Cintsa ,Wild Coast, East London


Max Depths:

Water temp:16°c - 21°C

Water Visibility: 5m – 15m

FReedive snorkel or scuba

locationCintsa ,Wild Coast, East London 






WATER TEMP: 18°C – 25°C





Join Pisces Divers for an unforgettable week on South Africa’s Wild Coast and experience the Sardine Run with us! 

Our Sardine Run trip bookings calendar is now up for this year and we invite you to join Pisces Divers for a very special week in Cintsa on the Wild Coast, 45km north of East London in the Eastern Cape.

The Sardine Run is an annual migration of sardines up the East Coast of South Africa from the Southern Cape to Kwa-Zulu Natal, where the fish spawn. They follow a cooler than usual counter-current which passes close in-shore and there is an array of marine predators ready to meet them, from thousands of Cape Gannets, huge pods of Common Dolphins, several shark species, such as Dusky sharks and Copper sharks all the way up to the impressive Brydes Whales. We will spend five days per week at sea, following the incredible marine action and getting you into position to experience the sardine bait balls from the boat or in the water, where you will witness birds, dolphins, sharks and whales all working together feeding off the bait balls. We will have one rest day where we will relax and take a guided nature walk with a local ecologist or choose from a range of local activities.

During this time of the year the Humpback whales migrate up the coast and they can be spotted daily, moving in pairs or small family groups. Southern Right whales can also be seen occasionally, but it is the Brydes whales that really get involved with the sardines and it’s an incredible spectacle to witness a Brydes whale engulfing a bait ball in a single mouthful. We also see Bottle-nosed Dolphins and have also seen the shy Humpbacked Dolphins near the shore. Aside from the Cape Gannets, there are several other bird species that have been spotted: African Penguins, Cormorants, Yellow-nosed Indian Albatross, Sub-Antarctic Skuas to name a few.

We base ourselves in Cintsa near East London and launch our boat directly off the beach there, sea conditions permitting. On days with larger swells, we divert to the East London harbour which allows a safe launch in almost any sea conditions.

Cintsa is a beautiful location and gives us an effective range of some 100 km of the South African Wild Coast, from East London in the West to the Kei river in the East. Our base is the charismatic Buccaneer’s Lodge on the Cintsa river mouth, where our guests are accommodated in en-suite rooms with beautiful sea and river views. Meals are delicious and generous: full hot breakfasts and health breakfasts are served daily, delicious packed lunches are sent out with the boat and our evening meals are buffet style themed dinners.


Arrive at East London Airport on Sunday afternoon where you will be met and transferred to Buccaneers Lodge on the first day of your trip. We have a full briefing in the evening, where we can sort out equipment and camera issues.

Five days at sea and one rest day.

Please Note: Diving on bait balls is rare. The sardine run relies on the coming together of many different variables: weather and currents, predators and of course, the sardines! Some days are going to be quiet and some days will be very busy. We will do our utmost to get you into the best position to appreciate this event, either from the boat or in the water.


  • 0700 – Breakfast overlooking the stunning Cinsta valley
  • 0730 – Kit up and walk down to Cintsa beach
  • 0800 – Launch boats just after sunrise
  • 0800 to 15:00 – We spend the day on the water searching for visible signs of sardines which includes bird action and bird diving. We will see Humpback whales, Common dolphins and numerous bird species such as Skua, Petrel and of course, Cape Gannets
  • 1500 – return to beach at Cintsa
  • 1600 – Late afternoon and evening at leisure.
  • 1900 – Delicious theme dinner.


  • Airport Transfers from East London
  • Shared accommodation for seven nights on a full-board basis.
  • Five days at sea.
  • One rest day.
  • We supply cylinders and weights and additional equipment rental is extra.
  • Single supplementary is available on request.
  • Activities on non diving days will be arranged.


  • Flights
  • Dive equipment other than cylinders and weight-belts (but can be rented).
  • Alcoholic drinks


  • Dive Certification Card
  • Towel and drybag for the boat
  • Warm waterproof jacket, beanie and sunhat
  • Sunblock and personal medications (such as seasickness tablets)
  • Cameras (topside and underwater)
  • Own dive equipment, other than cylinders and weight-belts




Take a trip to the Wild Coast

Check out our highlights reel…


  • star rating  The dive base is well organized. The price includes all equipment and a delicious lunch after the dive. The diving equipment is high class (only gloves were slightly damaged).... read more

    February 1, 2020
  • star rating  Have dived with them on many different occasions. Great Team , always available for advice. Good set up, know the dive area well. Would most always use them when i... read more

    avatar thumb NicolasV1311
    February 24, 2019
  • star rating  Seal Snorkeling Fun! - I did the simple seal snorkel, and this was my very first time doing any snorkeling/diving. The team was super fun to be with, and fit us with gear very... read more

    April 6, 2022
  • star rating  My husband and I were in Cape Town for a few days. As Covid had wrecked havoc with our diving plans the past 2 years, we decided to dive the... read more

    December 1, 2021
  • star rating  My wife and I decided to do something "crazy" and do our Open Water Dive course. We had an island holiday lined up so thought this would be great to... read more

    May 1, 2022
  • star rating  Small boat diving in cold water and shallow depths with seals and kelp. I was very well cared for by the staff who equipped me and treated me with the... read more

    October 29, 2019
  • star rating  Woke up this morning expecting 2 great dives and that’s exactly what we got! At the dive centre we were kitted out by Jack (I think was his name), he... read more

    December 1, 2019
  • star rating  Awesome shore and boat dives at the Octopus Teacher dive sites. It was my goal to follow the steps of filmmaker - So far the best, absolutely the best diving school I was diving with. Im travelling the world and dive at different destinations with different school. This school offering great... read more

    February 21, 2022
  • star rating  We had a wonderful time doing the Open Water Dive Course at Pisces divers and would highly recommend them! The diving instructors were very patient and we felt confident and... read more

    avatar thumb Stefnavj
    December 6, 2018
  • star rating  Great experience! - A very well organised dive shop. We did the seal and kelp dive, which was a great experience especially if you've not done anything similar before. Everyone was very welcoming,... read more

    September 20, 2022