Come face to face with the
infamous
great white shark

Learn all about these formidable creatures & even cage dive!

Apply now
  • Duration
    2-12 Weeks
  • Minimum age
    18+
  • 1st & 15th
  • From
    £590
  • Duration
    2-12 Weeks
  • Minimum age
    18+
  • 1st & 15th
  • From
    £590

South Africa great white shark programme

Come face to face with one of the worlds most infamous predators – the great white shark. Spend your days out on the crystal blue sea where you will get to learn all about these formidable creatures and even cage dive!

You will be volunteering for a world leading organisation working alongside qualified and experienced marine biologists. Their primary aim is to educate as many people about the misconceptions of sharks and to gather research data that can be used for preservation tactics.

"This was my second time volunteering with great whites and it's just as amazing as the first! I love being apart of the team and spending the days out on the boats with sharks, dolphins and so much other marine life."

Due to masses of negative media publicity over the years, sharks have become one of the most misunderstood and hated species in the world. Owing to this, sharks have been hunted and indiscriminately slaughtered, so much so that many species are now endangered. Other common contributions to the demise of sharks are unsustainable fishing practices, poaching and a relatively slow breeding cycle.

You will be located just outside of Gansbaai in a beautiful seaside village that is well known for its abundance of sharks. Trips primarily take place off Dyer and Geyser Islands that are prime locations and the best place to observe these magnificent predators in their natural habitat. Shark Alley (as it is known) is a magnet for sharks due to many prey breeding grounds in the area and while cage diving you will get to see some amazing reefs and huge kelp beds.

Your days will be primarily focused on the projects cage diving eco-tourism boat where you will enjoy regular trips out to sea. You will be hands-on where you will be involved with all of the day to day running of the project and will gain practical experience in working with great white sharks. You should expect to be up nice and early and be ready to spend long days out at sea but then also relaxing with the crew and other volunteers at night.

Divers will get to experience great whites up close and personal from the safety of cages, while non-divers have a great opportunity to view the sharks from the boat, where great photos and video footage can be captured.

The great white shark can grow up to seven metres in length and weigh a massive 4 tons and in 1991 were made a protected species in South Africa. Being surface feeders, you will get the opportunity to be spellbound and amazed when seeing a great white lift its head right out of the water to investigate, and sometimes even do a full breach!

You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to other wildlife to! Dyer Island is a breeding ground of Jackass Penguins, Cape Cormorants and Gannets, while Geyser Rock is a breeding ground for approximately 60,000 Cape Fur Seals! There are also plenty of dolphin pods and even whales in the area!

This programme is dedicated to the exploration and conservation of the great white shark, and its environment. The project works predominately with eco-tourists, volunteers and local enthusiasts, to gather data on the sharks and to correct negative misconceptions through education. Your work will be focused on working with the sharks above and below the water using techniques such as visual tracking, behavioural studies and monitoring their interaction around the boat.

Accommodation & meals

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Volunteer fees

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What's included

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Frequently asked questions

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Activities

A great two weeks at Amakhala!

Our two weeks volunteering at Amakhala included so much, with something new everyday. Getting close to amazing wildlife, helping the community and exploring South Africa.

Sara's story

Heading off on safari in South Africa

Between the UK and South Africa teams, I felt fully supported and had the best two weeks at Amakhala. I saw so many animals and learnt so much, I cannot wait to volunteer again.

Lynette's story

Four months helping penguins in South Africa

Even though I was volunteering for several months, which is longer than most, the time flew by and I really wished I stayed longer! If you like penguins or birds, then I can highly recommend this programme

Stephanie's story