Shark Research Conservation

Western Cape, South Africa



The Experience

Have you ever been fascinated by  Sharks and would like to learn more about them? Then travel to Hermanus, South Africa and be part of this amazing volunteer experience! Come now and help a small, but extremely passionate, group of scientists, field specialists, interns and volunteers – all working toward a common goal:  achieving pragmatic and realistic conservation and management measures for sharks – both in South African and around the World!

The project’s main goal is to obtain voluntary support from foreign and local students by gathering them to focus and utilize all their energies, skills and passion for the betterment of sharks and marine environment as well, while also providing the opportunity to discover and explore the marvelous South African rich and diverse coastlines.

Volunteer for a minimum of 2 weeks up to a maximum of 4 weeks at this great project in South Africa! Learn about scientific research techniques and skills, Shark biology and management, ecotourism, permitting and marine conservation! Apart from this you also gain more experience in data collection, face to face encounters with the Great Whites through cage diving and offering assistance with building awareness about sharks and the protection and conservation of marine life!

If you are looking to volunteer in an area that has access to all amenities with daily communication to family and friends, then this is the project for you! During your leisure time or days off there are endless activities to keep you occupied which includes; hiking & nature trails, boat trips, Whale watching, breath taking beaches, fishing and lots more!


This Is Why

  • Unique volunteer opportunity to have close encounters with a variety of different species of Sharks and learn more about marine life!
  • Learn a new culture while working and living in Hermanus, South Africa.
  • Educate the public about the protection and conservation of marine life.

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    The project is opened and available to all volunteers all year round however to prefer volunteers arrive on Sundays no later than 4PM
  • Volunteer duration
    2 - 4 weeks
  • Package Price
  • 2 weeks 3495 US$
  • 3 weeks 3995 US$
    4 weeks 4595 US$
  • Average Work hours
    You will work 6-7 hours per day (all depending on the work load) for 7 days per week. Volunteers are allowed to have days off. The Project also assists volunteers with tours that they may be interested in doing on their days off.
  • Number of Volunteers
  • Volunteer accommodation
  • Housing Type
    You will stay at the Shark Research Program house situated in Onrus.  Please note that accommodation is shared.  There are 5 bedrooms equipped with bunk beds and 2 bathrooms.  There is also a fully equipped kitchen, with fridge, freezer, oven, stove and kitchen utensils. The house is walking distance from a food store, as well as walking distance from the beach.
  • Internet Access
    Available at the volunteer accommodation.
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    Able bodied and willing to work hard. Calm and gentle composure with the animals when there is contact with them, love of the outdoors and a passion for wildlife is a priority. You should not be fussy, picky or hypersensitive about cleaning. We will not tolerate smoking, alcohol or the use of drugs. Please remember that you are a guest, therefore, respecting the rules is essential.

Fast Facts: South Africa

Where? Hermanus, South Africa

Country Size: 1,109 km2
428 sq mi 

Population density? 62/km2 
160/sq mi

Country Famous for? Wildlife watching, Addo National Park, Elephants, Dolphins, Great White Sharks, beaches, lagoons, friendly people, great restaurants, shopping, bungee jumping, adrenaline sports.

When to visit: All year round!

  • What's Included
    • Placement
      Shark Research Conservation
    • Airport Pickup

      You need to fly to Cape Town International Airport. You will be collected from Cape Town International Airport on a Sunday by a transfer company.  You are to ensure your flight corresponds with the times (Arrival 16:00). If you are unable/unwilling to schedule your flight to arrive/depart at the above time, it is up to you to make payment to the transfer companies. For us to make special arrangements regarding transfers we need to be notified way in advance. When you are returning home, please arrange your return flight for a Sunday after 18:00pm.  After your stay we will arrange your transport back to the airport.
    • Accommodation
      You will be staying in the Shark Research Program house situated in Onrus – a seaside suburb of Hermanus.  Please note that accommodation is shared.  There are 5 bedrooms equipped with bunk beds and 2 bathrooms.  The house is walking distance from a food store, as well as walking distance from the beach.
    • Meals
      Please let us know in advance if you have any food allergies or specific dietary requirements. We will try to accommodate you but may ask you some things if what you need is not locally available.  The project provides breakfast items such as: Cereal, bread, butter, eggs, milk, coffee, tea and sugar. Breakfast is included however lunch and dinner will be prepared or bought by the volunteers.
    • Ongoing service
      If there are any problems with your volunteer project we are always there to help you and mediate between yourself and the organization.
    • Tours
      Through FRONTEERING you have the possibility to book tours in the Africa after you have finished your volunteer project.
    • 24/7 Emergency contact
      If there are any problems during you stay in Hermanus, South Africa you can reach us 24/7 to assist you.

