Great White Shark Ecotourism Program in Mossel Bay, South Africa.

This program offers a diverse itinerary to suit the expectations of a broad cross section of participants. This offers hands on approach to working not only with Great White Sharks, but also other species of sharks in the area. The ultimate goals of the program are education, public awareness, the advance of shark science and the conservation of all shark species. During your program you will be entering the domain of the greatest predator in the oceans, the Great White Shark.

Each program is conducted over a period of 27 days and commences on the 1st of each month. The program is limited to a maximum of eight participants with a minimum age of 18. (*shorter programs available.) We also make provision for two internships for up to six month periods.

Please contact us for further details on the internship opportunities. The program is open to anyone with a real interest in sharks and to those who wish to be involved in something rewarding, educational, exciting and overall enjoyable. Anyone studying Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology, oceanography, marine tourism, animal husbandry, marine filming etc will find the program particularly beneficial towards their goals.

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What to Expect?


Another very important aspect of the program is our tagging project. Mossel Bay is a prolific shark area with many species of shark entering the bay throughout the year. These sharks include hammerhead, bronze whaler, tope, mako and others. Unfortunately these species are heavily fished, thus the important tagging project. Our project is the only one of its kind along the coast. To tag these sharks we employ a catch and release method using barbless hooks. Again data is documented on the sex, size, species and location.

Data is sent to the Oceanographic Research Institute. The tagging is conducted on a smaller, dedicated tagging vessel. All volunteers are taught how to catch, tag and release the sharks with the minimum amount of trauma. This is real hands on work and will give you the opportunity to work in extremely close contact with sharks. With the over fishing of sharks, this work is of great importance and it’s fun.


Tagging days are subject to weather conditions, thus the flexibility in the program. We do not tag White Sharks from either the tagging boat or the dive boat. ORCA Foundation You will spend four days during your time here with ORCA Foundation, a volunteer program in Plettenberg Bay. This is a sea and land based program and daily activities include whale and dolphin watching, fish tagging/diving, photo identification for animal movement studies, hiking/beach clean ups, planting indigenous trees/removing alien species, doing crafts with preschool children, and teaching youngsters about conservation by running educational programs with sea excursions. ORCA Foundation also offers some amazing excursions including bungy jumping, and visits to the local elephant park and wild cat sanctuary.


For those with an interest in community development and education, you will get the opportunity to interact with pupils in the local primary schools, helping to inform them about the sharks, marine conservation and the oceans. This is a rewarding experience and essential for anyone who wishes to enhance their teaching skills.


An important aspect of the program is to involve participants in ecological work. As we use fuel to run the boats for the cage diving and tagging project, it is essential to take steps to stamp out our carbon footprint. We are partnered with Oyster Bay Reserve and will get you involved in projects aimed at creating environmental awareness about the importance of conserving our natural environment.


During the program, participants get the chance to do several scuba dives to view some of the beautiful reefs and to also dive with other shark species in and around the area. You may also get the opportunity to complete a specialist shark dive certificate. The diving is only open to qualified divers. Non divers will be catered for on the White Shark boat, subject to availability, or you may get complete your open water course while on the program.


Diving is subject to weather conditions and visibility. OTHER ACTIVITIES There will be the opportunity to participate in lectures on various different topics conducted by Oceans Research. You can also get involved in other features of the program such as marine guiding, competent crew, boat handling and basic seamanship, for those that wish to get more hands on experience. As part of the team onboard the boats, we will involve you in as many aspects of the day-to-day running of all operations as much as possible and we encourage you to be hands on.

You are expected to participate in the following: date collection, cage diving, tagging, basic seamanship, boat and equipment maintenance, bait and chum work, assisting and educating tourists, marine conservation, education and being part of a team of like-minded people. Throughout your program you stay in self catering accommodation in central Mossel Bay, within easy walking distance to most shops, restaurants and the harbor. You will have the opportunity to do excursions to some other locations of interest. As Mossel Bay is part of the Garden Route, it is ideally located for sight-seeing. Transport will be provided for excursions within the local area.

  • Program ID: # 1722
  • duration:
    2 Weeks to 1 Month
    1 to 3 Months
  • location:
    White Shark Africa
    Bland Street
    6500 Mossel Bay , WC
    South Africa
    34° 10' 54.2208" S, 22° 9' 4.7268" E
    Western Cape ZA
  • Fitness level:
    Moderately Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    George, South Africa (GRJ)
  • Costs From:
    $1000 to $1500
    $1500 to $3000
  • Program Type:
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
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