Program Details

  • Program Type: Volunteer
  • Location: South Africa
  • Starting Price: EUR 1,301.74
South Africa

Volunteers work with researchers and biologists on a great white sharks conservation project

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Marine Conservation & Ecotourism: Sharks, Whales & Penguins  

Work alongside marine biologists fighting to save the great white sharks! Volunteers work both on land and sea and get completely involved in researching and caring for the animals.  Being "hands on" with the animals using the project's shark cages and boats, volunteers will learn all about the behaviour of the animals and the climate of the sea, even watching dissections. 

Volunteers who are keen photographers will also be given a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to get up close to the sharks and marine life in their natural habitat.  

Volunteer tasks 

The program is a combination of several different experiences – mostly ecotourism and conservation through assisting and educating clients of Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises, but also seabird rehabilitation, beach clean ups, assembly of fishing line bins and some research. 

Volunteers can choose whatever they want to do when they arrive at the research center.  Some of the volunteers are more focussed on completing a dive course, others are keen on data and rehabilitation work, some of them are only here for the awesome shark experiences on the boat and are relaxing the rest of the time.  Volunteers will get an orientation session on arrival and the local coordinators will tailor-make their experience according to their interests and ability.

Volunteers choose from day-to-day which boats they would like to assist on.  The majority prefer the shark cage-diving vessel, but some choose to only go on the ecotour/whale-watching vessel, while others do a bit of both.  Many of them also help out with bird rehabilitation work at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, doing the boat trips in-between. 

Work days will be Monday to Friday.

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  • Bec Haughey – Australia Great White Sharks Volunteer

    Volunteering at the shark conservation project was the most amazing thing I have ever done! The staff are absolutely amazing and will go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable while in their care. The other people I volunteered with were out of this world! Each and every one of them is a friend for life! And then there are the sharks! Whether they are just cruising by, curiously checking out the bait, decoy and cage or performing – seeing them in their natural habitat and just existing is an experience like no other. Took my breath away every single time! Being down in the cage, having them swim right by you (sometimes even at you with their mouth open) is insane and an incredible experience you will never forget! It gets addictive! As a Marine Science student from Perth, Western Australia it was an amazing and very valuable learning experience to be able to work so closely with them! Thanks to everyone for the best month of my life! It wasn’t long enough and I’ll definitely be back. If you are considering volunteering or even just taking the plunge in the cage – DO IT! You won’t regret it!

  • Agustin Paladini – Argentina Great White Sharks Volunteer

    I am so happy about my experience in South Africa , I love this country. My volunteer experience was really awesome!! , I met a lot of friendly people. The shark project is so nice , I worked with different people around the world ,variety of jobs and Kleinbaai is amazing!. The boat ,the lodge, all the different activities , the crew , the vols and everybody who is part of this project , is really unbelievable. The project was important for me , my partners spoke perfect english !

  • Simon Aebi - Switzerland Great White Sharks Volunteer

    Thanks you for everything!! I really want come back again , I hope so. Its an amazing experience and gives you a good introduction in marine biology. After this programme you will love sharks and you will have met a great crew and staff. They offers you with that programme not just a working experience abroad, you are getting part of a big family in Kleinbaai. I had the chance to learn so much about sharks and about marine conservation. This programme is just awesome! Thank you for everything, you guys made this four weeks so special….Thanks and i will come back!!

Our volunteer project inclusions

  •  Airport pick up
  • Accommodation
  • Orientation and welcome BBQ
  • 2 meals a day
  • Weekly social events
  • Transport to and from the projects
  • 24 hour support and supervisor on project
  • Donation to the NPO to assist with projects
  • Certificate of appreciation

Food and Accommodation 

- Price is based on shared dormitory rooms 

- Self-help breakfast and self-help lunch will be provided Monday to Friday.  Volunteers are welcome to use the fully equipped kitchen in the main building. 

Terms and conditions for volunteers

  • Up to date CV/ resume
  • Copy of return flight itinerary
  • Police clearance
  • Basic level of English; understanding and speaking
  • Acceptance subject to availability of position

Payment & Cancellation

€300 deposit is required for booking. The outstanding amount is due 8 weeks prior to departure. 

If you cancel less than 30 days before the programme starts, a 50% cancellation fee will apply. If you cancel less than 14 days before arriving, there will be a 100% cancellation fee.

No refund will made after commencement of the program. 


Our local charity relies on travellers to volunteer on various schemes around South Africa. We place volunteers into local communities and projects, assisting in building projects and allowing travellers to contribute to a growing community as well as making new friends.

The organisation is non-profitable and always ensures that all funding goes directly into the projects. The fee price for the volunteer experience will cover your accommodation and transport as well as a donation the projects.

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