Our Itinerary in South Africa
Even though giant schools of Sardines can be spotted along a great part of the East coast, some places are better than others for encounters. Pushed by a cold marine current, sardines travel from the Aghulas Banks, located in the East Cape Province, to reach the coast at Kei River to the North of Port Alfred in Natal. Our main goal consists of snorkelling in or near the schooling sardines, in order to see a maximum number of marine animals. The probabilities of encounters are variable, depending on sea conditions and wildlife activity. To allow us the best chance of encounters, we have choosen to stay in Mbotyi, Pondoland.
After this expedition, you will have the opportunity to pursue the exploration of South Africa with an extension of 4 nights in the Phinda Private Reserve, 350 km north of Durban. You will stay in a luxury lodge and have daily excursions in 4x4 vehicle to observe, among others, elephants, lions, rhinos, nyala antelopes and cheetas.
Importante note : Although we have gone to great lengths to give us the best chance of encounters, the Sardine Runs is a natural phenomenon somewhat out of control. We can therefore not guarantee that the sardines will be at the rendez-vous, as well as other predators usually seen in this region. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
- Stage1 : Durban (1 night)
Airport welcome in Durban and transfer to your hotel (standard category). Free dinner and night.
- Stage2 : Mbotyi - Pondoland (8 nights)
Departure from Durban to Mbotyi (360 km - 4 hours drive). Check in to Mbotyi River Lodge. During 7 days, there will be a full day trip at sea, from 8 AM to 4 PM, (depending on weather conditions and marine life activity) to spot the schools of sardines. Encounters are mostly done during snorkelilng sessions because the action takes place between 0 and 10 meters in depth. Our boat is a fast semi-inflatable, departing from right in front of the resort (at high tide only).
- Stage3 : Phinda Reserve (extension of sejourn is optionnal) (4 nights)
To fully enjoy your stay in South Africa, treat yourself with a 5 day / 4 night stay at Phinda Private Reserve. This extension is optional and can be arranged according to your desires and budget.
Day 10: Transfer by car (3 hour drive) from Durban to Phinda Private Reserve (lunch not included). Settling down at Phinda Forest Lodge **** for a stay of four nights full board.
Day 11 to 13: Discovery of the reserve on board 4x4 (2 outings per day), accompanied by rangers. Walks and canoe trips on the Mzinene River.
Day 14: Transfer Phinda - Durban (lunch not included) and return international flight.
Your itinerary gallery