Diving during the Sardine Season
The Sardine Season along the KZN South Coast is one of the best times to go diving and experience one of the greatest underwater spectacle’s on the planet! Divers can expect to see much more marine life than usual, all sorts of different marine species, all coming together for nature’s feast.
Divers come from all over the world to admire the sights of shoals of sardines and their predators, join the action! There are diving businesses all along the South Coast with locals that are experienced divers and who would love to teach you the basics of diving if you are eager to learn.
Diving during the Sardine Season is an experience for any sea lover! Observe the hundreds of shoals underwater as well as pods of dolphins and shivers of sharks! Whales can be spotted above the water by onlookers, but if you are lucky enough to be diving, the sights and sounds of these majestic creatures are breath taking!
There is a saying that says if you want to see the Sardine Run, you will be the one running! In other words, the shoals can move quite quickly toward different locations, make sure to keep updated on where all the gatherings may be seen each day to ensure you are able to have a successful dive and experience the action.
The search will be on for Bait Balls, a phenomenon where dolphins are seen to ‘round’ up the sardines into a ball-like formation by bubble netting, allowing for different predators to swim through and feast! These bait balls can be as large, these are a diver’s dream!
Keep in mind, the conditions should be favourable to go out and dive, ideally divers are looking for decreasing surface temperatures, calm currents, light winds, and stable atmospheric conditions. You can always keep track of these through weather apps on a mobile device or by checking in with locals, be sure to keep observing, weather can change fast!
There are many favourable locations to dive along the South Coast during the Sardine Run, Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks are fantastic spots to observe marine life all year round, the sights are incredible, there is no guarantee that sardines will pass through these diving areas, so keep updated through websites and local tip offs about whether these spots and many others along the coast have shoals passing by.
Experiencing the Sardine Run underwater is a completely different experience than overlooking from the shore, divers will be able to get up close and marvel at this unique annual event, be sure to bring your diving gear and high spirits! It is going to be a shoal to remember!