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- September 14, 2021
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All nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, prepare to be amazed as the annual phenomenon known as the Sardine Run unfolds along the stunning South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. This incredible marine event often referred to as the “Greatest Shoal on Earth,” is a sight to behold, captivating both locals and visitors alike with its sheer scale and breathtaking display of nature’s wonders.
The Sardine Run is a natural occurrence that takes place between May and July each year, when billions of sardines migrate along the coast of South Africa. This massive migration attracts an array of marine predators, including dolphins, sharks, whales, pelagic fish and numerous seabirds, resulting in a feeding frenzy of epic proportions. It is a rare opportunity to witness the raw power and harmony of oceanic ecosystems in action.
The South Coast of KwaZulu Natal, stretching from Port Edward to Durban, is one of the prime locations to witness the Sardine Run. The silver fish often beach in their thousands attracting fisher folk and holidaymakers in the coastal towns of Margate, Manaba, Uvongo and Shelly Beach. The warm Agulhas Current, meeting the colder waters from the south, creates the ideal conditions for the sardines to gather and travel in colossal shoals. This region boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a thriving marine ecosystem, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and underwater enthusiasts.
The Sardine Run is famous for the captivating interactions between dolphins and sharks. These intelligent creatures work together in an astonishing display of cooperation and strategy to corral the sardines into tight bait balls near the surface. As they feast upon the densely packed fish, the water erupts with a flurry of activity, presenting an awe-inspiring spectacle to fortunate onlookers.
Whales and Seabirds Join in the Feast, with the sardines attracting the attention of various whale species, including humpback whales, Bryde’s whales, and even the occasional orca. These magnificent giants partake in the banquet, creating an even grander spectacle. Above the water, the skies become a bustling arena as thousands of seabirds, such as gannets, terns, and albatrosses, dive from great heights to snatch their share of the abundant fish.
Dive into adventure for those seeking an up close and personal encounter with the Sardine Run, scuba diving or snorkeling is an absolute must. Plunging into the depths of the ocean, you’ll find yourself surrounded by swirling masses of fish, with predators darting through the shimmering silver clouds. It’s an experience that will leave you breathless and in awe of nature’s astonishing diversity. There are numerous fishing and diving boats that launch from the small craft harbours such as “Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbour” in Shelly Beach. Adventure seekers can spend a day at sea, diving, fishing or sightseeing, experiencing the incredible event.
While the Sardine Run takes center stage, the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal has much more to offer. Pristine beaches, nature reserves, and coastal forests provide ample opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Embark on a thrilling boat trip, try your hand at fishing, or simply unwind on the sandy shores while gazing out at the endless expanse of the Indian Ocean.
Capturing Memories don’t forget to bring your camera to document this once-in a-lifetime event. The Sardine Run offers incredible photo and video opportunities, allowing you to preserve the memories of this extraordinary natural phenomenon. Whether you’re a professional photographer or simply capturing moments with your smartphone, you’ll surely come away with stunning shots and captivating stories to share.
For all your self-catering accommodation when you visit the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal, you need not look further than the Happy Holiday Homes smartphone friendly website. The websites user friendly interface and search features will make booking your stay a breeze.
So pack a bag and head down to the South Coast to experience the wonder of the Greatest Shoal on Earth.