Marine Conservation Project

The Marine Conservation Project takes place along the south coast of South Africa, on the famous “Garden Route”. Located in a small coastal town, it allows the volunteers to study marine mammals while enjoying the city life.


The main objective of the project is to support marine applied research that informs conservation management decisions with scientific advice. Lots of counts and research are thus carried out with the help of the volunteers. The programme combines research, conservation and education.




Arrivals are scheduled every weekend or Mondays, the best thing to do is to land in George’s airport, where a taxi can collect you for R1200. The drive takes about 1h30, along the beautiful coast.

Volunteers help the project to increase the knowledge about the marine animals in order to protect them more efficiently. They play an essential role in the programme and work closely with the different team members while take part in the research.

The research can be led on boat or on the top of a cliff in order to get a better view. That is why it is recommended not to be afraid of heights and to be fit enough to hike for a few hours. Patience is also an asset as you can be asked to watch and take notes of a certain area for a couple of hours in order to count the different species you can spot (sharks, dolphins, whales, seals).

You have to be aware of the fact that the activities are weather dependent, some may be cancelled in last minute because of a bad weather.

Here is a list of activities that you may take part in during your stay (please note that this is for your information and that you may or may not take part in all the activities listed below):

  • boat-based surveys (dolphins, whales, sharks and seabirds)
  • boat-based monitoring of Cape fur seals
  • cliff-top monitoring
  • beach clean-ups
  • river health evaluation
  • shark and ray eggcase hunting
  • shard and ray video monitoring
  • alien plant eradication
  • pre-school education
  • etc.

The longer you stay, the more activities you can take part in.


The coordinator usually gives the weekly schedule on the Friday. It is important to remember that planned activities can change on a moment’s notice, especially if the weather turns or something exciting like a marine mammal stranding comes along.

The standard volunteer working week at the project is Monday to Friday, from 08h00/9h00 to 16h00/17h00, except on a Friday afternoon when volunteers often finish at 13:00 (but not always).


Days off

Weekends are free, you can either rest at the volunteer house or enjoy one of the many activities around.

  • Game drive in a Big 5 Game Reserve
  • Horse riding safari
  • Wine testing
  • Bird and/or monkey sanctuary
  • etc.


The volunteer house is within a walking distance from a supermarket and nice restaurants.

There are two bedrooms for the volunteers and two bathrooms. Rooms can accomodate 1 to 4 volunteers depending on the number. Dinners are cooked from Monday to Friday and volunteers have plenty of food to cook for the other meals.

Wifi is available at the house and laundry can be done for you.


Arrivals and departures are scheduled on weekends and Mondays. The project closes in November and December and reopens at the end of January.

Period                        Programme fees in dollars ($) 2024

2 weeks                         $1 250

3 weeks                         $1 875

4 weeks                         $2 500

6 weeks                         $3 750

8 weeks                        $5 000


Are included in the Programme Fees: the registration fees, accommodation, three meals a day, your supervision, Internet and laundry.

“I came to the Marine Conservation Project with both a fear and fascination with the ocean. I wanted to learn more. Within my 4 weeks I learned and experienced so much. I saw my first great white shark within my first week, and countless in the weeks following. The great white was the reason I wanted to do ocean conservation so that was incredibly exciting. I loved spending my days learning about other species of sharks while walking the beach and going out on the boat to gain a new appreciation for other species. In my time there I also saw seals, Dolphins and whales.” Amy, USA


“I spent a month in South Africa at the Marine Conservation Project. It was an amazing experience and I met so many great people. Thank you to the whole team for making me feel so welcome and teaching me so much. I will definitely be back! ” Simone, Austria


“The Marine Conservation Project is a life changing experience! The people and the culture that I’ve got to know there are amazing and I can’t put into words how much I’be grown by doing this.
My only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer.” Luisa, Philippines

Projects : South Africa

Vet Programme

The Vet Programme is designed for vet or nurse students. The programme aims to offer participants a combination of veterinary and conservation activities and to be a part of community upliftment projects. 

Cheetah Rehabilitation Project

The Cheetah Rehabilitation Project is a unique project that allows the volunteers to work hands-on cheetahs & other cats while actively working for their rehabilitation in the wild.

Fauna Conservation Project

The project aims to teach as many things as possible to the volunteers about the management of a game reserve and the differents species that live in it.

Research & Conservation Project

There are maximum 10 volunteers at a time, supervised by Katie, Bronwyn and Stuart, three professional and passionate guides who will teach them everything there is to know about the management of a game reserve and will introduce them to the researches that are being carried out.

Big 5 Conservation Project

The programme does not focus on one particular species but offers the once in a lifetime chance to get behind the scenes and involved with the conservation efforts of the game reserve, one of the largest of South Africa.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

Founded over 40 years ago, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is the only registered center of Durban to the rescue, recovery and release of the wildlife indigenous to the province of KwaZulu-Natal. It is made up of a passionate team dedicated 24h/24 to the rescue of animals in danger that truly needs volunteers to lend a hand.