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Volunteer To Join a Research Team To See The Great White Shark (Watch)
Volunteer to research sharks, South Africa’s ocean, and dive and have fun
Last updated: Thursday, 12 May 2022
If you’re looking to learn about the ocean, its ecosystems and its apex hunters – and contribute meaningfully to conservation and have an adventure while you’re about it – then consider joining the expert team from White Shark Diving Company (WSDC), in one of South Africa’s most gorgeous regions, as part of its Volunteer Programme.
WATCH: YOU’LL BE ABLE TO SEE SHARKS UP CLOSE
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STAY IN A RICHLY BIODIVERSE AREA
The ocean is changing, and with it the species that live within it. South Africa’s great white sharks are shifting their habits and patterns, and this may affect the other 116 shark species living on our shores. Now imagine contributing to research into these incredible creatures?
This region is most famous for its great white sharks, graceful and awe-inspiring in the water. Image: WSDC
You’d be staying in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, not only on land, but in the ocean as well. The Overberg region has everything: mountains, fynbos, afromontane forests and, of course, an incredibly beautiful shoreline and ocean.
VISIT THE SHARK CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Gansbaai is known as the great white shark capital of the world, although there are many more sharks in the area. It’s famous for “Shark Alley” and Dyer Island, where thousands of seals live and breed.
Although great white shark behaviour is changing, you may spot them in winter, and this makes the possibility of observing them even more exciting. What you’re sure to experience all year round are bronze whalers, 7-gill sharks and many more.
Bronze whalers, also known as copper sharks, are curious creatures. Image: WSDC
DISCOVER MARINE BIOLOGY + RESEARCH
Volunteers work at the Shark & Marine Institute (SMRI), where there’s a unique opportunity to get first-hand experience of ground-breaking research studying shark behaviour, biology and conservation.
Volunteers conduct snorkeling surveys, capture crucial data that contributes to many scientific studies. They play a vital role in data management, as well as gain work experience on the company’s tourism boat – plus there’s quality dive time with the predators.
Apply now to take part in this incredible experience.
The elusive 7-gill cow shark also inhabits these shores. Image: WSDC
5 BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING:
- Get close to a variety of shark species on cage-diving trips.
- Experience smaller local sharks on catch-and-release tagging excursions aboard our research vessel.
- Explore the incredible kelp forests and the creatures that inhabit them during snorkeling surveys.
- Be involved with groundbreaking research focused on shark and marine conservation.
- Get credits towards your degree or diploma (dependent on approval by your educational institution).
YOU’LL ALSO HAVE LOADS OF FUN
In between all that fascinating research activity, there’s plenty of free time to explore Gansbaai and Cape Town. On bad-weather days, you can go on organised excursions, from hikes in the gorgeous Overberg area; trips to the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas; and Betty’s Bay (famous penguin colony); horse-riding outrides and riverboat cruises. Plus, you’ll go on a minimum of four boat trips per month and be trained in boat handling.
The White Shark is a state-of-the-art catamaran. Image: WSDC
- All accommodation while on the programme, including in Gansbaai and one night’s accommodation in Cape Town.
- Transport to and from Cape Town International Airport, as well as Gansbaai.
- Breakfast and lunch on working days.
- A welcome pack of 1 cap, T-shirt, buff, hoodie and shark-shaped USB.
- White shark cage dives, behavioural study and data collection.
- Lectures and practical training in all running projects.
- Elasmobranch, seal, rocky shores and marine debris surveys.
- Data analysis.
- Participating in outreach programmes.
Not included: Flight tickets, visas, medical and travel insurance, meals (other than basic breakfast and lunch) and any additional lodging before or after the programme. White Shark Diving Company is, however, more than happy to help advise you on any of these.
HOW TO APPLY AND COSTS
Programme fees are US$950 for 1 week, US$1 690 for 2 weeks, US$2 100 for 3 weeks, US$2 350 for 1 month. Additional weeks after the first month are US$500, so you can join for as much time as you like. Stays longer than 3 months are subject to additional visa requirements. Students qualify for a 10% discount on their fees.
Apply via the following online application form on their website.
STAY A MONTH FOR THE FULL BENEFITS
As WSDC relies on good weather conditions, the company recommends that volunteers stay for a minimum of one month to obtain the full working experience and to ensure that they have adequate sea time.
Volunteer Programme Dates: Programmes start on the 1st and 15th of each month. The programme closes completely from the 15th December to the 15th January every year.
For more information about White Shark Diving Company’s shark research experience, contact on +27 (0)63 680 3063 or email email@example.com or visit www.sharkcagedive.com.
To qualify for a discount, mention CapeTownMagazine.com when booking.
WHEN + WHERE TO GO
White Shark Diving Company is open: Monday to Sundays, 8am to 9.30pm
Find it: 9 Kus Drive | Kleinbaai | Gansbaai | Western Cape
Contact WSDC on: +27 (0)82 559 6858, firstname.lastname@example.org, @whitesharkco
OTHER ACTIVITIES FOR OCEAN LOVERS
You’d love to volunteer, but don’t have the time. There’s a great dive special on.
Find out more about White Shark Diving Company.
Find out more about these incredible apex predators.
How to stay safe and happy while surfing and snorkelling along our coastline.
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