SOUTH AFRICAN EXPEDITIONS

CAPE PENINSULA & SARDINE RUN

The Agulhas Current drives down the East coast of Southern Africa, bringing warm water from the tropics, while on the West coast, cold, nutrient-rich upwelled water drifts northward. The oceans around Southern Africa hosts over 12 000 species of marine plants and animals making it one of the most diverse coastlines in the world bursting with colour and life.

Option 1

Cape Peninsula and
Sardine Run Expedition

5 May - 19 May 2024 (Only 6 spaces)

consisting of two sections;

5 May – 12 May 2024 (part 1 – Cape Peninsula)

12 May – 19 Jun 2024 (part 2 – Sardine Run)

Option 1B

Sardine Run Expedition (7 days)

12 May - 19 May 2024 (Only 6 spaces)

This is for a second boat and not part of ‘option 1’

Option 2

Sardine Run Expedition (10 days)

19 May  - 29 May 2024

Option 3

Sardine Run Expedition (10 days)

29  May– 8 June  2024

Private Options

Please contact us for more information on booking any of these options as a private booking with no other guests. We have been catering for individuals/groups requiring a discreet option as well as for film crews who need a full boat option for nearly a decade (Norway and South Africa).

Cape Peninsula Week (Only Option 1)

This small group expedition in South Africa consisting of two parts is the first of its kind and is done in partnership with one of the most respected dive centers in South Africa (the same place my professional diving journey began). This will be a great opportunity to share what was my 'backyard' for over two decades with those who will be joining us.

Over a period of one week, 6 clients (the maximum per week) will set out on daily expeditions in search of an abundance of life around the Cape Peninsula with the chance to snorkel, freedive or scuba dive both oceans (Atlantic and Indian oceans). For a small taste of what this might include:

  • Diverse kelp forests, including the exact area where 'My Octopus Teacher' was filmed
  • Several species of small and large sharks and rays
  • Makos and Blue Sharks south of Cape Point (the tip of Africa) - each week will have one day planned for this
  • Cape Fur Seals (you will snorkel with hundreds of them in safety)
  • African Penguins
  • An incredibly diverse variety of seabirds
  • Chance to see cetaceans (dusky dolphins, humpbacks, right whales, orcas etc)

and more…

Diving (A Real Expedition Approach Of ‘Set Out To Discover’)

Each week will be run on a day to day basis and apart from planned dive days (offshore trip for blue sharks etc) decisions on where to go / what to see will be dictated by the weather, best chance for sighting and what the clients want to see. In some cases, you will even have the option to decide between scuba diving, freediving or snorkelling based on the plan for the day (and you do not have to scuba dive if you do not want to).

For any scuba divers - if you decide to scuba dive instead, there will be no extra costs for cylinders or air (including Nitrox).

Accomodation

Accommodation will be at a beautiful 4 star hotel in a marina in False Bay, right on the water and each morning you will be collected by boat to set out on the day's adventure. You will wake up, have breakfast, get in your wetsuit, walk 20 meters and jump in our boat. In the late afternoon you are brought back to the pier in front of your hotel. All meals included and the hotel is in the middle of the historic center of Simonstown.

Additional Activities

In addition to diving there will also be one afternoon (half day) tour to Cape Point which will be after the diving for the day, as well as one shore day with a professional local guide with options to hike Table Mountain, visit the V&A Waterfront, learn about local culture and history etc.

In terms of cost – everything will be included from the time you arrive at Cape Town international airport until the day you leave (apart from flights).

There is even more happening, and this is a very simplified summary of what the week will entail

In short – in one week you will get to see some of the best the Cape Peninsula has to offer both in and out of the water.

Sardine Run (Option 1, 2 or 3)

 

The ultimate bucket list expedition!

Option 1:
6 Guests will have a two week option which goes from the first week in False Bay into a second week to join the legendary ‘Sardine Run’ near East London.

Option 1B:
6 additional guests will have a one week option to join our second boat for the Sardine Run near East London. Note that this is a separate option from option 1 as those in option 1 will have their own boat for the sardine run portion.

Option 2 / 3:
For the first time we are offering a 10 day option which provides more time and days on the water (compared to the ‘normal’ one week option. This makes it possible to see and experience even more as every day on the water is unique.

