The programme is hosted in Gansbaai, roughly two hours out of Cape Town. Here, a short distance from the mainland is an incredibly dynamic ecosystem known as Shark Alley, considered one of the best places on the planet to study great white shark behaviour and demographics.
Volunteering with us offers an experience unlike any other in the great white shark capital of the world. It is an incredible opportunity for early-career scientists, post-graduates or avid conservations who are looking to gain experience or get involved with marine conservation initiatives.
Volunteers work alongside our marine biologist helping collect data for great white shark, elasmobranch, fish and environmental research projects. All the data you collect is used to help monitor, protect and preserve our incredible marine species. This programme gives you an opportunity to contribute to meaningful conservation research and support the development of marine science around South Africa’s coastline.
On top of this there will be ample chances to enter the cage, giving you the opportunity to come face to face with great white sharks in an unforgettable diving experience!
Our volunteers play a vital role in field research, data collection and management. Field work typically involves the collection of observational, biological and environmental data, great white shark dorsal fin ID, controlled angling surveys for sharks and fish, tagging with conventional spaghetti tags, baited remote underwater video surveys, snorkelling, shore-based survey methods and more. There will also be a number of chances to participate in the cage diving activities, giving ample opportunities to come face to face with the magnificent great white shark in an unforgettable diving experience.
Our volunteer research programme allows us to continually support innovative conservation and research projects taking place at the Shark Research Group of the University of Stellenbosch and the SA Shark Conservancy, as well as physically contribute through data collection, monitoring, and our own research projects.
With at least 100 million sharks killed every year and the climate constantly changing, it is vital we continue our efforts to understand our sharks and oceans, so we can help save them for the future of our planet.
So come and join us, help us make a difference and continue our efforts towards saving our shark populations!
Our volunteer package includes:
- Pre-departure support including all information regarding medical, safety, visa and project advice
- Transfers to and from Cape Town International airport
- One nights accommodation on arrival in Cape Town
- Transfers to and from the project site
- Transport during the programme and for all field activities
- Accommodation in Hermanus whilst on the programme
- Internet access and satellite TV at the accommodation
- Breakfast basics and lunch provided on working days
- Laundry and maids service provided
- Assistance and support from the volunteer manager before, during and after your stay
- Welcome pack (including information about the programme, warm top, cap, t-shirt, buff and DVD of bonus white shark footage)
- Waterproof deck boots to use for the duration of your stay
- Lectures and information on all current research projects
- Training in all current research projects which includes both field work and data management
- Training in boat-handling skills
- Involvement in outreach and education projects
- Some excursions if we have a number of consecutive bad weather days
- Unforgettable cage-diving experiences with great white sharks!
Price from: $1,950 USD
As we rely on good weather conditions, we recommend staying for a minimum of one month to obtain the full experience of working at WSDC and ensure you have adequate sea time. Start dates are on the 1st of each month. In December we only run a two week programme from the 1st – 14th.
No skills are required to join our programme, you will be taught everything that you need. We suggest you have a moderate level of fitness as there are some long days in the field. Otherwise, we simply ask that you come with a passion for sharks and the ocean, lots of enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn and work!
Please enquire further for more information on how to apply or visit our website!