from $1338.00

Tour style – Learn & Volunteer

14 days

This work is conducted under the supervision of the University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria, so be prepared to work hard and get plenty of experience for your efforts! Especially designed for volunteers, working in the unique marine environment at the southern tip of Africa you’ll take part in a well-run research programme right in the home to one of the densest populations of the Great White Shark in the world! It’s here where they breed, eat, play and share their home with threatened colonies of African Penguin, dolphins, seals and thousands of seabird species! The work is tough but there’s plenty of reward! Most days you’ll be out in the open seas on the cage-diving boat, helping the crew and doing a spot of research. This programme also promises time in the underwater cage yourself – so be sure, this one’s not for the faint-hearted!
  • Accommodation Details

    Each volunteer will lodge in a twin share room with a private bathroom. You’ll be shacking up together with seven other volunteers and interns in a big share house so there’s plenty of social activities going on in the down-time! The residence is a large, comfortable and well appointed house close to the Great White House research headquarters from where tours leave and the research is coordinated. You’re well sorted kitchen-and-laundry-wise plus good internet connection to brag about your adventure to those left behind. There’s also a weekly house-keeper to keep sharehouse worries at bay – doesn’t mean you don’t pitch in to help though! The accommodation is in Gansbaai, about 30 minutes by road from the larger town of Hermanus – an important tourist centre. You’re also only 2 hours from Cape Town – close enough for day trips on your time off! The surrounding area offers easy access to the Cape Fynbos – one of the world’s most diverse eco-systems – and countless tourist attractions and activities!

  • Highlights

    In addition to boat-based observation, volunteers will have the opportunity for cage-diving! The experienced captains will also provide plenty of opportunity to learn the ropes of seamanship including safety standards, boat handling and equipment maintenance. This is the ideal opportunity for gaining valuable field research experience and having a bunch of fun along the way! During the programme a number of lectures and field trips will also be held with associations such as Save Our Seas charity, Marine and Coastal Management, Cape Nature and SANPARKS as time allows.

  • Itinerary

    Daily volunteer activities depend on the research topic assigned, staff availability and environmental conditions. The majority of volunteers’ sea-time will be spent aboard “Shark Fever” as a crew member helping out with cage diving operations. Volunteers staying for longer than one month may also have the opportunity to be a part of tracking teams. The cage diving vessel will launch 1-2 times per day when conditions and demand allow. For volunteers that show a good work ethic, time aboard the Lwazi research boat may also be available. So pull those socks up! You’ll also enjoy lectures from marine biologists as well as guest speakers from local, collaborating organisations and universities. Lectures include ocean conservation, basic seamanship, shark biology and behaviour, data collection and the work of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. Other educational programs and events such as research, tracking, and shark dissections will be available depending on conditions and staff availability.

  • Inclusions

    – Transfers between Cape Town and Gansbaai on arrival and departure – Accommodation (including bedding, coffee, tea, cereals etc.) – Internet access at accommodation – There will be a co-ordinator that will take care of you during your stay. Should you experience any problems, you will have someone to turn to. – Tour of Gansbaai and surroundings including a Township Tour as well as visit to famous Danger Point Lighthouse. – Volunteer certificate for programme participation – Certificate of contribution towards Penguin Nesting Project, Faces of Need, should you stay 2 weeks or longer. – Welcome pack – Programme materials – Lectures and related activities – Trips on the boat (weather dependant)

  • Not Included

    – Flight ticket – Medical and travel insurance – Leisure/adventure activities – Meals and cooking: You will be responsible for purchasing your own provisions and preparing your own meals, except the boat lunch on the dive boat, which is provided. – Food (you will need ± 200 GBP / 360 USD / 2500 ZAR for one month) – Use of telephone – Excess baggage

  • Important Information

    – No persons under 18 are allowed on this programme – The programme is conducted in English. There are Spanish guides available between June-December that can help with Spanish speaking volunteers if need be. – It is recommended that volunteers choose to partake for at least 4 weeks, this way each person will be fully immersed in the program and will come away having made the most of it

  • Cardholder Special

    *** All holders of a valid ISIC (International Student Identity Card) will receive a discount off the 4 week course

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