Volunteer Project. White shark project South Africa

Volunteer for White Shark Projects and become integral to the conservation of the greatest and yet most misunderstood, predatory force of the seas – the Great White Shark. Sharks are intelligent and vulnerable, and deserving of sympathy and respect. A complex and precious species, they are doing their best to survive.

Since 1989 White Shark Projects, through research and education programmes, has been committed to dispelling the “Jaws” myth that gives these creatures such a bad reputation.

White Shark Projects is a world-leading organization that champions the cause of the Great White Shark. Initially founded as a research institute, White Shark Projects has expanded its services to include an excellent film department; a diving and viewing centre; and a separate conservation and education department.

                                                                                                   “Everything we do we aim to do in harmony with nature and the environment in which we are working.”




Your training and work

As a volunteer you’ll receive training in White Shark biology; research; behaviour; conservation; shark attacks and basic seamanship, inclusive of anchoring positions, wind directions, and shark tourism.

Weather permitting; you will frequently go to sea, where you will become involved with all aspects of seamanship, shark conservation and ecotourism.

You will work with sharks from both above and below the water. You will observe the behaviour and interactions of sharks around the boat. You will be taught how to get in and out of the cage and how to remain secure and safe once inside it. Participants in the cages are taught to meticulously record their observations of the physical attributes and the behaviour of the Great White Sharks.


The White Shark Projects volunteer programme is based in Gansbaai, South Africa. Gansbaai, situated approximately two hours south-east of Cape Town, is a seaside village which relies primarily on the fishing industry and tourism.

The White Shark fieldwork takes place around Dyer Island and other locations where sharks are abundant. Dyer Island (aka Shark Alley!) is arguably the best place in the world to see Great Whites.

Many other wildlife species on the island can also be viewed from the boat. Dyer Island is also the breeding ground for Jackass Penguins, Cape Cormorants and Gannets, whilst Geyser Rock which lies in close proximity to the island, is a breeding mecca for Cape Fur Seals and is currently home to approximately 20 000 seals. In season, whales and the occasional dolphin can also be spotted. This is the perfect habitat for the Great White.

Your Programme

·         Welcome and induction by WSP team leader

·         Lectures on a variety of shark-related topics

·         Boat and cage preparation pre-and post-launch

·         Participation in data recording and weekly collation of all data

·         On bad weather days, local excursions could include Cape Agulhas, Hermanus, Betty’s Bay, and the site of the Birkenhead shipwreck

·         On certain days the boat is chartered exclusively for you and without tourists

·         The programme is usually21 days but volunteers can stay on for longer if they wish. We recommend that you spend at least 14 days with us.

·         The programme runs throughout the year from the 1st & 15th of every month.

·         You stay at the volunteer house free of charge but need to provide for your own meals.

You receive

·         Two volunteer T-shirts

·         Our White Shark Projects cap

·         Welcome pack

You need to bring

·         Some clothing which you will not mind getting dirty/torn etc.

·         3 pairs of shorts / slacks as part of our uniform when on our boat with tourists.

·         A rain jacket or plastic windbreaker as well as some warm clothing as it can be quite cool on land and on the water.

·         Non-slippery shoes to use on the boat – we recommend Welllingtons or ‘crocs’

·         Camera

·         Note book

·         You will be working at our Recycle Swop Shop on Tuesdays, so if you would like to bring any contributions, they will be greatly appreciated.

·         We supply all other diving equipment.

·         For more information on the requirements, costing etc. e-mail us on Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

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