THE GREATEST SHOAL ON EARTH
EXPERIENCE SOUTH AFRICA’S SARDINE RUN
SEAL Expeditions is the premiere diving tour operator in South Africa. We have built up a comprehensive network of operators, lodges and resorts and offer you the convenience of a one-stop, tailored, holiday service.
The “Best Adventure-Diving opportunity in the World”. Book today, if you’re ready for the diving expedition of a lifetime – The Sardine Run. It’s not just about the sardines – it’s about everything BIG and Small in the ocean that follows them – including you! We’re looking for adventurous, independent travelers and small groups to join us.
With an intimate knowledge of what’s happening on the ground wherever we operate, we go the extra mile to match the needs of our clients and take great pleasure in forging and developing long and lasting relationships.
The Sardine Run
WHAT MAKES US THE BEST
We did not invent diving the Sardine Run – but as one of the pioneers, we did perfect the art of safely and effectively interacting with this wonder of nature. Since 2002 SEAL had been the industry leader in Sardine Run dive tourism – providing our brand of service to adventurers from all over the world. Our award-winning program has been the Gold Standard for the Sardine Run experience – and continues to deliver for our guests, year after year.
What makes the SEAL program unique:
- Our 100% Safety Record since 2002
- The No 1 geographic location for the Sardine Run experience: Mbotyi River Lodge – a stone’s throw from the Magnificent Waterfall Bluff – visually splendid from the surface and the original sardine staging ground beneath the waves. All the best action – in our backyard!
- Our team of dedicated professionals with decades of Sardine Run experience
- Technology – our use of aircraft to scan the oceans and guide our boats onto the action
- 2-Programs-In-1: The SEAL ocean experience in the morning followed by our award-winning Land Program in the late afternoon – tour the magnificent surrounds of the Wild Coast – waterfalls, canyons, horse-riding, cultural tours – the sights, sounds and tradition of rural South Africa, in its most beautiful setting
If the Sardine Run experience interests you – you owe it to yourself to go with the SEAL Team
Experience South Africa’s Sardine Run With SEAL Expeditions
WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE
As the original, professional travel operator – SEAL is the industry leader in the Sardine Run experience.
Our team has the experience, passion and knowledge to make sure that you have the most incredible Sardine Run experience. Enjoy 8 nights and 7 days of phenomenal marine-life action (scuba diving, snorkelling and surface viewing), while staying at the beautiful and ideally situated Mbotyi River Lodge. Your opportunities for up-close encounters with so many of the oceans BIG and Small players in one place – are unparalleled anywhere – and if you are a photographer – this is your Nirvana, both below and above the waves. Don’t miss out!
What to Expect
On arrival at Durban International Airport (DUR) you will be welcomed by a SEAL representative, and guided to our luxury coaches for the scenic road transfer to Mbotyi River Lodge in the Eastern Cape.
An early morning breakfast sets you up for a day at sea chasing the world-famous Sardine Run experience, powered by SEAL. Our boats launch at fist light to catch the early action – and return to the beach between mid-day and sunset – depending on the action, weather – and how everyone aboard feels. For the not die-hards, a full service lunch served at the lodge until 15h00 – followed by the now-infamous SEAL land program – which takes in the sights, sounds, culture and splendour of one fo the most visually spectacular parts of South Africa.
Breakfast followed by 08h00 departure for Durban, and connecting flights, hotels or extension programs – as per your choice.
The Wild Coast
Along the Eastern Cape’s northern coast, we find the Wild Coast, untamed and beautiful. Totally unspoilt and uncommercialised, the Wild Coast offers a pleasant climate, mild seas and family resorts where fresh seafood features on most menus. Visit the idyllic town of Coffee Bay, easily accessible from the main roads and popular among surfers, anglers and shell collectors. Near Coffee Bay is a prominent rock formation with a big hole in the middle. Known as “the Hole in the Wall”, this rock has become a symbol for the Xhosa of a great historical tragedy, the “Great Cattle Killing”. It is a unique structure with a huge detached cliff that has a giant opening carved through its centre by the waves. The local Xhosa call this place “izi Khaleni”, which means “place of thunder”. At high tide and during certain seasons the waves clap is such a fashion that the concussion can be heard throughout the valley.
