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See millions of Sardines migrate to Kwazulu Natal!

Each year during late May to late June on the East Coast of Africa an enormous gathering of creatures begins. Millions of Sardines (Pilchards) migrate towards KwaZulu Natal attracting thousands of predators: sharks, whales, dolphins, seals, birds and occasionally even Killer Whales. The massive sardine shoals are chased on by the hunter species into the shallow waters along KwaZulu Natals South Coast, and sometimes they are washed up onto the beach.

The spectacle from the surface is amazing, whilst underwater the action is absolutely incredible.

Superpods of up to a thousand common dolphins herd the sardines into tight shoals enabling them to systematically feed on the ever-swirling ball of fish. Joining into the feeding frenzy are sharks, birds and gamefish. To be able to predict the locations of the big shoals each day is where experience counts.

Sardine shoals can be spotted from from the beach as thousands of seabirds circle overhead, diving in to catch there lunch! Occasionally you will even see great white shark diving out of the water to catch some of the millions of sardines, and brooders whales surfacing to take massive gulps of the silvery fish.

Locals in the KZN coastal areas know this time of year - when they are gripped with 'sardine fever'. Local fishermen are eager also to catch as many of the sardines as they can in the short time that they are so close to the shoreline; some of the catch are frozen to use as bait for fishing late in the year and many are sold to restaurants and locals alike for a tasty fish dish. A Sardine Hotline is available to keep people informed of the movement of the massive sardine shoals.

The 'sardine run' was taken for granted for many years, and it is only recently that South Africans have realized that it is a unique natural phenomenon that occurs nowhere else on our planet, the event is now being marketed as a major South African Tourist attraction.


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