This is a volunteer program in which students also participate in.
The expeditions encompass getting up early, working with great white sharks during long days at sea, and then relaxing with the other volunteers at night! The program provides hands-on, practical experience in working with Great White Sharks:
The volunteer program is primarily focused on the project’s cage diving ecotourism and you will enjoy regular trips to sea to view and cage dive with the Great Whites.You will be involved in all aspects of the project, including tasks such as preparing bait, packing the boat, washing the equipment, working with the eco-tourists, recording and entering data on the sharks and even helping with the dishes.
CAGE DIVING WITH GREAT WHITE SHARKS
Once anchored at the dive site, the project makes use of a specially designed, secure, six man steel cage, which floats on the surface, with divers no more than 1 m below the surface. You will be taught how to get in and out of the cage and how to remain secure and safe in the cage. Cage divers are responsible for recording observations on the Great Whites, including sex, size, markings and behaviour. Diving takes place on a rotational basis on good diving days. The duration of each dive depends on the diver, the number of ecotourists and the activity of the sharks, but could be up to half an hour per dive.
WHITE SHARK DATA COLLECTION
You will be taught how to collect data in the field on free-swimming white sharks. At sea, you’ll be focused on working with the sharks from above and below the water, observing behaviour and the interactions of sharks around the boat. You will be educated in an informal environment, learning about the behavior of the great whites, their history and the urgent need for research. You will also be taught how to input the data into our database.
You will also learn basic seamanship skills and how to crew and assist on the boat when out at sea. Tasks include chumming, wet-suit and cage diving preparation, client well-being and cage and anchor set up. In addition, talks and videos may be given in the afternoons or no sea days on Great White Shark biology, behaviour, shark bite incidents, conservation and research, evolution, Cape fur seals and Southern Right Whales and any other relevant topics at the time. Upon completion of the program, the project provides you with a certificate of accomplishment and a USB with day trip memories.
Please note these duties may change from day to day and you will always be working in conjunction with a qualified crew member of White Shark Projects:
• Boat check before trips
• Ensure cleanliness of boat
• Make sure equipment for diving, chumming, bait, food etc. are on boat
• Assist with anchoring
• Assist with securing the cage
• Education of clients and general interaction with them
• Assist clients as needed
• Preparing and distributing wet-suits for clients
• Data recording
• Data capturing
• Writing for our blog
• Constant and vigilant shark spotting
• Point out sharks to crew, clients and fellow volunteers
• Clean boat post-trip
• Clean and put wet-suits away
• Tuesdays assist at our recycle Swop Shop
The program starts every month on the 1st, and the 15th. You must arrive in Cape Town the day before as pick up times can be very early in the morning. Please bear in mind that the sooner you apply, the better your chances of securing your placement! You are required to sign an indemnity form acknowledging and accepting the consequences of working in close contact with wildlife. Applicants must be over 18 years old.
The program closes between 15 December to 15 January as this is the peak tourist season. Peak shark season is in winter time, May through August.
There are costs involved when joining this program:
1 week 900 USD
2 weeks 1225 USD
3 weeks 1550 USD
4 weeks 1875 USD
The cost of the program will cover your:
• Regular trips to sea (volunteer program)
• Transfer from and to Cape Town International – backpackers
• First night in Cape Town – backpackers hostel
• Return transfer from Cape Town to Gansbaai
• Intern Africa will assist you in finding a suitable flight, apply for a possible visa, provide information on travel insurance, immunization and other required details.
Flights to South Africa
Lunch and dinner