Great White Shark and Marine Project <strong>Province</strong>: Western Cape<br />

Great White Shark and Marine Project

Town: Gansbaai

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Rate per week in ZAR: 8800
Duration: Min 2 weeks but we suggest 4 weeks. You can extend for any length of time.
Dates: 1st & 15th of every month throughout the year
Introduction: Roaming the worlds oceans, the Great White Shark is undoubtedly the greatest predatory force of the seas. Cloaked in myth, misunderstanding and fear, this awesome animal remains a mystery to man.

The Great White Shark Project is a unique opportunity to view the Great White Shark in its natural environment, either from a boat or an underwater cage. You'll also see other wildlife species, including Cape Gannets, Bryde Whales, Cape Fur Seals, Dolphins and Jackass Penguins.

On this project you'll learn a lot about the Great White and then you'll put that knowledge to use by assisting in conservation and research into this awesome animal.

Sharks are intelligent and vulnerable, deserving of sympathy and respect. Education helps people to lose the Jaws phenomenon and gain the realisation that sharks are a complex and precious species, living in the water - just doing their best to survive.

White Shark Projects is a world leading organisation focusing on the Great White Shark. Founded in 1989 purely as a research centre, since 1989 it has grown and broadened its services to include an excellent film department, diving and viewing centre and a separate conservation and educational department. "Everything we do we aim to do in harmony with nature and the environment we are working in."

The dedicated Shark Team have been conducting population dynamics and behavioural research since 1991.
Location: The program will run out of Gansbaai, South Africa. The White Shark fieldwork will take place around Dyer Island and possibly other shark locations. Dyer Island (Shark Alley!) is possibly the best place in the world to see Great Whites. Gansbaai is a seaside village, which depends on fishing and tourism for its survival. It is situated approximately two hours south east of Cape Town.

The shark team document a lot of shark activity using aerial surveys of the island. On one of the main research sites, Dyer Island, many other wildlife species can be viewed from the boat. It is the breeding ground for Jackass Penguins, Cape Cormorants and Gannets, whilst Geyser Rock opposite, is a breeding mecca for Cape Fur Seals and currently home to approximately 20 000 seals. In season Whales and an occasional Dolphin can be spotted. This is a perfect habitat for the Great White.
Getting to Project: We request that volunteers sleep over in Cape Town city centre on a Sunday as our pickups on a Monday morning could start as early as 4am. We will be in contact with you on the Sunday via mail, or leave a message with the pickup time at the reception of your accommodation.
Project: The programme is a combination of several different experiences, mostly ecotourism and conservation through assisting and educating clients of Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises, but also seabird rehabilitation, beach clean ups, assembly of fishing line bins and some research. We get to know the volunteers when they arrive and tailor-make their experience according to their interests and ability.
Animals: We work in an marine environment, and the most common species we work with on a daily basis if we are luck is sharks, whales, seals, penguins and dolphins

Accommodation: We have 4 cottages, each sleeping 6 pax. We normally reserve two for males and 2 for female. Each cottage consist of 2 bedrooms, that sleeps 2 single beds, and one open plan room with 2 single beds. Each cottage has got his own bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. A fully equipped kitchen with a microwave and fridge.
Program: You'll receive training in White Shark biology, research, behaviour, conservation, changing attitudes, shark attacks, basic seamanship(includes anchoring positions, wind directions, underwater filming, still photography and shark tourism.

Weather permitting you will go to sea frequently. At sea, you'll get involved as much as possible with all aspects of sea work. This will be focused on working with the sharks from above and below the water. Much emphasis will be placed on observing behaviour and the interactions of sharks around the boat. You will be taught how to get in and out of the cage and how to remain secure and safe in the cage. Participants in the cages will record observations of the White Sharks. This will include sex, size, markings and behaviour.

This training is designed to educate you to a level of competence of a field assistant. During the training, you will be evaluated on how you handle teamwork, take your own initiatives, take interest in the work and activities, show interest in learning.

Program may include: x
Includes: -Included
Monday transfer from Cape Town City center at the beginning of your programme
Monday transfer to airport/back to City center at the end of your programme
Shark cage-dive as a client
Video link of this dive
Additional dives if time, weather and sharks permit
Self-help breakfasts (tea, coffee, juice, toast, eggs, bacon/veggie sausage, cereals, milk)
Self-help lunch on boats (sandwich, juice, fruit)
Accommodation at International Marine Volunteer Center
Bed linen washed weekly
Two T-shirts and cap
Use of a jacket (may be kept if staying for four weeks or longer)
Transport to and from group activities on no-sea days
Free entrance to the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, either before/after your trip (let us know a few days in advance so that we can arrange this)
All trips on vessels
Training, presentations and conservation activities
Use of bicycles
Should you stay for four weeks or longer a donation is made to the Faces of Need artificial penguin nest project of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust.

Excludes: Flight tickets
Medical and travel insurance
Excess baggage
Lodging in Cape Town
Transfer from airport to Cape Town
Private transfers
Personal laundry costs
Lunches when not at sea
Personal and social/entertainment costs, including when on no-sea day excursions (entrance fees, food & beverage costs)

Applicants: This project is open to anyone over the age of 18, fairly fit and in good health.

This placement would suit... People with an interest in research and conservation, who aren't afraid of working closely with great white sharks! And a good adventurous attitude and an active outdoor lifestyle is essential!!
Hours: We work 7 days a week if the weather permits it. But volunteers are more than welcome to request days off as they like, they must just let us know in advance
Freetime: There is a wealth of activities in the local area with Cape Town offering everything you could ask for.
Volunteers Feedback: Volunteer - Claudia Dahmer
When someone asked me how the Volunteer Programme was, I told them they should take a look at my legs, covered in bruises, or my hands, full of cuts. Or even told them I thought I would never stop smelling like Chum. BUT, it was all worth it!

Volunteer - Sandra Castro
I love spending time on boats and so this programme was ideal for me. Working as volunteer crew on the boat was hard work but great fun. We were out on the boats on most days, sometimes one trip and sometimes two trips a day.

Volunteer - Teresa Allen
I have always watched documentaries and read books about Great White Sharks, but nothing can describe the feeling of seeing them in the flesh.
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Volunteer Project Bookings

Contact us for more info
+27 (0) 83 661 5393

e-mail: Mail us here


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Rate per week in ZAR: 8800
Duration: Min 2 weeks but we suggest 4 weeks. You can extend for any length of time.
Dates: 1st & 15th of every month throughout the year
Rates Valid till Oct this year, All Rates subject to change

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