Over the past 2 years the O.R.C.A. team have strived to turn Plettenberg Bay into a protected Ocean Marine Park. During your 4 week stay at the foundation you will become part of the O.R.C.A. family and help and assist in their long term projects and goals.

Southern Right whale breaching the waters surface only meters from the research boat you stand on? Or kayak across the calm waters of the Indian Ocean with hundreds of common dolphins swimming and playing along side your every paddle. Either way, it will be an experience you will never forget!

The O.R.C.A. Foundation in conjunction with Ocean Blue Adventures is based in Plettenberg Bay and is located on the world famous Garden Route. It is home to some of the worlds most fascinating marine species, including Southern Right whales, Humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Bottlenose dolphins, Common dolphins, O.R.C.A.'s or Killer Whales, Great White Sharks to name but a few.

Placements here give you a unique once in life time chance to work with these magnificent marine species in exciting and groundbreaking marine conservation volunteer work.

The experienced O.R.C.A. team will help settle you in over your stay and give you the opportunity to take on your own individual projects where your best interests lie. O.R.C.A. offers ocean research volunteers personal diversity in the programme, from assisting the dive research teams to helping with the community outreach programme, you will find your own way to contribute.

Volunteers will be working under the supervision of two Masters student's from Rhodes University and also have the chance to integrate with the rest of the team at O.R.C.A. and OCEAN BLUE ADVENTURES.

In your stay in Plettenberg Bay, (one of the most breathtaking and serene outdoor classrooms in Southern Africa), you should be lucky enough to witness the power and grace of whales, the exuberance of dolphins and killer whales, see playful seals and the majestic of mountains and forests scenery. Above all, being an ocean research volunteer will allow you to actively and meaningfully participate in ensuring that things stay this way for future generations.

Through the O.R.C.A. marine conservation project, you can join the drive to manage this marine and coastal zone in a sustainable manner and in the process experience the community, culture and environment in a way more intimate than most visitors. Volunteers participate inhelping to create, in partnership with the community, a conservation model in Plettenberg Bay to sustain marine and coastal resources through improved management, research and education.

Volunteers can leave with certification as competant marine guides or competant crew, an understanding of what it takes to preserve our fragile coastline, and the opportunity to improve the lives of children and the environment in which they live. The Volunteer Program, officially created in 2001, is designed to help create a conservation model for the Plettenberg Bay area. People of all ages and with different backgrounds come from all over the world to help us further our work in sustaining marine and coastal resources. 

Besides our research work, we are also involved with various other conservation activities. Such activities include maintenance of the Ocean Blue aquarium, which holds a collection of fish and represents the ecosystem of the surrounding bay. We collect food for the fish, clean the aquarium, facilitate water changes, and collect specimens for the aquarium, while at the same time learning about the rivers, estuaries, the sea, and the delicate balance between all of them. Your time with us can be as short as two weeks or can last as long as twelve weeks.

If your stay exceeds more then four weeks, we offer a marine guiding course which consists of a self-study manual, 2 hours of lectures, 10 hours of practical training, a 3 hour written exam, and a 2 hour practical evaluation consisting of a full boat trip. Passing mark is 70% with a 100% pass rate to date!