Dolphin & Whale Research, South Africa

Become a marine conservation volunteer and work on dolphin and whale research projects, helping to understand more about these magnificent species. Marine conservation volunteers will also have the opportunity to assist with community education projects on the South African coastline and aid with maintaining the high coastline quality. Opportunities also exist to volunteer with sea turtle and penguin rescue and monitor river health.  Long term marine research internship placements also available.

You can volunteer in South Africa for between 1 week and 10 months, and we have places available throughout the year.

Individuals, groups and students are all welcome.

Cost for food, accommodation, equipment, programme materials and training starts from £480.

Run by ORCA, otherwise known as the Ocean Research Conservation Africa (ORCA) Marine Foundation, this project allows marine conservation volunteers and research interns to work on dolphin and whale research projects, in addition to working alongside the community in education programmes.

Plettenberg Bay (lovingly referred to as “Plett” by locals), on the world famous Garden Route, is home to some of the world’s most fascinating marine species, including Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, Bryde's Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, CommonDolphins, Orca or Killer Whales, and Great White Sharks, to name but a few.

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What to Expect?

Marine conservation volunteers will stay at the ORCA volunteer house for the duration of their stay; the house is situated roughly 3kmaway from the ORCA head office in Plettenberg Bay. The accommodation is self-catering, with shared bedroom and bathroom facilities, and can house from between 1 to 12 people at one time - the number of volunteers staying in the house varies depending on the season, though no more than 4 people are allowed per room (there is one room that can accommodate 4 volunteers). Laundry facilities are also available for volunteers to use, though it is recommended that volunteers avoid doing their own, small runs of landury washing and instead wait until the communal laundry days (3 days per week), so to save water and electricity.

Previous knowledge and experience is not a necessity for this project. Instead, you must have a passion for marine conservation and wildlife education, and be willing to work in a diverse, challenging environment. If you are looking to complete University research courses as a long term marine conservation intern whilst on the programme, then arrangements can be made to accommodate this.

  • Program ID: # 2571
  • duration:
    1 to 2 Weeks
    2 Weeks to 1 Month
    1 to 3 Months
    More than 3 Months
  • location:
    Plettenberg Bay
    South Africa
  • Fitness level:
    Moderately Fit
    Very Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    George, South Africa (GRJ)
  • Costs From:
    $500 to $1000
    $1000 to $1500
    $1500 to $3000
    Over $3000
  • Program Type:
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
  • Click Here for More Info

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