South Africa Sardine Run Photo Workshop 2020



South Africa Sardine Run Photo Workshop

Join this amazing specialty trip to see the famous sardine run, several species of sharks and a land-based open vehicle African safari. 

June 21 - July 3, 2020

Led by Craig Dietrich

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12 Nights for $4,499 pp (double occupancy)$5,299 pp (single occupancy)


Why Travel With Bluewater?

  • 25% off rental photo gear from Bluewater Photo
  • We book resorts/ liveaboards that offer the best overall value
  • Gear discounts and other benefits
  • Great support if flight/weather issues occur
  • "Bluewater helped me out when I needed it most, the airline wouldn't let me board because of a Visa issue. They saved my butt" - Ray Tsusuki

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Trip Overview

Over the years, the Sardine Run has provided excitement across the globe with numerous shark species, Humpback whales and dolphin super pods joining in the migration. Throw the hyperactive Cape Gannets into the mix and we have “The Ultimate Marine Migration” during the Sardine Run.

This trip includes all accommodations, 5 full days on the water chasing the Sardine Run, and 2 days diving Aliwal Shoal. Your South African experience finishes off in the stunningly picturesque Nambiti Private Game Reserve, a 21,000 acre, Big 5, malaria-free game reserve. The Safari Lodge epitomizes the perfect safari experience with beautiful, luxurious tented suites, excellent service, superb cuisine and prolific wildlife - ensuring an unforgettable experience. Nestled in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields, the lodge offers guests a chance to unwind in a picture-perfect setting.



Aliwal Shoal is home to Oceanic Blacktip Sharks, Ragged Tooth Sharks, Dusky Sharks, occasional Tiger Sharks, Whales, Dolphins, Turtles, Rays, Eels, Game Fish, and more.

During the epic sardine run, you'll be surrounded by dolphins, sharks, diving birds, whales, game fish, seals, and of course millions of sardines that make this one of nature's most awesome events. You'll likely witness passing humpbacks as well. 

Sardine Run South Africa Sardine Run South Africa

Read the reviews on diving South Africa and the recap on our previous South Africa trip.



Diving Conditions

Mid June - mid July is the best time to witness the Sardine Run.

  • Water temperature: Ranges between 15 – 22ºC (59 – 71ºF)
  • Avg. visibility: 2 – 30m
  • Wetsuit needed: 5 – 7 mm wetsuit is recommended
  • Topside temperature: 14 – 25 ºC (58 – 76 ºF) 
  • Minimum dive qualifications: The minimum requirement to join Sardine Run is Open Water Diver with at least 150+ Dives


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  • Dinners, Bed & Breakfast.
  • 1 night at 32 On Harvey Guesthouse
  • 7 nights at Port St John’s River Lodge
  • 4 nights of Luxury Tented Accommodation at Nambithi Game Reserve's lodge
  • Cylinder and weights needed for all Sardine Run & diving days.
  • Snack Lunch Boxes on the boat for Sardine Run water days.
  • All transfers during your stay as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Experienced Dive Master & Skipper.
  • Two (2) 4 hour Game Drives per person per day at the designated times in Nambithi Game Reserve. ALL GUESTS TO HAVE A WINDOW SEAT TO ALLOW FOR PICTURE TAKING.
  • Welcome drink on arrival.
  • Tea’s, Coffee, homemade Biscuits & Rusks from the Tea Station.



  • All Bar services
  • Curio & personal purchases
  • Flights & Taxes
  • Passports & Visas
  • Personal Insurance
  • Dive Gear (can be hired)
  • Gratuities (Budget for approximately R200 per person per day)
  • All additional activities not listed and items of a personal nature

