Experience the Sardine Run out of Mpame
Arrive Umtata Airport / East London Airport / King Shaka International Airport – Durban, on a flight and at a time to be advised, own arrangements. Note: From Umtata Airport to Mpame is a 2-hour road transfer. From East London Airport to Mpame is a 6-hour road transfer. From King Shaka International Airport – Durban to Mpame is a 7-hour road transfer. It is strongly suggested that you arrange to fly into and out of Umtata Airport, even if it’s a day before or after your Sardine Run Expedition is due to start/end. It could be cheaper that way because the cost of these road transfers is for your own account. On arrival at the airport of your choice, you will be met by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the road transfer to Mpame. Overnight at The Bull’s Inn on a dinner, bed, and breakfast basis.
After a light breakfast we walk the 50 meters or so to the boats, and do a “tame” surf launch and spend the rest of the day at sea looking for Sardine Run “action”. Typically we will be at sea from around 08h00 till 15h00 daily, depending on sea conditions and sea life activity. With an exhilarating surf launch, long boat rides, and the amount of time we spend at sea we suggest that all members of the Expedition be of average fitness. Hot and cold beverages are supplied throughout the day, and a packed lunch is packed and served on-board. When the sardines are spotted, usually by the Gannets diving bombing the shoals, we move on top of the action and the skipper, in conjunction with the DM decide if it’s better to get in on the action, either on snorkel, or on full scuba gear. After a full day at sea, depending on the action, we will return to Mpame at about 15h00, or earlier, depending of the general consensus of all on board. Rest of the afternoon is free. A full hot dinner, the menu is changed daily is served at about 20h00. Overnight at The Bulls Inn on a dinner, bed, continental and packed lunch basis.
After an early breakfast, transfer back to Umtata Airport to connect with your outward flight. Transfers are also arranged to East London Airport and to King Shaka International Airport – Durban. Please, note the road transfer times from Mpame if you intend flying out of either of these two airports. Cost of transfer is for your own account.
|Cost||Per Diver Sharing||Per Single Diver|
|Mpame||ZAR 29 950||ZAR 32 250|
- 6 days at sea, weather permitting
- 7 nights’ accommodation.
- Transfers from Umtata Airport to Bull’s Inn return.
- All dinners at Bulls Inn.
- Packed / picnic lunches on the boat on all sea days.
- Continental breakfasts.
- Tanks, weights, and air-fills.
- Services of experienced skipper and DM.
- International and domestic air into and out of Umtata / East London Airport / King Shaka International Airport – Durban.
- Return road transfers from East London Airport / Mpame / East London Airport. Price on application and depends on the number of people in the vehicle.
- Return road transfers from King Shaka International Airport – Durban / Mpame / King Shaka International Airport – Durban. Price on application and depends on the number of people in the vehicle.
- Hire of dive equipment as follows:-
- Pair of fins for the duration of the expedition @ ZAR 200.
- Hire of a mask and snorkel @ ZAR 200 for the duration of the Expedition.
- Hire of a pair of booties @ ZAR 100 for the duration of the Expedition.
- Hire of a pair of gloves @ ZAR 100 for the duration of the Expedition.
- Hire of a BCD @ ZAR 250 for the duration of the Expedition.
- Hire of a regulator @ ZAR 250 for the duration of the Expedition
- Hire of a wetsuit @ ZAR 200 for the duration of the Expedition.
- Hire of full dive gear @ ZAR 1 000 for the duration of the Expedition.
- Travel insurance. Highly recommended.
- Lunches on day 01 and day 07.
- Items of a personal nature.
Please note that out of Mpame we do not use the services of a spotter aircraft in order to spot the shoals of Sardines, we go one better, we use the sea birds, specifically the Gannets. When they rise in the air, in their thousands, and start dive-bombing into the sea, it’s a sure sign that the Sardines have arrived!
If Dive The Big 5 or its agent deem the weather not suitable to venture to sea on a given day, then no refund will be given.
It is entirely up to the skipper to decide if it is safe to launch the boat. If he does decide to launch the boat, and weather condition worsen as the day wears on, to the point where it is unsafe and dangerous out at sea, it is the skipper's decision, and purely the skipper's decision, to return to shore. No refunds will be given.
Should a client choose not to venture out to sea, even though the skipper deems it safe to do so, no refund is due.