The annual Sardine Run is KwaZulu-Natal's biggest attractions. Picture: Noel McDonogh / Wow Flight School.
The annual Sardine Run is KwaZulu-Natal's biggest attractions. Picture: Noel McDonogh / Wow Flight School.

How to plan a Sardine Run day trip to the South Coast

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Jun 22, 2020

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The annual Sardine Run is KwaZulu-Natal's biggest attractions, luring hundreds of international and local travellers to the province. 

Sadly, with both international and domestic travel being put on halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic, not many people are fortunate to witness this year's spectacle. With lockdown restrictions being eased during level 3, locals can catch the action firsthand virtually or at the numerous viewpoints scattered throughout the South Coast. However, as the worst of Covid-19 is not over, social distancing, the wearing of masks and adhering to the lockdown rules are strongly encouraged. 

The CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu, said there has been the largest volume of sardines in the KZN South Coast this year. 

"This is the planet’s largest biomass migration, and the KZN South Coast is fortunate to benefit from the majority of the action. The recent cold spell has brought with it increased sardine activity with shoals spotted at numerous beaches on our coastline," she said. 

Mangcu said that due to the coronavirus pandemic, health and safety regulation were mandatory.

"With regards to Covid-19 safety, all fishermen and the public are required to follow the required health-and-safety protocols, including wearing masks, regular hand sanitising and social distancing. 

“Seine netters are a commercial entity and have to adhere to all precautionary measures as outlined for business," she said.


The annual Sardine Run is KwaZulu-Natal's biggest attractions. Picture: Dr Ryan Daly.

Day trip options

There are many places where you can witness the Sardine Run that does not violate the current lockdown restrictions. For locals who want an aerial view, there are 15 to 30-minute micro lighting flight tours. Check out Ugu South Coast Tourism social media pages for the latest updates.

With level 3 lockdown regulations easing in South Africa, many local tourism establishments opened its doors for the public. These establishments operate under strict tourism industry-standard protocols. 

Travellers can check out Lake Eland Game Reserve at Oribi Gorge to experience adventure and wildlife, or TC Robertson nature reserve in Scottburgh. Clearwater Trails is for fitness buffs who want to exercise in an idyllic setting. 

The newly launched KwaXolo Caves, which date back over 100 000 years, is home to incredible San rock paintings and some of the area’s most breathtaking scenery. Earlier this year, KwaXolo Caves Adventures established a wire walk, which combined historical, cultural and community tourism, and allows visitors to explore previously inaccessible caves. 

The KZN South Coast boasts 11 golf courses. Mangcu said locals need to call the establishments before visiting to ensure that they follow the rules set during the lockdown. 

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