving Equipment

We provide 12L tanks Din/Int and weights and have all the other equipment available for rental.

Rebreathers are not recommended as they are cumbersome & not practical for staying with the fast moving action.

Full Gear:  R490 per day

Wetsuit: R150 per day

Fins, Mask & Snorkel, – R80 per item per day

BCD &  Regulator – R100 per item per day

Computer – R150 per day


Please contact our travel department on info@prodivetravel.co.za.

We can then finalize all the necessary details that we need in order to book you onto this amazing opportunity to see the Sardine Run.

In order to finalize, we will request the following from you:

  • Booking Forms to Be Completed
  • A 30% Deposit is required to confirm your booking
  • Balance payable 60 Days prior to departure

Cancellation Policy:

  • Deposit is non-refundable.
  • Less than 60 Days = 100% cancellation fee applicable

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