Company : The Great Projects
Location : Kleinbaai, Western Cape
Duration: 2 weeks to 4 weeks
Approx Costs: 1000 to 1500 £ Pound (UK)
South Africa has long been known as one of the best places to see great white sharks, making it a prime area to observe these magnificent and formidable predators and go great white shark cage diving! These sharks, which can grow up to six meters in length (20 feet!) and 2 tons in weight, have been a protected species in South Africa since 1991.
This project then is a commercial operation dedicated to preserving this fantastic predator and its environment and help in vital great white shark conservation. It also serves to educate people on why it is essential to conserve this species.
The project works with students, eco-tourists, conservation organizations and marine resource users to gather data on the sharks, helping to correct negative misconceptions about them and stop the needless slaughter of over 100 million annually.
Upon arrival into South Africa via Cape Town International Airport, volunteers will be transferred to their hostel to spend their first night.
Early In the morning, a project representative will meet the group at the hostel, who will then transfer to project site in Kleinbaai. On arrival, the group is taken out on the boat as guests to spot the sharks. The rest of the day is spent settling in and getting to know the fellow volunteers and project facilitators. This is also a great time to familiarise yourself with the site where you will be working.
Projects Days. The project main focus is great white shark cage diving eco-tourism, volunteers will enjoy regular trips to sea to view and cage dive with the great whites. Another of the activities is educating clients who come to shark dive about the importance of great white shark conservation.
The final day, volunteers will take a group transfer back to Cape Town to transfer to the airport for an evening flight, or commence independent travel plans.
On this project, you will get the chance to take part in a wide variety of exciting activities. Below are examples of some of those included in this project.
Great White shark cage diving
Using a specially designed and secure five-man steel cage to conduct dives. The cage floats on the surface, with divers never being any further than 1m below the surface at any point. Volunteers are involved in recording observations of the sharks, including size, sex, behaviour and markings.
White Shark Field Research Data Collection
Volunteers are taught how to collect data on the free-swimming great white sharks. This includes learning about their behaviour, history, the urgent need for research and on wider Great white shark conservation initiatives.
Basic Seamanship and Boat Skills
Volunteers will be taught basic seaman skills including maintenance, packing, cleaning equipment, anchor positioning, cage deployment, knots, and of course general safety and crewing practices.
Assisting at Swop-Shop
Every Tuesday, volunteers will help out at the ‘Swop Shop’, a project that promotes environmental awareness, recycling, sustainable practice and also helps to provide for the needs of the local children.
On days when it is not possible to go out to sea due to bad weather or sea conditions), volunteers will be taken on various excursions, including wine tasting, a trip to see the penguins at Boulders Beach or to Cape Agulhas, which is the southernmost point of Africa.
The programme starts every month on the 30th/31st & 14th
Prices from £895
What's included in the price of the project?
• Project activities
• Airport transfers
• Project uniform
What's not included?
• Food (estimation of around R 3000,00/~ £190 needed for a month)
• Personal transfers if not included within the project
• Travel insurance
Volunteers are required to have a moderate level of fitness. No specific skills or experience are required to take part, we just ask that you have a strong work ethic a passion for sharks and marine conservation.
I participated on the great white shark project in South Africa last summer and it is one of the most special experiences of my life. I have always loved sharks and was keen to help with conservation efforts so this project was an ideal fit for me. I joined solo but got to meet so many incredible people and had the best time. I'm hoping to join another project with the Great Projects soon!
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