Program Details

The project consists mainly of marine conservation and educational programmes with a variety of research activities that also take place throughout the year. You will work Monday through to Friday from 8.30AM to 4.30PM, and will have the chance to be invo
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Program Type:
Volunteer Abroad
Degree Level:
Work Types:
Animals, Education, Environment
1-3 months

Program Overview

Program Description:
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 £450.

The project consists mainly of marine conservation and educational programmes with a variety of research activities that also take place throughout the year. You will work Monday through to Friday from 8.30AM to 4.30PM, and will have the chance to be involved in projects such as: marine eco-tourism, conservation education, the collection and rehabilitation of turtles, fin profiling, coastal awareness campaigns and much more. Each individual marine conservation volunteer will gain invaluable skills during their placement that can be taken away and applied elsewhere within conservation, though the training provided by ORCA varies in relation to the volunteer's main choice of programme. Training will give a basic education of the projects a volunteer is involved in, though for those who stay for over two weeks there will be the opportunity to complete marine guiding courses, and become more involved in the projects. The marine guiding program is the entry-level course to the program, and requires more time to complete so is therefore best done during a 4-week stay or longer. However, for those looking for only a two week stay there is the chance to complete the First Aid for Stranded Marine Animals course, which is an entry level course for animal care that can be completed during a two-week stay. This course is geared towards those who have no knowledge of marine animal care, but would like to learn something new. Volunteers will also have the chance to participate in whale and dolphin educational presentations, which is another course that the ORCA Foundation offers. Other courses include learning about marine conservation, ocean acidification, water conservation, carbon offset and research techniques in the field.

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. The aim of the project is to change the way people think and behave in their lives, encouraging sustainable co-existence with the natural world, and marine conservation volunteers will therefore have the chance to assist with this goal. The long term goal is the establishment of a Marine Park. Regardless of how long you choose to stay, you will leave ORCA with a deeper understanding of marine and coastal conservation, and the skills to educate others. ORCA works in partnership with both the Centre for Dolphin Studies and Ocean Blue Adventures. If you are passionate about the conservation and sustainability of marine coastal systems, then this is the ideal project for you.
Setting Description:
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, Common Marine volunteers can record individual dorsal fin attributes of Dolphins, Orca or Killer Whales, and Great White Sharks, to name but a few. The Bay is also one of South Africa’s most fashionable holiday resort locations and a beach-lover's paradise, is home to long stretches of soft sand that line an endless azure ocean. The town is characterised by sweeping, unspoilt golden beaches, a dramatic rocky peninsula, intriguing lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests, and unpolluted rivers and sea. With its exceptional Mediterranean-like climate, and beautiful view sites over the Indian Ocean, Plettenberg Bay is perfect for tourists, travellers and locals alike.
The cost to volunteer in South Africa for 1 week is £450, 2 weeks is £720, 3 weeks is £990, 4 weeks is £1260, 5 weeks is £1530, 6 weeks is £1,800 and 8 weeks is £2,340 . Please enquire for marine conservation internship prices for 9 weeks up to 10 months in duration. Included in this price is accommodation, 3 meals per day, transport within Plettenberg Bay, activities that form part of the volunteering programme, project t-shirt and cap, training manual, WorkingAbroad backup and support. What

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