Sardines are present all year round in Port Elizabeth
From February onwards more and more sardines come into the area between Cape St Francis and Port Alfred, followed by thousands of dolphins, sharks, whales, gannets and penguins.
From May onwards when the first winter storms hit these fish then begin to move north towards Durban. The almost 1000 km long swim to Kwa-Zulu Natal takes them until June and July.
In Port Elizabeth you see plenty of action from February unti the end of May each year.
Tours are individually designed to ensure that you experience the adventure of a lifetime. During the sardine Run you will experience boating on the high seas whilst we search for activity of whales, dolphins and seals, who also hunt sardines.
We advocate "security first" and request that your diving qualifications and medical certificates are active and current. Weather and sea conditions on our tours are significant issues to be considered. On the Sardine Run approximately 30% will be diving and 70% snorkel/free diving. As the weather can be unpredictable we provide alternative activities such as shore excursions should a dive or snorkel day fail - dependant on the tour package - without additional cost to the participants e.g. Game Reserves, Big 5.
In the Indian Ocean off Port Elizabeth and Port Alfred we encounter redeyes, sardines and mackerel all year round. These fish form shoals at depths of 100 meters right up to the surface - and these are the shoals that we look for. Predators such as Common Dolphins, Orcas, Minky and Brydes whales are what we look for and we will follow the dolphins to watch them hunt for sardines.
When we find large Dolphin schools during the Sardine Run (between 500 and 2,000 individuals), we follow them. For our Film crews closer underwater encounters are also possible - to see Baitballs - if sea conditions allow this.
Our boat trips in the "Semi-Rigid Duck" last between 4-7 hours. We travel between 5 and 40 kilometers offshore, so a return trip can take up to 3 hours. Own equipment should be available for diving and snorkeling. Recommended dive qualification is "Advanced" or higher. Drinking water is provided on board.
Expert-Tours is the only legal operator with Whale watching, Sardine Run and MPA permits in place by Marine and Coastal Management, our boats are registered for up to 40 nautical miles!