South Africa Group Trip
Click on the following links to jump to: Dates & Prices | Brief Itinerary | Detailed Itinerary | Inclusions/Exclusions | Flight Info | Payment Info | How to book | Photos & Video | FAQ
2017 SOUTH AFRICA GROUP TRIP
JOIN BLUEWATER TRAVEL'S KATIE YONKER ON AN AMAZING TRIP TO SEE GREAT WHITE SHARKS, SEVERAL OTHER SPECIES OF SHARKS AT ALIWAL SHOAL, THE FAMOUS SARDINE RUN AND A LAND-BASED OPEN VEHICLE SARAFI
Start by spending two days cage diving with great white sharks, followed by diving Aliwal Shoal, home to Oceanic Blacktip Sharks, Ragged Tooth Sharks, Dusky Sharks, occasional Tiger Sharks, Whales, Dolphins, Turtles, Rays, Eels, Game Fish, and more. We'll also spend 5 full days witnessing the epic sardine run where 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. Then spend 3 days on an open vehicle safari in a wildlife preserve to see the "Big 5" - Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Rhino, and Buffalo. Finally, we'll finish off the last day of our trip with a morning hippo and crocodile cruise before heading home.
WHY GO ON THIS AMAZING TRIP
> A chance to combine amazing marine and mammal life, above and below the water
> Small group size of no more than 16 guests, and a max of 8 pax on the Sardine Run boats
> Our home base for the Sardine Run is Port St. Johns, which has more reliable Sardine Run action than Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, where many other operators run trips
> This trip includes 2 days with great whites, 3 days diving Aliwal Shoal, 5 days of sardine run action, 3 days of an open vehicle safari, and a morning hippo and croc river cruise
> This trip is during the peak time for the Sardine Run
WHY TRAVEL WITH BLUEWATER
> We book boats and resorts that offer the best overall value
> Fun, engaged trip leaders who care about the guest experience
> Repeat customer discounts, gear discounts and other benefits
> Great support if flight/weather issues occur
DATES & PRICES
June 17 - July 2, 2017
$3,950: 16 day/15 night Great Whites + Aliwal + Sardine Run + Safari
Rates are per person, based on double occupancy.
- Day 1: Arrive Cape Town International Airport - Transfer to Gansbaai - Overnight in Gansbaai
- Day 2: Great White Shark Cage Diving - Overnight in Gansbaai
- Day 3: Great White Shark Cage Diving - Overnight in Gansbaai
- Day 4: Transfer to Cape Town International Airport - Fly to Durban - Transfer to Umkomaas - Overnight in Umkomaas
- Day 5: 2 x Aliwal Shoal Shark Dives - Overnight in Umkomaas
- Day 6: 2 x Aliwal Shoal Shark Dives - Transfer to Port St. Johns - Overnight in Port St. Johns
- Day 7: Full Day Sardine Run Action - Overnight in Port St. Johns
- Day 8: Full Day Sardine Run Action - Overnight in Port St. Johns
- Day 9: Full Day Sardine Run Action - Overnight in Port St. Johns
- Day 10: Full Day Sardine Run Action - Overnight in Port St. Johns
- Day 11: Full Day Sardine Run Action - Transfer to Umkomaas - Overnight in Umkomaas
- Day 12: 2 x Aliwal Shoal Shark Dives - Transfer to St. Lucia - Overnight St. Lucia
- Day 13: Full Day Guided Open Vehicle Safari - Overnight St. Lucia
- Day 14: Full Day Guided Open Vehicle Safari - Overnight St. Lucia
- Day 15: Full Day Guided Open Vehicle Safari - Overnight St. Lucia
- Day 16: Morning Hippo and Crocodile River Cruise - Transfer to Durban International Airport
DETAILED TRIP ITINERARY
Included in the 16 day/15 night package:
- 15 nights accommodations in quality lodges with ensuite facilities
- All ground transfers between airports, lodges, and dive/safari activities
- Daily breakfast
- Lunch on the 2 great white shark dive days
- Lunch on the open vehicle safari days
- 2 days of cage diving with great whites
- 3 day of shark diving at the Aliwal Shoal
- 5 days of Sardine Run diving and snorkeling
- 3 days of an open vehicle safari
- Morning Hippo and Croc river cruise
- Tanks, air fills, weights, and weight belt (nitrox is not needed due to the shallow depth)
- Dive permits
- An amazing time with a fun group of like-minded travelers!
Excluded from the 16 day/15 night package:
- International airfare
- Domestic one-way flight between Cape Town and Durban (cost is about $45 - $90, depending on the airline)
- Lunches and dinners, except as specified in inclusions
- Drinks/alcoholic beverages
- Personal dive and/or travel insurance
Fly into Cape Town International Airport (code: CPT) on June 17. Though you can arrive any time, we do not recommend a late night arrival, as the transfer to Gansbaai takes a couple hours. You'll need to buy a one-way ticket from Cape Town International Airport (code: CPT) to Durban International Airport (code: DUR) for June 20. You can depart Durban International Airport (code: DUR) on July 2 any time after 4:30pm. We can assist guests in flight suggestions and booking assistance.
