Sardines

Millions of the fish move north along the coast of South Africa where they are eaten by sharks, dolphins and gannets. Port St Johns, South Africa.   Photographer Dmitry Miroshnikov

The Sardine Run – a unique and unexplained phenomenon of millions of sardines traveling up the east coast of South Africa occurring from May to July, causing a frenzy of excitement amongst everyone and everything that comes into contact with them.



These small fish migrate from the colder waters of the Cape into the warm sub-tropical waters of the former Transkei (northern Eastern Cape) and KwaZulu-Natal in a northwards direction, coming close to shore in the South Coast area during autumn and winter, moving further offshore in the Durban area and finally, disappearing into the vast blue yonder.

Because of the cold currents along this stretch of coastline and their appetite for plankton, these fish converge close to the shoreline and to the surface, making ideal targets for hungry predators and perfect viewing for snorkellers and scuba divers.