    What's not included: Flights and Insurance

    Package Price:
    02 Weeks: $2195.00 US
    03 Weeks: $2695.00 US
    04 Weeks: $2995.00 US

    The help of volunteers is vital to the research of Shark and marine conservation along the coast of Hermanus. Volunteers will be accompanying marine biologists, researchers and The project partners to help conserve the population of these amazing creatures and to education the public especially the local children on the importance of conservation. As a volunteer at the project, you will expand your knowledge on marine life and the ocean itself and share what you learn with the locals. Some of your responsibilities include but is not limited to:
    • Cetacean Monitoring - Research boat: Interns will be designated the following tasks; Interact with clients on board the whale watching vessel, Record marine mammal behavioral data, record environmental parameters, take photos of cetaceans to be analyzed later using photo-recognition software, Cetacean observations from land-based sites and Data entry back in the office.
    • Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV): here you will be involved in carrying out; Setting up of the BRUV rig in the office, deploying the BRUV at different sites throughout Walker Bay, either from shore or by boat, retrieving the BRUV, downloading and analysis of video footage and Possibly edit video footage to promote SASC’s outreach and education programs.
    • Walker Bay Elasmobranch Survey: Volunteers will have to; Prepare bait and tackle set up, fish from shore or boat, measure length and record weight of fish caught, take fin clips for later genetic analysis, tag fish and monitor environmental conditions.
    • Walker Bay Stable Isotope Project (WBSIP): Volunteers will need to; Snorkel from shore and collect organic samples from different trophic levels, bring samples back to lab and dry in an oven grind up samples and store for later analysis.
    • Estuary Monitoring (EM): Here volunteers must; Assist with boat launching, YSI multi-parameter sonde operation, anchor deployment and retrieval, data entry, boat cleaning and equipment maintenance.
  • Requirements, Guidelines & Policies
    • Required to commit to a minimum of 2 weeks.
    • Must have an interest in marine life and conservation.
    • Strong work ethics are required: reliable, responsible, honest, good sense of humor, mature, dependable, physically and mentally fit. If volunteer has any medical condition, they should notify us about his/her condition.
    • Must be motivated and be initiative.
    • Age: 18+
    • Must have a good knowledge of English.
    • Good communication skills.
    • Being at sea for long periods of time must be something you can handle
    • Must be able to work as part of a team or individually, must read and agree to abide by guidelines and ethics of the project and must be polite and courteous to the public at all times.
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • Meet and interact with the local staff and many international volunteers on a daily basis.
    • Close encounters with Great White Sharks and Different species of sharks!
    • Help do marine life research and coastal conservation in beautiful South Africa and expand your knowledge about these amazing creatures.
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location
      Hermanus, South Africa
    • Area Famous For
      Shark Tours & Research, Whale watching, Wineries, Beautiful and picturesque beaches, Friendly people, Diverse Culture and Cuisine.
    • When to visit
      All year round!
    • Nature, Animals and other Interests
      Great opportunities to see many different species of Sharks and it is most famous for being the home of the Southern Right Whale. Every year these gentle creatures of the sea migrate along the coast of South Africa with Walker Bay as one of their destinations, to calve and nurture their young!
  • Itinerary & Details
    Day 1 - Arrive in Cape Town, South Africa;
    You will arrive in beautiful Cape Town. There someone will be there to pick you up and you’ll then be transferred to your accommodation at the project.
    For 2 - 4 weeks - Volunteer at the Shark Research and Conservation, SA project!
    For a minimum of two weeks you will be volunteering in Hermanus, South Africa helping to do marine research, Shark Conservation and educating the Public! 
    Your last day
    - You will fly back home or take the opportunity to travel through South Africa. Our staff will gladly help you to book any tours to see more of this great country. 

  • Accommodation

    You will stay at the Shark Research Program house situated in Onrus – a seaside suburb of Hermanus.  Please note that accommodation is shared.  There are 5 bedrooms equipped with bunk beds and 2 bathrooms.  There is also a fully equipped kitchen, with fridge, freezer, over, stove and kitchen utensils. The house is walking distance from a food store, as well as walking distance from the beach.. 

    Things to bring from home

    • Foul weather gear (gumboots, rain gear) and Wetsuit, snorkel, mask, fins.
    • Non-slip work shoes.
    • Work clothes and if you'd like; a camera and laptop.


    Breakfast is included in your fee.  You’ll need to refer to the list of breakfast items on the Breakfast Fridge and familiarize yourself with allotted quantities and food types available.  Lunches and dinners are not included in your fee.  You are required to bring your own lunches to work every day.  Alternatively, there are many restaurants and fast-food chains in center town.  Lunch is 40 minutes long and is taken from 13h00-13h40.  Tea breaks can be taken from 10h00-10h15 and 15h00-15h15.  Lunch times are subject to change depending on research schedules.


    This project is in the western cape of South Africa in a small town called Hermanus. Hermanus is known to be a picturesque seaside town situated in the Overberg area and on Walker Bay and within proximity to Cape Town. This town is famous for Southern Right whale watching. The town, embraced by majestic mountaintops, is most famous for being the home of the Southern Right Whale.

Coming Soon!

Back To Top