A WILD COAST
Expedition is a unique expedition exploring the
annual sardine migration on South Africa's rugged Wild Coast.
Sardine fever hits the Wild Coast sometime in June/July each
year. The "run" or migration of sardines begins off the cool
waters south of the African continent where they form into hundreds of
large swirling shoals. The sardines then run north east into
the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and mass into what wild-life film
producer Peter Lamberti has dubbed "The
Greatest Shoal on Earth". What makes this such a spectacular
show is not simply the gigantic waves of silvery sardines but
the legions of predators that congregate en masse just off the east
coast of South Africa in anticipation of the year's greatest
feast. As a result the waters of the Wild Coast boil with sharks,
dolphins, Cape Gannets, cormorants, seals, and even, on occasion, Orcas,
albatross and penguins that have followed the Sardines thousands of
kilometres from the southern ocean. The Sardine Run also coincides with
the annual migration of Humpback Whales that move north for the
season into warmer water to mate and calve. The spectacular breaches of
these leviathan's are a daily phenomenon and it just adds to an already
dazzling wildlife extravaganza.
advanced scuba diver, this is indeed the greatest dive show on
earth. The ultimate highlight is the "bait ball". This is when the sharks
or dolphins or both corral a shoal of sardines into a tight
ball, then dive into it in a frenzied attack to come away with
mouthfuls of unfortunate sardines. However, this is often
logistically difficult for the divers and boats to approach as the sardines
are very elusive. Luckily the predators are not as bashful. Bronze
Whaler Sharks, Common & Bottlenose Dolphins and
dive-bombing Cape Gannets are literally everywhere all the time, so any
dive is pure adrenaline.
non-diver the show is just as rewarding. Most of the action is seen
from the boat and there are plenty opportunities to snorkel with dolphins,
whales and, for the brave, sharks
while being bombarded on all sides by Cape Gannets.
PHOTO & VIDEO
underwater photographer/videographer the "action" opportunities are
amazing. To be in the middle of this incredible scene where predator
and prey fight for their existence, is the ultimate dive.
The fact that IMAX, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and dozens
of other world renown TV stations, magazines and photographers flock to
these waters is testament to the giant status of the sardine run.