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Expeditions

Are you ready to discover, dive and experience South Africa’s Sardine Run – the worlds greatest marine event? If the answer is yes, then you have to join Blue Wilderness on our next Sardine Run expedition. Here you will open yourself to one of the worlds most challenging but rewarding SCUBA diving expeditions!


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Sardine Run Expeditions

The Sardine Run in South Africa is recognized as one of the world’s most spectacular marine events. Annually, from May to July, vast shoals of sardines migrate from their temperate-water home off South Africa’s southern coast and travel north-east into the sub-tropical coastal waters of the Wild Coast. Following the shoals is an unparalleled concentration of marine predators including seabirds; sharks; game fish and marine mammals.

When predators meet prey, a feeding event of unmatched proportions begins. Thousands of common dolphins charge after the shoals, separating them into densely packed bait balls and driving them to the surface. Watched by the omnipresent Cape gannets, an aerial assault on the sardines occurs when tens of thousands of gannets begin their spectacular plunge diving displays. Below the birds, the bait balls are easy pickings not only for dolphins, but also for shivers of bronze-whaler, dusky and blacktip sharks. The final player, is the behemoth Bryde’s whale. Its huge mouth can decimate an entire bait ball in a single lunge.

Sardine Run Pioneers

In the late 90′s, Blue Wilderness pioneered diving expeditions to follow and film the Sardine Run. We were instrumental in epic productions such as the Emmy Award winning BBC film “The greatest shoal on Earth”. Today our team continues to annually track the Sardine Run. We are always developing new detection technologies; perfecting our observer network and retro-fitting our vessels to ensure we can again experience the world’s greatest marine event.

Why Blue Wilderness?

  • Personal – We love our guests, from the diving, relaxing, to telling stories around the evening fire, you will find our team friendly, personal and always at hand to make your trip as special as possible!
  • Pioneers – In the late 90’s Blue Wilderness pioneered the sardine run expeditions, though its work in facilitating the marine logistics for Blue Planet BBC series and the groundbreaking documentary ‘Greatest Shoal on Earth’. Since then we have continued to lead the pack in getting our guests unforgettable experiences on South Africa’s annual sardine run.
  • Expertise – The Blue Wilderness team is made up of many of the countries top shark experts and scientists. Owners, Ryan Johnson and Enrico Gennari have published extensive research on sharks (see here), advised government, and developed responsible management plan for sharks in South Africa. Our primary skipper, Marcus, has been leading expeditions for over an unmatched 15 years. Now this is true expertise!
  • The Professionals use us – Blue Wilderness is the goto shark logistics company for many of the worlds top film crews and photographers wanting to capture images and video of the Sardine Run, we’ve hosted BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and helped produce many of the iconic Sardine Run films – check them out here. There is a reason why the professionals use us – because we are the best at finding and safely allowing clients to interact with bait balls on the greatest shoal on earth!
  • Location – Whilst most operators head off to the well known ‘Port Saint Johns’ for the expedition, Blue Wilderness heads further west, launching from East London. The reason is simple, we are pioneers and don’t have the ‘follow the pack’ mentality. Instead of jostling for position with other boats, we search, locate and find incredible sardine action in relative isolation and freedom of East London. Just the way we like it!

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