Everything you wanted to know about the sardine run
It's almost here! The sardine run is one of the more colourful events on KwaZulu-Natal's calendar. For years the migration of sardines down the coastline has left many in awe of nature. Residents and tourists flock to South Coast beaches as word gets out of their arrival. What they see is truly extraordinary: A mass of silvery fish, eager fisherfolk, circling birds of prey and hungry sharks and dolphins. Described as the 'greatest shoal on earth', the event is unmissable for those who love fish, sea and sand.
With the sardine run expected to take place in June or July, here are the questions you might be wondering.
What is the sardine run?
It's a seasonal movement of sardines along the Eastern Cape coastline to the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. These fish are accompanied by predators like dolphins and sharks that drive them closer to the shore. It becomes a feeding frenzy of epic proportions.
Why does the sardine run happen?
Good question. It's a mystery but there are some theories. Some believe it's a shoal that spawns near Park Rynie on the KZN South Coast. To others, it's just a "movement of fish that are driven or pulled east by wind, seasonal currents and upwellings". Whatever the reason, it's taken place as early as 1853.
Where do I go to see the sardine run?
It depends on their progress. You'll get to see them in beaches in Durban, Bluff, Port Edward, Port Shepstone and Scottburgh. The Sardine Run Facebook page, KZN Sharks Board and East Coast Radio will keep you updated when they appear - and where to go.
Who comes to see the sardine run?
It's a glorious show so expect plenty of people to turn up. There are fishermen and fisherwomen who come to fill their nets, baskets and containers. Tourists often come down to experience it. As a time-honoured tradition, locals - of all ages and races - will also spare a moment to see the fish. If it's your first time, you'll truly feel the community spirit of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. People will be laughing, telling jokes and sharing their past sardine run experiences.
What else can I see besides the sardines?
The sardines bring with them a number of predators. There will be sightings of dolphins and sharks. Because the humpback whales use the same currents as the sardines, you may even catch a glimpse of them. Cape gannets and seagulls will also dominate the sky. You should bring your binoculars to get the best view of the action.
I've seen the sardines. What next?
If you've brought along your camera, you'll get to take some fantastic pictures. South Coast beaches are among the most scenic you'll ever see.
If the sight of fish has left you starving, there are several dining options on the South Coast. Scottburgh, in particular, has some amazing places for seafood. Be sure to check out Seaview Place Restaurant, C Breeze or the Bell and Anchor Restaurant. These acclaimed restaurants will give you an unmissable taste of the ocean.
The sardine run promises an exciting trip. It's sure to make you want to settle down in the South Coast. As your local property experts, Seeff is ready to help. Home is our story and property is our passion. With 181 properties and homes for sale in Scottburgh, you can unlock the next chapter in your story. Contact us today.