Cintsa ,Wild Coast, East London

annualLY IN JUNE 2019

Max Depths:

Water temp:
18°c - 25°C

Water Visibility: 5m – 15m

Open Water (snorkelling possible)

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 in 2022! 

Our Sardine Run trip bookings calendar is now up for 2022 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




10 + 8 =

Take a trip to the Wild Coast

Check out our highlights reel…


  • star rating  Everything about our experience with Pisces was great. I highly recommend booking your diving experience in South Africa with Jacqui and the team at Pisces. My wife and... read more

    Pierre L
  • star rating  We did the Seal and Kelp dive and we were truly amazed.
    Lots of life under water and the seals are certainly a highlight!
    The guides were professional and... read more

    Elias M
  • star rating  A belated review - just thinking about the next dive holiday but I keep thinking back to the time in Cape Town at Pisces Divers in August. My son and... read more

  • star rating  We really enjoyed this dive shop and the dive experiences. From the personnel to the actual dives. The people were super friendly. We enjoyed Eddie's guidance on... read more

    Brian D
  • star rating  My 14 year old daughter dived with them. They were quick to respond and were always willing to answer any of my concerns. Jan spent most of the morning explaining... read more

    avatar thumb BonniK5
  • star rating  Pisces Capetown located in Simonstown was recommended to us by Anna. We experienced a very good service to get us diving on short notice by Jacqui. The material was... read more

  • star rating  I experienced friendly, welcoming interactions with all the staff who are extremely accommodating and always willing to help. Very professional and the instructors are absolutely amazing on the dives and... read more

  • star rating  What a brilliant dive centre this place is. I did my Open Water Course with them and it was very well organised and I was given all the different options.... read more

  • star rating  I selected Pisces Divers to undergo training with my 2 sons for Open Water Diving. We had fantastic training at the excellent facilities at Pisces Divers. The dive sites available... read more

    Duncan M
  • star rating  I completed my PADI open water course through Pisces this past weekend. I am so impressed with the dive center, the staff were all so, organized, friendly and helpful. BIG... read more

    avatar thumb StaceyMorgan22