Cape Town
14 Days
Age recommendations

 Great White Shark Volunteering Programme

Join this incredible Great White Shark Volunteer Programme for an experience in South Africa unlike any other.

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The programme is held in Gansbaai, the Great White Shark Capital of the world. The area is a perfect setting due to its rich ecosystem that is home to an abundance of marine life. The programme is held in conjunction with the White Shark Diving Company Research and Volunteer Institute and is dedicated to protecting and conserving sharks.

Why join the programme?

The White Shark Volunteer Programme offers a unique opportunity to be involved in some incredible and groundbreaking research into these ancient marine species.

You will also be involved in helping with data deficient research on the smaller shark species along the coast of South Africa.

The aim is to obtain us much information as we can on sharks and how they impact the ocean environment. We are also concerned about the dwindling numbers and how we can make an impact in their preservation.

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Your mission?

Discover, explore and monitor the various shark species through scientific research projects and hopefully translate that knowledge obtained into feasible evidence-based conservation initiatives for the future well being of these incredible marine animals.

When is the Programme held?

The Programme starts on the 1st of every month.

What you will be involved in ?

During your stay you will be actively involved in the field research which includes:

  • Learn practical and theoretical skills to Great White shark data collection
  • White Shark Dorsal Fin analysis
  • Ethical handling of Great White Sharks in the open sea
  • Tagging of the sharks
  • Genetic sampling
  • Shark Cage diving experience (yes you will be inside the cage many a time)
  • Encounters and knowledge of other marine species like seals and whales
  • Active involvement in the Community and environmental outreach initiatives

The focal point on the programme is the Great White Shark. Although there has been ongoing research on the species for over 20 years there is still so much to learn. You will be involved in a holistic approach to shark conservation as well. This will include ideas on conservation, diversity and behavior patterns of other shark species. This includes the marine eco system and how it affects shark populations.

 White Shark Population Monitoring

This is one of the key projects you will be involved in and plays an important role in the future of the species. Volunteers will be required to complete the research data sheets on the shark cage diving boats. The data collected includes observational behavior of the White Sharks, dorsal fin identification including photo shots and environmental factors like sea conditions and debris.

At the end of the Programme volunteers will present their research and compile a report on their findings.

Trip Information

You would need to book your flight into Cape Town International airport. (there is a possibility to transit via Johannesburg as well)

On your departure date, you would need to ensure that your flight is scheduled for the late afternoon. This is to ensure that can get you to the airport after the day’s activities on time.

The accommodation facilities

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Please note that we take up to 8 volunteers at a time, so you may be requested to share.

The volunteer house is situated in Kleinbaai which is a mere 10-minute walk from the harbour where we launch the boats. Kleinbaai is a quaint little town that with lots of beaches, hiking trails and other outdoor activities to keep you busy on your off days. Gansbaai is 5 minutes away by car and includes some top-notch restaurants and shops.

Working hours on the White Shark Volunteer Programme

You will be required to attend ALL the research projects that may be running at the time. We cannot let you know what they are as they do change frequently.

Because the weather can be very volatile and unpredictable at times, the working hours can be erratic. Having said that there will be times where the days can be very long and includes some weekend work as well.

But we are not slave drivers…we will allow you 1 day off a week to get a rest from the sharks and marine environment to deserve that well-earned beer with the locals.

1 nights accommodation in Cape town
Return airport transfers
Return transfers to Gansbaai-The Great White Capital of the World
Accommodation while on the programme
Breakfast and lunch on your working days
Welcome pack which includes a DVD of the Great White Sharks, warm top, t-shirt and beanie
Waterproof deck boots while on the boats
Boat trips (weather dependent)
Cage diving experience
Practical training in all of the current research projects
White shark data collection on all cage diving trips with clients
Shark behavior and demographic observation
Data analysis
Seal Surveys
Rocky Shores survey
Marine Debris analysis
Outreach activities
Boat handling skills training
Day tour excursions on days of bad weather
On board marine biologist
Basic first aid kit
Dedicated Trip Planner
Local Taxes

Flights and airport taxes
Items of a personal nature
Meals (other than basics provided for breakfast and light lunch on working days)
Visas for South Africa
Health requirements (if any)
Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
Snacks, personal medicine
Meals & drinks not specified

Come face to face with a Great White Shark

5 star hosting facilities

Custom built Shark Cage diving boat

On board Marine Biologist

Dedicated videographer on each trip

Experienced Crew

Value for Money

Upon arrival in cape town

Volunteers for the Great White Shark Volunteers Programme will be collected from the Cape Town International Airport and taken through to our selected accommodation within the city. You will spend just the 1 night here. And the second day we will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to Gansbaai-about a 2 hour drive.

On arrival in Gansbaai

We will show you your accommodation for the duration of the Great White Shark Programme and let you get settled down. We will then introduce you to your team for the duration of your stay. If conditions are good, we may take you out to sea for hopefully your first sightings of the sharks or any other marine species. If the weather or sea conditions are not very favourable we will then spend the day in induction.

Prior to your arrival?

The Shark research and volunteer manager will be in contact via email to help you with any pre trip advice or questions.

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