This will be with the assistance of the same dive partners as well as local experts with decades of experience in the area (a must have for the Sardine Run). Here you will stay in a stunning seaside lodge and during the Sardine Run (5 days of diving) you are pretty much guaranteed to see at the very least:

  • Humpback whales
  • Bryde's whales
  • Thousands of Common Dolphins
  • Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins
  • Sea Lions
  • Thousands of seabird species
  • And more…

With a very high likelihood of:

  • Bronze Whaler sharks
  • Hammerhead sharks
  • Raggedtooth Sharks
  • Several other shark species
  • Several species of Cetaceans (both whales and dolphins) and more

Accommodation for Sardine Run week

Full board and ten nights accommodation on a per person sharing basis at a beautiful lodge (single supplementary rates are available). Rooms are all en-suite with sea views. Meals are wholesome and hearty – full hot breakfast, fruit salads, muesli, coffee/tea/juice. Lunchboxes packed for the sea + hot drinks. Dinners are buffet style and they have a weekly theme with a different meal each day of the week.

As an added bonus (great for photographers!) – our accommodation borders an estuary and the beach and there is a wide variety of wildlife right outside your front door. Everything from African Fish Eagles, several species of Kingfishers and daily visits by Vervet monkeys.

Extra Activities

For guests who would like to do even more during the shore time, the lodge offers everything from quad biking through a game reserve (safari) to horseback riding on the beach. This will be extra costs charged directly by the lodge, but from past experience we know that these options are exceptionally well priced.

What is SA diving like?

 

In one word – exciting! For anyone who has joined me in the Arctic for orcas – I would consider Norwegian diving to be ‘by the book’ and can fairly quickly and easily list what you can expect to see (the list is short!)

In stark contrast, when you talk about South African diving you can enter the same small 0.1 km 2 (0.04 miles2) patch of kelp twice in a day and have no idea what you might encounter. Literally anything can pop up, from sharks and octopi, to otters and (if you are lucky) even cetaceans like dusky dolphins, southern right whales humpbacks and these days even orcas.

Anyone who has heard me talk about diving in the kelp forests of False Bay will know how excited I get and might have heard about some of the incredible encounters we have there.

Weather and Sea Temperatures

Cape Peninsula Air temperature for May / June:

High: 22°C / 71.6° F                       Low: 13°C / 55.4

Cape Peninsula Water temperature varies between the two oceans.

False Bay average: 18°C / 64.4                  Atlantic seaboard average: 13°C / 55.4°F

Sardine Run Air temperature

High: 21.3°C / 70.3°F                     Low: 14.7°C / 58.5°F

Sardine Run Average Water Temperature East London:

19.8°C / 67.64°F

The weather (specifically the wind) can be very unpredictable but, in most cases, when diving around the Cape Peninsula, we have the option of two oceans where if one is ‘blown out’ the other is often still diveable. For those of you who have joined me in the past, you will know that if there is a safe possibility to dive then we will make it happen.

That being said - we will have contingency plans for any potential bad weather days and will always make the most of days.

Equipment



Clients are required to bring their own wetsuit, mask, snorkel, freediving weight belt (no weights) and fins. Both 5mm and 7mm freediving suits works really well in SA.

All other equipment related to weights and scuba diving will be provided including BCDs and regulators.

We can assist clients with ordering opencell suits and choosing the right thickness etc based on my own experience.

"Jacques and his team are simply amazing, fun and welcoming people, everything is taken care of and the locations are top notch - Make sure not to miss out on the Cape Town Experience as well for Makos, Penguins, Octopus, Sea Lions and the most amazing Kelp Forests I have yet seen. The Sardine Run portion is also one of the most intense spectacles I’ve ever experienced! Massive Bait Balls, thousands of common Dolphins, Sharks, Gannets thundering into the deep and you are in the middle of this fray."

Have more questions or interested in booking?

Feel free to send them via email to info(at)oceansaroundus.com

This includes any information related to prices, availability as well as private options.

Graphic - Annika Brandow as featured in the Summer 2015 issue of the Save Our Seas magazine

Check out the report from our 2023 Cape Town week here

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