ORCA Whale & Marine Conservation Projects, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Company : ORCA Foundation
Location : Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Duration: 2 weeks to 2 months
Approx Costs: 1500 to 2500 $ Dollars (US)

Have you ever wanted to spend a holiday making a change in the world? Would you like to spend time in sunny South Africa volunteering on a marine conservation and education project?

The ORCA Foundation volunteer program officially started in 2001, and is designed to increase awareness about conservation issues and initiatives, and 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 learn while helping us further our work in sustaining marine and coastal resources. 

Our projects are both sea and land based, and daily activities include whale and dolphin watching, elasmobranch egg case surveys (in collaboration with ELMO), fin profiling for animal movement studies, hikes and walks, marine debris clean-ups, planting indigenous trees and removing alien species, White Shark monitoring project (in collaboration with the Plett Hope Spot), river health assessments, and education of preschool children.Besides our education and 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 you want!


Duration & Program Cost

  • 2 weeks - USD$1050
  • 4 weeks - USD$2200
  • 8 weeks - USD$3600 (special rate)


Price Includes

  • Shared accommodation in the fabulous ORCA house
  • 3 meals per day
  • Transport to and from all activities
  • All program activities
  • T-shirt and cap
  • Internet at the house
  • Price is valid for all direct bookings (we cannot guarantee the same special through agencies)
  • Price is a per person rate
  • Price includes everything as per standard rate
  • Price is inclusive of VAT



Previous knowledge or experience is not required to become a volunteer with ORCA Foundation. The Foundation seeks to place those with a passion for conservation in a diverse environment, giving them a life changing experience while providing the foundation with much needed conservation assistance.

Booking / Enquiry

ORCA Foundation ORCA Whale & Marine Conservation Projects, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa Reviews

Fantastic experience

I volunteered with ORCA in January 2016 (when I was 25) for a month and I had a fantastic experience! I had just graduated nursing school and had some time off before I could take my boards so decided on traveling to South Africa last minute.

ORCA was laid back and had us doing volunteer work normally from 8-330 or 430; Plett's attractions close early, but even with early closures we had plenty of time to explore. It was a great balance of laid back volunteer work and super fun exploring.

Some of the things we did were: picking up trash on the beach, collecting shark eggs and inputting data to help track shark populations in the area, and once a week volunteering with one of the local schools. We also visited a school for children with disabilities.

We had weekends off and were able to explore the area. The program was just what I wanted -- nothing too strenuous but enough volunteering that I felt like I was doing something positive. Huge plus was that we got to go out on the dolphin tours multiple times a week.

I met some of the coolest people ever from all over the world and am still in touch with a majority of them.

I fell in love with Plett and its people and can't wait to visit again some day.

By: Rachel
Nationality: American
Age: 25

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