$500 deposit due at booking
$1,500 due January 15, 2017
$1,950 due March 15, 2017
- Email email@example.com for more info and to book your spot!
- Call us at (310) 915-6677
- Stop by our office at 3961 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 206 Culver City, CA 90230
ABOUT KATIE YONKER
Katie is a travel advisor for Bluewater Travel and also manages the company. Though no stranger to the Southern California waters, Katie prefers to travel around the world and experience new cultures, food, and marine environments. Katie has led trips to the Red Sea, Maldives, Cocos, Guadalupe, Anilao, Raja Ampat and Komodo.
Katie arriving to the remote island of Kosrae.
GANSBAAI ACCOMMODATION: The accommodation in Gansbaai is an upmarket lodge facing the ocean. It includes a restaurant, rooftop jacuzzi, pool table, ping pong table, free wifi, and is a short 2-5 minute walk to many shops and restaurants.
UMKOMAAS ACCOMMODATION: The accommodation in Umkomaas is a small beachfront dive lodge overlooking the Aliwal Shoal, with ocean views from every room. There's a restaurant, swimming pool, sandy beach, BBQ area, kitchen facilities, and free wifi.
PORT ST. JOHNS ACCOMMODATION: The accommodations in Port St. Johns overlook the river, have awesome views of Mount Thesiger, and private balconies. The property features a restaurant, bar area, swimming pool, BBQ area, and wifi access.
ST. LUCIA ACCOMMODATION: The accommodation in St. Lucia is an upmarket lodge located in the village. It features subtropical gardens, swimming pool, a restaurant, bar, and free wifi.
GREAT WHITE SHARK DIVING
ALIWAL SHOAL SHARK DIVING
LAND-BASED OPEN VEHICLE SAFARI
Q: What are the passport and visa requirements?
A: You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 30 days beyond the date of proposed departure with at least 2 blank pages. United States citizens are not required to have a visa for stays of 90 days or less.
Q: What should I bring?
A:The area is very casual. Evening and early mornings are cold so you will want pants, a windbreaker, fleece and jackets. During the day the weather is warm so bring shorts, t-shirts, and a windbreaker. Also bring shoes or sneakers, sandals, towels, suntan lotion, and sunglasses, medications, decongestants, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
The Sardine Run takes place during winter so warm clothing, jackets, and sweatshirts are advisable. A warm waterproof jacket is also a good idea.
Q: Do I need my own dive gear?
A: Rental gear is available for an additional cost should you need it.
Q: Can I pay a single supplement if I want my own room?
A: Yes, for all accommodations except the 1 night spent in Umkomaas. That's because the lodge only has 8 double occupancy rooms, so our group of 16 will fill the resort with two guests in each room.
Q: What happens if we miss dives because of weather?
A: If diving is cancelled due to weather or sea conditions, local excursions will be arranged to take in some of the highlights of the area. We highly recommend trip insurance so that you've covered for any unforeseen circumstances!
Q: How many dives will we do?
A: The Sardine Run is different from a typical dive trip. It's a snorkeling, free diving, and scuba adventure, not a scuba diving holiday where you can count the number of dives in a day. When on the Sardine Run, we go out on the boat for about 6 to 7 hours each day. The main focus is to find the bait ball action and see it the best way possible. Sometimes the action is moving fast and there isn't time to kit up in scuba gear, so we snorkel and/or free dive. When the bait balls are more stationary and look like they will stay around a while, then we can kit up in scuba gear.
Q: How many people do the boats hold?
A: We will be using 2 boats for 16 guests (8 guests per boat.)
Q: Are the tanks DIN or yoke?
A: Tanks are 12L steel cylinders which are both yoke or DIN compatible.
Q: What's the average depth of the dives?
A: The depth varies from 25 - 60 feet depending on the dives. Most are drift dives and there are sometimes strong currents.
Q: What are the average air and water temperatures in June/July?
A: Day time temperature: 50°F - 77°F
Night time temperature: 43°C - 54°F
Water temperature: 64°C - 70°C
Q: What wetsuit thickness will I need?
A: That depends on how cold you get in low 60s to low 70s water. People wear anything from 5mm to 7mm with a shortie over top and a hood. You can bring a drysuit, but keep in mind that sometimes we must kit up very quickly.
Q: Do I need an electrical adapter?
A: The South African electricity supply is 220/230V AC 50 Hz. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins. Bring an adapter with you, or they can be purchased locally.
Q: Do I need any vaccines?
A: You can check the CDC website for recommended vaccines for travel to South Africa here, and/or check with your physician.
Q: Will I get seasick?
A: If you tend to get seasick, we recommend you take dramamine, Bonine, or another seasickness medication.
Q: How much spending money do I need?
A:.The only spending money you need will be for lunches on days when it's not included, dinner, drinks, souvenirs, tips, etc. Most places accept credit cards and there are cash machines available in most places.
SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:
The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear
Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!
The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips
Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.