Volunteer in great white shark research and penguin rehabilitation in South Africa – 5% off with Sea Fans.

Marine Dynamics

Who: Marine Dynamics

Where: 5 Geelbek St, Van Dyks Bay, Gansbaai, South Africa

Focus: Observation and protection of great white sharks, whales and African penguins

When: All year round

Duration: At least 1 week | Recommended 4+ weeks. Those volunteering for 4+ weeks may get the chance to observe shark tagging or acoustic tracking, or learn to handle African seabirds and contribute to regular data collection.

Suitability: 17+

Scientific Internship: Available for marine science undergraduates and graduates. Consists of a series of academic and field-based training modules. Find out more below.

Cost: Fees available on request.

Get 5% off your booking (subject to conditions). Simply complete the form below.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Become part of the only Fair Trade Tourism marine volunteer programme in South Africa.
  • Experience a wide range of South African marine wildlife, including the Marine big 5
  • Learn about shark behaviour, biology and marine conservation
  • Work with crew and tourists on a shark cage diving and dedicated eco-tour/whale watching boats
  • Engage with South African community projects
  • Enjoy great white shark cage diving
  • Assist marine biologists and learn more about shark research
  • Get involved in research and care at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS).
  • Take part in additional activities such as beach clean ups, wine tours and horse back riding.

The Base

Accommodation: The Marine Volunteer Centre has four cottages for volunteers, and a house for interns, each with a spacious living area, activity hall and fully equipped kitchen with clean, safe drinking water. There is a lecture room and work space as well as a pool where diving courses take place. There is an activity hall with weights, table tennis, a pool table and a variety of board games, Wi-Fi and satellite TV are available.

The base is a 2 minute walk from the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) and a 5 minute walk from docks. Walking/cycling distance from volunteer lodge, with dedicated minibuses provided daily for transport needs.

Sleeping: 4 cottages that accommodate up to 6 people per cottage. Each cottage has a bathroom, a mini kitchen and living area as well as daily living essentials.

Food: Breakfast and a light lunch aboard the vessels is included. Any other activities do not include lunch. Dinner should be self-catered.

Working week: The programme works 7 days a week, subject to conditions at sea. Volunteers can take days off as and when they want.

Support: Pre-departure support and guides available.

Transport: Airport pick-up from Cape Town to Gansbaai provided only on a Monday.

Get 5% off the volunteer programme

Fill in this enquiry form, and a member of Marine Dynamics will get in touch to answer all your questions. Plus, you’ll get 5% off your booking (subject to conditions).

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Scientific Internship

If you’re looking to gain work experience in the field, Marine Dynamics offers a comprehensive Scientific Internship programme:

Suitability: Marine science undergraduates and graduates

About: A series of academic and field-based training modules for marine science undergraduates and recent graduates. Interns work alongside experienced specialists to gain unique insights into the wildlife. Training is determined by current projects and environmental factors, such as weather and wildlife presence.

The training: Interns get the chance to cover a diverse range of skills based on academic and industry demand, including:

  • Great white shark biology, identification and population monitoring
  • Baited Remote Underwater Video deployment
  • Scientific authoring and professional development
  • Marine diversity assessment
  • Scientific photography
  • Science in ecotourism and marine guiding
  • Small shark tagging
  • Cetecean surveys
  • 3D Photogrammetry

Marine Dynamics Academy also hosts research projects by visiting scientists, allowing volunteers the opportunity to learn directly from individuals currently working in the field. 

Accommodation: A house at the Marine Volunteer Centre.

Cost: Fees available on request. Use the enquiry form above to find out more.



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1 review

  1. Amazing volunteer program, highly recommend!!

    Working as an intern alongside these volunteers was one of the most valuable summer experiences I’ve ever had. The working weeks out on the boat are long and intense, but the Marine Dynamics team make every second worth it so you can truly make the most of your time in Gansbaai. I miss the sharks every day, and can’t wait to go back one day.

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