GANSBAAI: GREAT WHITE SHARK CONSERVATION

Be brave and boost the Great White Shark conservation in Gansbaai, South Africa – a popular fishing town and tourist spot just a couple of hours away from Cape Town – and fearlessly encounter (up close!) one of the world’s greatest ocean predators for a rip-roaring yet meaningful adventure. Millions of these creatures are killed yearly, and we would love you to take part in the altruistic efforts to stop the unnecessary slaughter of the great white sharks. 

Read more about Life As A Marine Volunteer.

DESTINATION

Enjoy an unforgettable stay at the famous seaside village of Gansbaai – the Great White Shark capital of the world, found on South Africa’s southern coast – your lovely home as you live out your volunteer adventure in Africa.

You will be welcomed and briefed at the Great White House where the project office is based. With a quick tour of the facility upon your arrival, you will find two fully-functional briefing rooms, a charming curio shop, and a fully-equipped quaint restaurant. Anyone will enjoy a quick, safe, and easy 10- to 15-minute walk to the office.

ACCOMMODATION

Feel the excitement of each day during your stay with us as you live close to the harbor, witnessing the people’s dash of action as they get on boats and head out to the sea. Have a comfortable stay at one of the dorm rooms sharing with other volunteers a friendly lounge equipped with a DVD player and television, a pleasant dining area, and a lovely kitchen. Enjoy the hot summer evenings with a relaxing swim in the pool, or simply sit back and relax at the outside patio. The neighborhood is a safe place to walk around anytime of the day, and also find a nearby small supermarket.

MEALS

Look forward each day with a help-yourself breakfast and lunch on the boat. Enjoy your afternoons with tea and scones when you return from your volunteer work. Volunteers will have to provide their own dinner, and there are plenty of options available at the local restaurants. You may also cook your own meals at the shared kitchen making meaningful connections with the other volunteers. Maximize each experience as you embark on your volunteer abroad adventure discovering the mesmerizing marine life.

COMMUNICATION

WiFi services available

CLIMATE

Experience a Mediterranean-style climate in Gansbaai: warm and dry summers, cool and wet winters. Gansbaai has an annual average temperature of 17°C (62°F). Good weather with temperatures between 20°C (68°F) and 25°C (77°F) are felt in the months of March, April, May, October, November, and December. August is the coldest month with an average maximum temperature of 17°C, while January is the warmest month with 26°C (78°F) average maximum temperature. Chances of rain are in June, July and August, while dry periods are in months of January, February, November and December.

PROJECT IMPACT AREAS
CAGE DIVING WITH SHARKS

One of the most anticipated activities in this conservation project is cage diving no more than 1m below the surface, to have a close encounter and observe the great white sharks inside a secure floating steel cage specially designed for this purpose. Teaching you on how to get in and out of the cage, and how to stay secure inside it – is a priority before you begin with the task. Meanwhile, you’re expected to record highlights and your observations on the shark in the said activity – size,sex, behaviour, and markings.

Each dive could take up to an hour, depending on the diver, activity of the sharks, and the number of eco-tourists.

RESEARCH

Part of your task is to go out to sea regularly to visit Shark Alley (also known as Dyer Island) – one of the world’s best places to see Great White Sharks – to assist the team in doing varied aspects of research work.

ECO-TOURISM

Part of your volunteer role is to provide assistance in wildlife tour boats. Many of this project’s fleet of vessels are dedicated to Eco-tourism. You will have a meaningful contribution of your time as you educate guests on African marine wildlife.

BASIC SEAMANSHIP

One of the objectives of the conservation volunteer program is to teach volunteers about boat handling, general maintenance, and the basic skills. Furthermore, educational videos and talks on Great White Shark’s behaviour, biology, changing attitudes, conservation, research, attacks, shark tourism, basic seamanship, stills photography and underwater filming – will be provided during off-sea days and in the evenings.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY ARE GREAT WHITE SHARKS ENDANGERED?

There are many reasons causing threats to the Great White Sharks and they include overfishing, dorsal fin poaching, and intoxication from polluted water. Hence, it is important to give emphasis on the conservation of these species. You’ll be working along a dedicated field team of other volunteers and marine biologists to contribute to the conservation programs and projects in South Africa.

