Sardine Run 2023 – Witnessing Nature’s Greatest Spectacle

The Ocean becomes a stage for an intricate Dance of Life & Death, as predator and prey engage in a captivating battle for survival.

The Sardine Run is an awe-inspiring event that draws nature enthusiasts, photographers, and marine biologists from all around the globe to witness a breathtaking display of marine life off the coast of South Africa. The Sardine Run, also known as the “Greatest Shoal on Earth,” is a phenomenon where millions of sardines migrate in shoals along the South African coastline, creating a feeding frenzy and attracting a plethora of marine predators. As we delve into this incredible event, join us on an unforgettable journey through the ocean depths to explore the wonders of the Sardine Run 2023.

The Sardine Run Phenomenon:

Every year, between May and July, the Sardine Run takes place along the eastern coast of South Africa. It is believed to be triggered by the cooling waters of the Benguela Current slipping in between
the land and the great Aghulas Current, which attracts massive schools of sardines from the Aghulas Banks

The Arrival of the Sardines:

The anticipation builds as the sardines approach the shores of the Transkei, the Wild Coast of South Africa. As they make their way closer to the coastline, they are often accompanied by other marine creatures, including dolphins, sharks, seals, and a variety of seabirds. These animals join the frenzy in pursuit of the abundant food source that the sardines provide.

Diving into the Spectacle:

Scuba divers and snorkelers eagerly plunge into the waters to witness the spectacular event up close. The sight of dolphins herding the sardines into tight balls, birds diving from the sky to snatch them from the water’s surface, and sharks patrolling the edges of the shoals is nothing short of breathtaking. The ocean  becomes a stage for an intricate dance of life and death, as predator and prey engage in a captivating battle for survival.

Conservation and Sustainability:

While the Sardine Run is undoubtedly a magnificent display of nature’s wonders, it also serves as a reminder of the delicate balance within marine ecosystems. The sardine population plays a crucial role in the ocean food web, and their decline could have far-reaching consequences for various marine species. Conservation efforts are paramount to ensure the sustainability of this natural phenomenon for generations to come.


The Ecotourism Impact:

The Sardine Run has become a boon for ecotourism in the region. Responsible tour operators and marine biologists lead expeditions that prioritize the safety and well-being of marine life. By promoting responsible tourism practices, the local economy benefits while maintaining the sanctity of this unique event.

Capturing the Sardine Run:

Photographers and videographers find themselves in a paradise of visual riches during the Sardine Run. The high-octane action and stunning underwater scenes provide ample opportunities to capture once-in-a-lifetime shots. These images not only serve as mementos for the participants but also raise awareness about the beauty and fragility of the marine world.


The Sardine Run 2023 has proven to be an awe-inspiring event, showcasing nature’s grand spectacle in all its glory. This incredible migration of millions of sardines, accompanied by a myriad of marine predators, serves as a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness and diversity of life in our oceans. As we continue to explore and appreciate the wonders of the Sardine Run, let us also be mindful of our role as custodians of this precious ecosystem and
work towards preserving it for future generations to witness and cherish.

So, if you ever get a chance to witness the Sardine Run, don’t hesitate!

Bookings for 2024 with Walter Bernardis and African Watersports are now open!

Dive into the depths of the ocean and let the marvels of this extraordinary event leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul. Happy Hunting!