Award winning marine conservation
in the middle of the Garden Route

Observe whales, dolphins, sharks, seals & more

Apply now
  • Duration
    1-12 Weeks
  • Minimum age
    18+
  • Start dates
    Every Monday
  • From
    £400
  • Duration
    1-12 Weeks
  • Minimum age
    18+
  • Start dates
    Every Monday
  • From
    £400

South Africa marine conservation

Get hands on with this award winning marine conservation programme located in the beautiful Plettenberg Bay. This comprehensive programme combines conservation, education, research, community development and tourism, so you can be sure that no two days are the same.

Conservation: Within the conservation part of this project you will be helping with seals, turtles, seabirds or cetaceans, assisting in response events when the wildlife is injured, or aiding in their release. You will also be part of local beach clean-ups, and health assessments of the rivers.

"The two weeks I spent in Plettenberg Bay were probably some of the bests of my life! My personal highlights were whale watching and being surrounded by almost 100 common dolphins. I can highly recommend this project to anyone who loves being outside, on the water and is open minded to do all different kind of activities. "

Education: Partnering with a local pre-school and primary school, you will teach English where needed, partaking in environmental education programs and providing educational entertainment.

Research: Noting observations, both land-based and boat-based, is a really important part of the ID aspect of this project. Collecting photo ID for white sharks, seal-sharks and cape fur seals as well as seal fisheries interaction aids with the research. You will also assist with sample collection during marine mammal necropsies and scat processing to identify prey remains.

You will be lucky enough to be working in one of the best locations across the whole of Africa, in Plettenberg Bay. Located along the heart of the Garden Route and offering some amazing coastal scenery, you will get to explore long stretches of unspoilt golden sandy beaches, dramatic rocky peninsulas, intriguing lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests, clear rivers. and of course the Indian Ocean.

Working alongside the experienced local team who are qualified marine guides you will get to engage in and observe some amazing marine wildlife such as; Bottlenose Dolphins, Great White Sharks, seals and more. You will also get to see many whale species, including Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales and Orca / Killer Whales.

Your time will be split across sea and land operations where you will gain valuable experience in collecting research data, bird ringing and educating the local communities. You may have the opportunity to assist with rescuing stranded animals such as penguins, turtles and birds.

There are always other activities that you may get the chance to be involved in, such as hikes across nature reserves, helping out at the local rehabilitation and conservation centres, aquarium maintenance, bait collection and fish capturing.

You should be aware, that although the outdoor fieldwork is a much more enjoyable process, data entry is an integral part of this research process and will require time at a desk.

With such an in-depth list of activities this amazing programme does, everyday will provide something different. As with most things, the weather is a major factor and may influence the duties you get involved in and activities can change at a moments notice.

Generally, the programme runs from 8am to 5pm between Monday and Friday, and some of the tasks you may get to experience are below.

Accommodation & meals

More details

Volunteer fees

More details

What's included

More details

Frequently asked questions

More details

Activities

logo icon

Things to do in South Africa

Experience Cape Town

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