ARE SHARKS DANGEROUS?

Sharks, just like any predator, would perceive those smaller in size as prey, and the sea is no exception from this phenomenon. Shark attacks are actually quite rare however the movies seem to exaggerate this event. It is often an accident when the Great White Sharks mistake humans for prey – a fish or other marine species. During your volunteer abroad program, you will be working with these species in supervised and designated waters, where your safety is a number one priority.

WHAT WILL I DO AS A VOLUNTEER ON THE SHARK CONSERVATION PROJECT?

Embark and complete your volunteer abroad adventure in the beautiful Great White Shark capital, Gansbaai in South Africa. You’ll be in Dyer Island, one of the top spots for sightings and close encounters with the Great White Sharks. Among the varied and meaningful volunteer tasks are shark cage diving, observing Great White Sharks and other shark species, helping other volunteers and eco-tourists learn more about the Great Whites and conservation efforts, and completing research projects.

BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING WITH SHARKS

You’ll be glad of the numerous benefits of joining a volunteer program on Shark Conservation in South Africa. Primarily, you get to have an incredible experience seeing up close the famous ocean predators – Great White Sharks and other shark species – in an equally amazing destination. Your gained first-hand fieldwork experience with volunteering projects, data gathering, eco-tourism and travel, will advance your career and make you stand out in your field. This will be the perfect venue for you to exhibit your fascination with marine wildlife and your enthusiasm for shark conservation volunteer works. Here you will also have the beautiful chance to visit other nearby tourist destinations like Cape Town, Mossel Bay and other places in South Africa.

HOW CAN I HELP PROTECT GREAT WHITE SHARKS?

There are plenty of ways you can help protect Great White Sharks, even if you’re not able to join in any volunteer program in Gansbaai. There are several conservation organizations giving emphasis on causes such as beach clean ups and other conservation programs that you can take part in. You can also help increase the awareness of others on Great White Sharks, marine wildlife, research projects and other volunteer opportunities.

OTHER ACTIVITIES
LOCAL ACTIVITIES

Gansbaai’s surrounding area offers a diversification of fascinating places for you to visit. Explore the caves in De Kelders, have a lovely walk along the powdery white sandy beaches of Pearly and Franskraal Beach, and take an adventure hike along the coast. Other great things to do are a curious visit to the Strandveld Museum, discovering the Dangerpoint Lighthouse and fancying a tractor ride in the fynbos.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CAPE TOWN

Gansbaai is just a couple of hours away from the magnificent city of Cape Town. For a spectacular view over the peninsula, take a fun cable ride up Table Mountain or have a festive lunch. Cape Town is also popular for its stunning beaches and variety of cocktail sun-downers abound. You can explore other marvelous places  like Cape Point Peninsula, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, or have the pleasure of trying the  world’s best wines during a Winelands tour.

DATES & RATES
START DATES

Every Monday

RATES

1 weeks: ZAR 10,185

2 weeks: ZAR 18,530

3 weeks: ZAR 26,400

4 weeks: ZAR 31,600

5 weeks: ZAR 38,370

6 weeks: ZAR 45,140

7 weeks: ZAR 51,910

8 weeks: ZAR 58,680

9 weeks: ZAR 65,450

10 weeks: ZAR 72,220

11 weeks: ZAR 78,990

12 weeks: ZAR 85,760

PROJECT FEE INCLUSIONS
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and Lunch each day
  • Project activities, training and resources
  • Airport transfers to and from Cape Town
  • 24 hour support on site from the experienced field team
  • Wifi
PROJECT FEE EXCLUSIONS
  • Flights
  • Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Visa Related Costs
  • Dinner each night (fully equipped kitchen to make own meals)
  • Weekend trips and non-project activities
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund
  • First night’s accommodation in Cape Town
QUICK FACTS
Gansbaai, South Africa
Every Monday
1-12 weeks
Marine Conservation
ZAR 10,185- 85,760
PROJECTS HIGHLIGHTS
  • Live in the world’s Great White Shark capital – the stunning Gansbaai!
  • Gather data and record shark activity
  • Frequent sightings of penguins, seals and the occasional dolphins
  • Fancy daily trips to the sea to meet and study sharks
  • Close or face-to-face encounter with sharks (be fascinated while in the safety of cages)

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