Quick Facts

from R10,185R85,760


Assist with Great White Shark conservation in Gansbaai, South Africa (just two hours from Cape Town), and meet one of the ocean’s greatest predators up close for a thrilling adventure of a lifetime. Play your part in stopping the needless slaughter of over 100 million sharks annually. 

Project Highlights

Be based in Gansbaai, a seaside village on the south coast of South Africa, known as the Great white shark capital of the world
Document shark activity using data collection methods
Regularly spot seals, penguins and the occasional dolphins
Enjoy regular trips to sea to view and study the Great whites
Get to experience Great whites sharks up-close from the safety of cages

the destination

Gansbaai is known for being the Great White Shark capital of the world. This little fishing town will become your home away from home during your work and volunteer experience in Africa.

The project office is based at The Great White House where you will be briefed. This facility has a fully equipped restaurant and curio shop and two dedicated briefing rooms. Walking to the office is easy, quick and safe and will only take between 10 and 15 minutes.

You will stay close to the harbour, which bustles with action as people head out on boats to sea. The house is very comfortable with dorm rooms, a kitchen, a dining area, and a lounge with a television and DVD player. You can relax on the outside patio and cool off in the swimming pool on hot summer evenings. There is a small supermarket nearby and you can safely walk around at any time of day or night.

Breakfast is a help-yourself affair. You will enjoy lunch on the boat and tea and scones in the afternoons when you return from your day’s work. Dinner is your responsibility – you can explore one of the local restaurants or cook your own meals at home. Embark on the adventure of a lifetime as you discover an amazing new world under the sea.

WiFi available.

Gansbaai has a Mediterranean-style climate: wet and cool winters, dry and warm summers. The annual average temperature is a delightful 17 degrees celsius. During the months of March, April, May, October, November, and December you are most likely to experience good weather with average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F). The months of June, July, and August have a high chance of rain. Gansbaai has dry periods in January, February, November, and December. The warmest month is January with an average maximum temperature of 26°C (78°F). The coldest month is August with an average maximum temperature of 17°C (62°F).



Dyer Island (popularly known as Shark Alley) in Gansbaai, is one of the best places in the world to see Great whites. Weather permitting, you will go to sea frequently, where you will get involved in many aspects of research work aboard the boat.


Once anchored in the channel, the project makes use of a specially designed, secure floating steel cage, with divers no more than 1m below the surface. You will be taught how to get in and out of the cage and how to remain secure inside. You will be responsible for recording observations on the Great Whites, including sex, size, markings, and behaviour.

The duration of each dive depends on the diver, the number of eco-tourists, and the activity of the sharks but could be up to half an hour per dive.


As part of the volunteering project, you will be taught basic skills including boat handling and general maintenance. In addition, talks and videos may be given in the evenings or off-sea days on Great White Shark biology, research, behaviour, conservation, changing attitudes, attacks, basic seamanship, underwater filming, stills photography, and shark tourism.


Working on wildlife tour boats: This project has a fleet of vessels at its disposal, with many dedicated to eco-tourism. You’ll spend time working on these, helping guests learn more about African marine wildlife.

Recent Reviews

“I had an amazing time on the project and I’m so glad I got to experience something so rewarding and beautiful as working so up close with the Great whites.”

Robin Smith, USA

Great White Shark Conservation

“I had a fantastic 3 weeks in Gansbaai and didn’t want to leave. The crew were brilliant, and I felt welcomed onto the project straight away. I gained a greater understanding of the sharks behaviour which was something I didn’t know a lot about before I went.”

Mary Crowle, UK

Great White Shark Conservation

Other Activities

The area surrounding Gansbaai has a variety of interesting places for you to explore. Visit the caves in De Kelders, hike along the coast, and walk along the sandy white beaches of Franskraal and Pearly Beach. You can also enjoy a tractor ride in the fynbos, visit the Strandveld Museum, and discover the Dangerpoint Lighthouse.

The vibrant city of Cape Town is just two hours from Gansbaai. Take in some lunch and a cable car ride up Table Mountain for magnificent views over the peninsula. Other beautiful places to visit are the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Point Peninsula, or do a Winelands tour where you can indulge in some of the best wines in the world. Cape Town is also famous for its beautiful beaches and options for cocktail sun-downers abound.

dates and rates

Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.

Please note that an additional GB£20 | US$25 | EU€20 | AU$35 is added to the program fee as a mandatory contribution to the African Impact Sustainability Fund.

project fee includes

  • Pick-up from Cape Town accommodation and drop-off at the airport
  • All accommodation during your placement
  • Breakfast and lunch each day
  • 24 hour support from the experienced team on the ground
  • All training and resources needed to make an impact
  • Wi-Fi

project fee excludes

  • Flights to your chosen destination
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa-related fees
  • First night’s accommodation in Cape Town
  • Dinner (there is a fully equipped kitchen to make your own meals)
  • Weekend trips and other non-project activities
  • Items of a personal nature, including gifts, snacks and alcohol
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund