The KZN South Coast boast some fantastic sightings. Picture: Ryan Daly.
The KZN South Coast boast some fantastic sightings. Picture: Ryan Daly.

Get a front row seat to the Sardine Run when you vacay in KZN

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published May 24, 2021

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With the highly anticipated Sardine Run expected in a few weeks in the Durban and South Coast area, many travellers hoping to get in on the action are planning their holidays.

The Sardine Run is the planet’s largest biomass migration and has attracted many travellers to KwaZulu-Natal in recent years.

Phelisa Mangcu, the chief executive of Ugu South Coast Tourism, said the KZN South Coast was fortunate to benefit from the action.

"We’re optimistic this will be a good year for visitors to have front-row seats to the spectacle. Last year, we were fortunate enough to have several days of sardine sightings, although lockdown restrictions impacted our visitor numbers. However, we shared videos virtually for those who were unable to travel.

"While we will still be giving audiences the chance to experience the spectacle virtually, we encourage people to plan their holidays following the easing of restrictions in recent months. The tourism industry has put the relevant Covid-19 safety measures in place," she said.

Mangcu said the shoals attracted hordes of marine predators, including shark species such as the copper, dusky, blacktip and spinner. Travellers may also see big game fish such as shad, garrick and geelbek. If lucky, you could see dolphins, whales, cormorants, gulls and terns.

Commercial fishermen, recreational anglers and other interested parties flock to the beaches to catch the fish. Some use them for bait while others sell them. Many restaurants in the province incorporate sardines into their menu.

What to add to your South Coast Sardine Run holiday

From deep-sea adventures to frolicking at blue flag status beaches, the South Coast offers something for everyone.

Add Marina, Trafalgar, Southport, Umzumbe and Hibberdene beaches to your itinerary. Or surf at Umzumbe, Shelly Beach, St Michael’s-on-Sea, Scottburgh, Southbroom, Margate, Port Edward and Lucien Beach.

Other water-based activities to enjoy include stand-up paddling, kayaking, windsurfing and snorkelling.

For those seeking adventure, visit Lake Eland Game Reserve at Oribi Gorge or TC Robertson nature reserve in Scottburgh.

KwaXolo Caves Adventures in Margate is another option. Once open-rock shelters for indigenous San communities, visitors enjoy incredible mountainside views while attached by two safety lines on a fixed cable.

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