Assist with Great White Shark conservation in Gansbaai, South Africa and meet one of the ocean’s greatest predators up close for a thrilling adventure of a lifetime. Play your part in stopping the needless slaughter of over 100 million sharks annually.
- The project is based in Gansbaai, a seaside village on the south coast of South Africa, known as the Great White Shark capital of the world
- In Shark Alley, you will be likely to see seals, penguins and the occasional dolphins
- The shark team document shark activity using data collection methods
- Marine conservation volunteers will enjoy regular trips to sea to view or cage dive with the Great Whites
- Divers will get to experience Great Whites from the safety of cages
Gansbaai is known for being one of the most astonishing land-based whale watching spots in the world and has drawn visitors from across the globe. Known as the Great White Shark capital of the world, this little fishing town will become your home away from home during your work and volunteer experience in Africa.
You will stay close to the harbour, which bustles with action as people head out on boats to sea. The house is very comfortable with dorm rooms, a kitchen, dining area and lounge with television and DVD player. You can relax on the outside patio and cool off in the swimming pool on hot summer evenings. There is a small supermarket nearby and you can safely walk around at any time of day or night.
The project office is based at The Great White House where you will be briefed. This facility has a fully equipped restaurant and curio shop and two dedicated briefing rooms. Walking to the office is easy, quick and safe and will only take between 10 and 15 minutes.
Breakfast is a help-yourself affair. You will enjoy lunch on the boat and tea and scones in the afternoons when you return from your day’s work. Dinner is your responsibility - you can explore one of the local restaurants or cook your own meals at home. Embark on the adventure of a lifetime as you discover an amazing new world under the sea.
The project is based in Gansbaai, a diverse and scenic seaside village situated approximately two hours south east of Cape Town, in South Africa. Known as the Great White Shark capital of the world, Gansbaai thrives on fishing and tourism. Fieldwork will take place around Dyer Island and other shark locations. Dyer Island (popularly known as Shark Alley) is one of the best places in the world to see Great Whites.
The shark team documents shark activity using photo ID and other data collection methods. The area around Dyer Island is the perfect habitat for the Great White, and the island itself is the breeding ground for African Penguins, Cape Cormorants and Gannets. Geyser Rock, which is opposite the island, is a breeding mecca for Cape Fur Seals and is currently home to approximately 60,000 seals. In season, whales and sometimes dolphins can be spotted.
About the Great White Shark Conservation Project
Roaming the world's oceans, the Great White Shark is undoubtedly one of the top predators of the seas. Cloaked in myth, misunderstanding and fear, this awesome fish remains a mystery to humans. Sharks are intelligent and vulnerable, and deserve sympathy and respect. Education helps to dispel the numerous myths about them, and people begin to realize that sharks are a complex and precious species.
The Great White Shark Project is a unique opportunity to view these creatures in their natural environment, both from a boat and an underwater cage. The knowledge which you have gained will assist in the conservation and research of the sharks in particular, and their marine environment in general.
This project works in conjunction with world-leading organizations focusing on the Great White Shark and dedicated to their conservation.
It is dedicated to the exploration and conservation of the ocean’s greatest predator, the Great White Shark, and its environment. The project works with students, eco-tourists, scientists, conservation organizations and marine resource users (subsistence fishermen, sport divers and dive operators) to gather data, correct negative misconceptions about sharks, and stop the needless slaughter of over 100 million sharks annually.
Finding the Great White Shark is a skill, involving years of practice - the water temperature, depth, visibility, swell height, current and wind direction are all major factors. They are surface feeders, so volunteers will be spellbound when seeing the Great White lift its head right out of the water to take the bait, sometimes breaching completely. Volunteers will get to experience Great Whites from the safety of cages, as well as from the safety of the boat, where exhilarating photographs and video footage may be captured at close range.
In Shark Alley, you will be likely to see seals, penguins and the occasional dolphins, as well as magnificent southern right whales coming up from sub-Antarctic waters to breed from July to November. These expeditions are more than just thrill-seeking adventures, they are educational experiences.
Volunteer Activites While on the Project
The program provides volunteers with hands-on, practical experience in working with Great White Sharks. Volunteers will enjoy regular trips to sea to view / cage dive with the Great Whites, and will be involved in all aspects of the work, which includes preparing baits, packing the boat, washing the equipment, working with the eco-tourists, recording data on the sharks and even helping with the dishes. The expeditions mean getting up early, working during long days at sea, and then relaxing with the crew or other volunteers at night.
Weather permitting, you will go to sea frequently, where you will get involved in many aspects of sea work. This will focus on working with the sharks from above and below the water. Emphasis will be placed on observing behaviour and the interactions of sharks around the boat and you will also be assisting with ecotourists who are there to experience the magnificent Great White first hand.
CAGE DIVING WITH GREAT WHITE SHARKS
Once anchored, the project makes use of a specially designed, secure steel cage, which floats on the surface, with divers no more than 1m below the surface. Volunteers will be taught how to get in and out of the cage and how to remain secure and safe inside. Volunteers are assigned duties for the day like taking care of the tourists or data recording of observations on the Great Whites, including sex, size, markings and behaviour. Diving takes place on a rotational basis on good diving days. The duration of each dive depends on the diver, the number of eco-tourists and the activity of the sharks, but could be up to half an hour per dive. No Scuba qualifications are needed
WHITE SHARK FIELD RESEARCH DATA COLLECTION
Volunteers who show interest in research will be taught how to collect data in the field on free- swimming white sharks. At sea, you'll be focused on working with the sharks from above and below the water, observing behaviour and the interactions of sharks around the boat. You will be educated in an informal environment, learning about the behaviour of the great whites, their history and the urgent need for research. You will be able to share this knowledge with the tourists, thereby directly helping with raising awareness of the need for conservation of this magnificent species.
BACK ON LAND
Once you come back to land you will help by washing wetsuits and wet weather gear and preparing it for the next day. If you are interested in research you will assist by entering data on the computer or helping to compile a daily blog.
- African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary Marine Pollution
- Marine Animal Strandings
- BRUV Studies
- Endemic Shark Species Project
- Environmental Sampling
- Community and Local Animal Shelter Assistance
If you would like to know more details about the above mentioned sectors of the project please let me know and I will send you more information.
- Airport Transfers
- Three meals per day
- 24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff
- Tea, coffee and filtered water
- Orientation program
- Medical and travel insurance
- Weekend trips and other non-project activities
Making a booking
If you want to reserve your place on a trip we ask you to place a deposit of £0 to secure your place. Should you wish to discuss your trip with us, please either email email@example.com or call 0203 394 0050.
|Sunday 13th Aug 2017 - Saturday 26th Aug 2017||£1,000|
|Sunday 10th Sep 2017 - Saturday 23rd Sep 2017||£1,000|
|Sunday 8th Oct 2017 - Saturday 21st Oct 2017||£1,000|
|Sunday 12th Nov 2017 - Saturday 25th Nov 2017||£1,000|
|Sunday 10th Dec 2017 - Saturday 23rd Dec 2017||£1,000|
|Monday 6th Aug 2018 - Monday 20th Aug 2018||£1,000|
|Monday 10th Dec 2018 - Monday 24th Dec 2018||£1,000|