from $721.00

7 days

Every year from July-December the seas off Dyer Island become home to large numbers of Southern Right whales who have journeyed here from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to breed and calve.
Join this unique, newly introduced scheme to offer a limited number of volunteers the rare opportunity to join this boat-based whale watching and research project!
Volunteers become an integral part of our team hosting visitors from South Africa and overseas, assisting the boat crew and helping biologists to collect data and photograph the whales’ behaviour.
After arrival and a gentle easing in process to life at sea, you can generally expect to be out at sea every other day (weather permitting) and in evenings and downtime, you can relax in the volunteer house watching shark documentaries or a good DVD, or head out to a nearby restaurant with your new crew mates!
When weather permits ‘no sea’ days, you will be invited along to a number of excursions including shopping, wine tours, Cape Town sightseeing, and a visit to a nearby penguin colony! You will also be given 4 fascinating lectures to help you learn more about the area, marine life and conservation work on Dyer Island.
This is a great opportunity to gain experience within the world of marine biology; become an expert on these magnificent creatures and partake in a project that certainly stands out on your CV!
  • Day 1 (Arrival day)

    You will receive a welcome pack.
    You will be given a full induction about the program and what it entails.
    You will be taken into Gansbaai to go shopping and obtain food to prepare your evening meals with.
    Basic seamanship and an orientation of the boat will be given but if not permissible this will be done prior to your first trip or whilst on the boat.

  • First Boat trip

    You will be a client on your first trip, sitting in on the safety briefing given by the skipper. You will be able to get your sea legs and see how the boat operates. You will be able to take pictures and view the whales from the boat.

  • Trips to Sea

    You will be able to go to sea a minimum of every other day. For example a 30-day stay enables you to go to sea at least 15 times. Please note that this will be the minimum (depending on no sea days and weather), but can be more and we do our best to accommodate you as often as possible.

  • Jobs- On the Boat

    Whilst on the boat you will be able to do the following:

    – Help to prepare the boat
    – Assist the clients on the boat – answering any questions they have, informing them about whales and dolphins, offering help to any people suffering from sea sickness
    – Collecting data on whale sightings and behaviour
    – Viewing the whales and dolphins and taking pictures
    – Cleaning the boat after trips
    – Walking clients up and down from the Great White house between trips
    – Assist with lifejackets

  • Off Days

    If you are not scheduled to go on the boat the following will be available for you to do:
    – Input data into the database
    – Contribute to a monthly blog about your experience
    – Walk around the local area – along to the lighthouse
    – Horse riding and quad biking (this is at an extra cost to yourself)
    – Or simply just relax, read, write your journal, and watch TV!

  • No Seadays

    If the weather does not allow the boat to go out to sea then you will be taken on one of the following excursions:
    – Hermanus – shopping, wine tours
    – Betty’s Bay – penguin colony
    – Cape Agulus – meeting of the two oceans
    – Cape Town – shopping, Table Mountain, Robeen Island, and going for a “jol.” (party!)
    If there is something else you would like to do on these days, you are welcome to talk to the organiser, Tracey, to arrange.

  • Lectures

    As part of your program you will be given four lectures that will be conducted when time permits with regards to sea conditions and the number of trips.
    Your lectures will be on:
    – Whales and Dolphins of the area (Katja V. Petersen, PhD)
    – The Great White Shark (Allison Towner, MSc)
    – Tagging of the Great White Shark (Oliver Jewell, MSc)
    – Dyer Island Conservation Trust Overview – Marine Big 5 – Sharks, Whales, Penguins, Seals, Dolphins (Brenda Walters)
    – Basic Seamanship (Hennie Otto)
    – Species interactions in the bay (Michelle Wcisel, MSc)

  • Evenings

    During the evenings you will be able to do any of the following:
    – Relax at home, making food together, watch satellite TV or shark documentaries
    – Rent DVD’S
    – Three restaurants in town offer a pick up and drop off service so you are able to go and eat out should you wish to.

  • Highlights

    -Take up a challenge to play a pivotal role in observing and promoting these graceful and majestic creatures
    -See whales in their natural environment
    -Work experience as a crew assistant on live whale watching tours
    -Help marine biologists with data collection, sightings and boat maintenance
    -Meet people from all over the world and share the knowledge you learn on the way
    -Live in the ‘great white shark’ capital of the world, Gansbaai, with its picturesque scenery and friendly locals!

  • Inclusions

    – Transfers between Cape Town accommodation (your specified accoom) and Gansbaai on arrival and departure
    – Accommodation (including bedding, coffee, tea, cereals etc)
    – Intemet access at accommodation
    – Tour of Gansbaai and surroundings including a Township Tour, a visit to the famous Danger Point Lighthouse and the pre-historic Klipgat caves.
    – Lectures and related activities
    – Trips on the boat (weather dependant)
    – Programme materials
    -2 x T-shirts (please state t-shirt size) – 1x Cap -1x Jacket (return after completion of programme or can be purchased at an additional cost.)
    – 1 x pair of water boots (please state shoe size)
    – 1 x DVD of a trip of your choice as well as a bonus and promotional DVD
    – Volunteer certificate for programme participation

  • Not Included

    – Flights
    – Travel insurance
    – Food (you will need £200 / U$360 / R2,500 for one month)
    – 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.
    – Lodging for the first night after arrival in Cape Town and the night before departure. We can arrange affordable back packer lodges from £15-20 / US$30-50 /R200-350 per night)
    – Leisure/Adventure Activities
    – Airport Pick up is not Included

  • Duration

    (6n/7d),(13n/14d),(20n/21d),(27n/28d) are available to be booked. We encourage longer stays to make the most of your volunteer experience.

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