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Dive with Sharks & Whale Watch in South Africa with the Marine Big 5 Volunteer Project

Get up close and personal with the Marine Big 5 and wildlife in Western Cape


Volunteers will have the opportunity to do regular shark cage dives (all year round), and whale watching (season between June and December). 

  • Your main role is to support staff with various assigned duties on the commercial shark trips (on boats)
  • Volunteers can stay between 1 and 12 weeks.
  • No previous experience is required all you need is a passion for marine life
  • The programme is primarily focused on the Great White Shark and shark cage diving, and also on whale watching and eco tours.
  • Volunteers work with tourists and alongside marine biologists studying the great white shark and other species.
  • The project is also involved in a penguin housing project to address the lack of natural breeding habitat. The project trust also invests heavily in Great White Shark research looking at environmental influences, population studies and more.
  • The project trust opened a Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, which is also a crucial rehabilitation facility. This facility has already saved over 120 penguins and other seabirds. Many volunteers are proud to say they have played an important role in this. The trust has produced eighteen scientific publications, is actively involved in marine pollution efforts, marine animal rescues and has an environmental education programme for the local students. 
  • Volunteers can also sign up for a scuba diving course. 


Accommodation and Food

Accommodation is included in fully equipped cottages plus a communal area with satellite TV, DVD player, board games, pool table and foosball. There is an activity hall with some weights and a table tennis table. The facility has a large, safe swimming pool and garden. 

The accommodation is eco friendly and they grow their own vegetables and have a recycling system in place. 


The area and surrounds also offer some great outdoor activities which are enjoyed on no sea days.

Full cook yourself breakfast is provided - all the breakfast ingredients are supplied, volunteers need to prepare it themselves in the communal kitchen of the lodge. This includes tea, coffee, sugar, milk, bread, butter, eggs and bacon. We also provide veg sausages and fritters for vegetarians.

Lunch is sandwiches, fruit, crisps and juice on the boat and is also provided. Dinner is at the volunteers expense and can be cooked at the accommodation or takeaways ordered in. 

Arrival and Transfers

Volunteers need to arrive at the latest on a Sunday afternoon in Cape Town, and it's best to then sleep over in the city centre, ready for collection (transfers t the project) on the Monday morning. This is because pickups could be as early as 4am on the Monday morning. The drive is a 2 and a half hour drive from Cape Town. On the Monday of departure, volunteers can either be dropped off at any place in the city centre again in Cape Town, and transfers are available to the airport for flights leaving earlier than 8pm from Cape Town Airport.

We can arrange accomodation for you in Cape Town that includes an airport collection should you need that. It is recommended. 

Check out the Cape Town add on before or after your Marine Big 5 project!

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