Hire Our Boat – Witness the Sardine Run

Durban Ideal for Winter Fishing

The winter months along South Africa’s north eastern coast are popular amongst local tourists wanting to take a break from the cold Highveld winter.  Durban has a very temperate climate at this time of the year with the temperature rarely dropping below 10 degrees Celsius at any time.  Temperatures during the day easily reach the high twenties allowing ample opportunities for sea and sun bathing.

The Sardine Run

There is one winter visitor to the Durban coast however, that arrives due to the lower temperature. They arrive in their millions for a once a year phenomenon not seen anywhere else in the world. The visitor is the humble Sardine on its annual run from the Agulhas Bank in the Cape up the east coast of South Africa.  The Sardine Run is one of nature’s marvels as massive shoals work their way up the east coast attracting many predators such as dolphins, sharks, game fish and gannets.  Dolphins, estimated at greater than 15,000, tend to be the primary predator and are able to herd the sardines away from the main shoal into “bait balls” of between 10 and 20 metres in diameter before feasting with all the other predators.  The water “boils” with the frantic activity as sardines try and evade the mouths of the predators. Often, in the turmoil, the sardines end up beaching themselves searching for safety only to be scooped up by human predators waiting on land.

The Sardine Run generally starts in May in the Cape and ends in July in the warmer waters of the Kwazulu Natal coast.  The sardines get very close to the shore just south of Durban and then usually turn, heading further out to sea just past Durban.  On rare occasions the sardines will move further north up the coast and sightings of sardines have been reported as far north as Zinkwazi.

Witnessing one of nature’s epic events is a much sought after experience with locals and tourists, South African and foreign, flocking to the coast to see it.  Hiring our boat is an ideal way of experiencing this spectacle.  With the assistance of a Facebook page, a hotline and local news reports on radio, boats can sail directly to the shoals zeroing in on the flocks of birds as they get closer to the sardines.  Viewing the activity from the deck of a boat provides a perfect platform to experience the sardine run, watching the dolphins, marvelling at the sharks and seeing the thrilling diving of the gannets as they all contribute to the feeding frenzy.

Spirit of eLan Will Cater for your Needs

Book Now! The Spirit of eLan in Durban has a wide selection of craft available for this event. Boats equipped for fishing are very popular with fisherman looking for a trophy game fish or shark.  For an experience for the whole family there are many options available ranging from basic viewing to fishing on our  luxury yachts with  food and beverages provided  along the way.  Whatever craft you choose, the Spirit of eLan will be able to provide you with an unforgettable experience witnessing a marvel of nature.

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