KZN Sharks Board gives sardine run updates

Posted by Taylah Strauss on 2 June 2022

The KZN Sharks Board conducted an observation flight to assess the movement of sardine shoals in the Eastern Cape on 25 May.

READ MORE: Sharks Board to begin monitoring sardine run from next week

Every year from May to July, billions of sardines migrate up South Africa’s coastline towards Mozambique. This natural phenomenon has been dubbed the ‘sardine run’, and is the most instagrammable scuba diving spot globally.

The recent flooding has left the coastline waters discoloured, but visibility improved from the Msikaba area. Sardine shoals and the following observations were noted as the Sharks Board moved through to Hole-in-the-Wall from Msikaba.


  • 20 bottlenose dolphin heading north behind the backline
  • 200 common dolphin one kilometre offshore
  • Two humpback whales one kilometre offshore


  • 15 to 20 sharks 150m behind backline
  • 30 gannets

Goss Point

  • Seven small shoals of sardines close to backline


  •  15 to 30 common dolphin one kilometre offshore

Waterfall Bluff

  • Three pods of around 500 common dolphin
  • 200 gannets


  • Six shoals of sardines
  • 80 to 100 bottlenose dolphin
  • 1000 common dolphins two kilometres offshore.


  • One big shoal of sardines

Black Sands

  • 1000 common dolphin two kilometres offshore


  • 60 bottlenose dolphin
  • 50 gannets


  • 500 common dolphins


  • 200 bottlenose dolphin one kilometre offshore.


  • 60 scattered dolphin one kilometre offshore.

Brazen Head

  • Small thin shoals

The Kraal

  • 200 scattered bottlenose dolphin
  • 50 gannets
  • 20 sardine shoals


  • Several sardine shoals along backline
  • 250 bottlenose dolphin


  • Several sardine shoals


  • 100 bottlenose dolphin

Presley Bay

  • Five shoals of sardine
  • 50 bottlenose dolphin
  • 50+ gannets


  • 50 bottlenose dolphin
  • 20 gannets


  • 40 bottlenose dolphin one kilometre offshore


  • 80 bottlenose dolphin

Coffee Bay

  • One large shoal of sardines


  • Three sardine shoals
  • 150 bottlenose dolphin

These numbers are positive indicators that the sardines are steadily making their way up to KZN from the Eastern Cape. The next flight for observation is scheduled to take place on 2 June, should weather conditions permit.

Picture: Lakshmi Sawitri/Flickr Commons


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