Henry “Hank” Hall
New York City, NY, USA
A group of friends and I embarked on a journey to witness the annual sardine run in the breathtaking landscapes of South Africa. From the outset, the SEAL team proved to be invaluable allies, supporting us every step of the way. We initiated our trip with an engaging introduction over Zoom, swiftly ironing out all the essential details.
The SEAL team flawlessly managed all logistics, ensuring a smooth transition from the Durban airport to their remarkable campsite. Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by the team: a skilled Captain, a knowledgeable Dive Master, and a supportive staff. Their dedication was evident as they went above and beyond to provide us with an unforgettable experience.
Throughout the week, our underwater escapades led us to witness the magnificent spectacle of sardines, accompanied by the awe-inspiring presence of sharks, dolphins, and humpback whales. Diving and snorkeling in these pristine waters were exhilarating, but the excitement didn’t end there.
The SEAL team extended their hospitality beyond the ocean depths, offering us captivating afternoon activities, including invigorating hikes, visits to enchanting waterfalls, and even thrilling short flights on a microlight.
Our journey to witness the annual sardine run was elevated to unprecedented heights by the exceptional assistance and dedication of the SEAL team. Their seamless coordination, expertise, and thoughtfully curated activities ensured we had an adventure of a lifetime.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Upon my return I repeatedly told my SEAL stories to friends and colleagues and realised how fortunate I was to be a part of this year’s expedition.
My “second to one” 🙂 enthusiasm was a result of the incredible experience that I had with SEAL. I couldn’t have asked for a better Skipper, Dive Master, and fellow passengers. Everything was perfect and you clearly have an expert team. Gary and I will be back one day and until then, I will remember this fondly and dream of returning to Mboyti.
I can’t say enough about how incredible my experience with SEAL was.
Thank you Nic for a trip of a lifetime.
Tobias Rietmayr/ 72 Aquatics
Tucson, AZ, USA
What an unbelievable place!
The open space, the sky, the land and the ocean have therapeutic qualities here. Nothing compares to the moment you let yourself fall off the rib into the trajectory of two humpback whales travelling – or diving along the huge bodies of countless Ragged tooth sharks in the misty morning gloom of the cold waters of the Agulhas current. You come here and have to realize that you have to redefine your relationship with the ocean.
On top of it, hats off to these logistical masterminds running multiple boats in this remote area, while exhibiting excellent customer service. Hats off to you, SEAL Expeditions, and thank you for this magical lifetime experience!
Christophe Paul/ AbyssWorld
To all the Super SEAL Team, Thank you for your welcome and professionalism, it was my 3rd stay and still beautiful. Do not change anything… I wish you the best for the future. See you soon
Nic, thanks a lot for that week of cool (by all meanings) adventure… Your work and your team are beyond ordinary expectations… As usual… I love SEAL…
Wonderous mountains and waterfalls – a flight in microlight aircraft – a gathering at the campfire on the African plain, at the very edge of the world, where the cliffs fall 100 -150 meters below, and watching the stars. And the most important thing that has led to a high level of quality, is a team – cohesive, friendly and energetic. All you need, they will definitely try to do. Always fit under you. In General, all together this is the SEAL Expedition Team! We felt like champions!!!
Thank you Nic De Gersigny and SEAL Expeditions for the organization. We’ll be back next year.
Glen & Pam Knowles
Palmdale, CA, USA
…It truly was different every time we went out. We had a fantastic time. SEAL did a great job of anticipating our needs and their crew was wonderful.
Hi Nic, Thank you so much. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I would love to come back in the future.
Hey Nic, yes I really enjoyed the time with you and your team. You have a great team and the area is just wonderful ! Thank you for your warm welcome and I hope I will come again.
Svetlana Tibelius (KolibriTour)
Hi, Nick! Thanks for the warm atmosphere! Your team is really the best! The sardine’s running is unique to natural phenomena! I’m glad I saw it! The Impression of my life! Whales are calling an abylucy delight! I’d be happy to come again 🙂
Hey Nic! It has been a great pleasure and an awesome experience! Not so many sardines – but a lot of other great encounters, dolphins, whales, sharks, orcas, … as well as some wonderful landscapes across the land – and the air – and an awesome crew! Someday when my daughters are older I’ll come back to show them this amazing experience!