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  • Arrival - June 21st 2020
  • Arrive into King Shaka Durban Airport.
  • Transfer to 32 On Harvey Guesthouse in Umkomaas – (45min drive)
  • Day 1 - June 22nd 2020
  • 2 Dives on Aliwal Shoal (1 Baited Shark + 1 Reef) Afternoon Transfer to Port St John's River Lodge.
  • Day 2 - June 23rd 2020
  • Sardine Run Water Day 1 – Port St John’s River Lodge
  • Day 3 - June 24th 2020
  • Sardine Run Water Day 2 – Port St John’s River Lodge
  • Day 4- June 25th 2020
  • Sardine Run Water Day 3 – Port St John’s River Lodge
  • Day 5 - June 26th 2020
  • Sardine Run Water Day 4 – Port St John’s River Lodge
  • Day 6 - June 27th 2020
  • Sardine Run Water Day 5 – Port St John’s River Lodge
  • Day 7 - June 28th 2020
  • Morning Transfer to Aliwal Shoal after breakfast (approximately 5,5 Hours’ drive) Stopping at Mac Banana along the way. We can arrange afternoon activities when they are here should they wish to do something.
  • Day 8 - June 29th 2020
  • 2 Dives on Aliwal Shoal (1 Reef + 1 Reef) Afternoon Transfer to Nambithi Game Reserve (Approximately 3,5 hours)
  • Day 9 - June 30th 2020
  • 4 Hour Morning Big 5 Game Drive + 4 Hour Evening Big 5 Game Drive. MAX 6 Guests per vehicle to ensure everyone has a “window seat” Free time during the day to relax around the pool.
  • Day 10 - July 1st 2020
  • Same as Day 9
  • Day 11 - July 2nd 2020
  • Same as Day 9
  • Departure Day 12 - July 3rd 2020
  • 3 Hour Morning Big 5 Game Drive
  • 10am: Transfer to the airport for flights after 4pm

32 on Harvey Guesthouse 32 on Harvey Guesthouse

32 on Harvey Guesthouse in Umkomaas

Nambiti Private Game Reserve Tented Accommodation Nambiti Private Game Reserve Tented Accommodation

Nambiti Private Game Reserve


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ABOUT Port St John’s River Lodge

Situated on the mighty Umzimvubu River, Port St. John’s River Lodge provides luxury accommodation, personal attention and excellent cuisine. With tastefully decorated en-suite hotel rooms and comfortably furnished chalets, guests are assured of comfort in a relaxed and peaceful environment. The River Lodge offers a comprehensive A la Carte Restaurant, fully licensed bar, sparkling pool and exceptional scenic views.


Port St John's River Lodge Port St John's River Lodge

Port St John's River Lodge Port St John's River Lodge


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Craig Dietrich is an award-winning underwater photographer based in Jupiter, Florida. From an early age Craig felt the need to express himself artistically and the first time he picked up a camera, he knew he had found the perfect outlet for his creativity and sparked what would become a life-altering passion for photography. Craig served our country as a Naval photographer during both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, when he was given the opportunity to travel the world and his thirst for adventure was born.

After the Navy, Craig learned to scuba dive. Upon breaking the surface the first time, he knew this was a world he wanted to be a part of and a second passion was ignited. Longing to share that world with others, he put together his two greatest loves and ventured into the world underwater photography.

Craig’s underwater photography has been featured in multiple dive publications, won multiple awards and has been sold in upscale galleries from Carmel, California to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He now makes his living teaching underwater photography and selling his photography at art shows throughout the southeastern United States.

To learn more about Craig’s work, visit

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Travel Information

  • International flights: Guests should fly into and out of King Shaka International Airport (code: DUR). Departure flight on July 3 must be after 4pm.
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure: Transfers are included in the price. 

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Payment Schedule  

Deposit: $900

1st Payment: $1000 - Due 10/1/19

2nd Payment: Balance Due 3/1/19

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Call us today at 310-915-6677, email us

Or leave us a message in the live chat box 

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Sardine Run  

Sardine Run South Africa Sardine Run South Africa

Sardine Run South Africa Sardine Run South Africa


Aliwal Shoal

Aliwal Shoal Underwater Photo Aliwal Shoal Underwater Photo

Aliwal Shoal Underwater Photo Aliwal Shoal Underwater Photo


Big 5 Safari

African Big 5 Safari African Big 5 Safari

African Big 5 Safari African Big 5 Safari


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