24 Hour volunteer experience
with White Shark Projects
Early morning start
We will collect you from your hotel in Cape Town and drive you to Gansbaai, where we will introduce you to the magnificent Great White Shark in its natural environment.
Be prepared for an early wake up call (as early as 04:00) and for a 2-hour drive. Arriving at the White Shark Projects Lodge in Gansbaai, you will mingle with the other clients who will join you on your first dive. Enjoy a continental breakfast of fresh fruit salad, muffins, breads, cereals, eggs and yoghurts. Coffee, teas and hot chocolate is available too. Breakfast is followed by a Safety Briefing and a short introduction to the Great White Shark and its conservation status. After the briefing you can follow our crew down to the harbour where we will board our vessel, Shark Team.
From the harbour to where we anchor is an approximate 15 to 20-minute boat ride. Once we arrive at our chosen location, we will drop anchor and await the arrival of the first Great White Shark. Whilst out at sea we may encounter some other members of the Marine Big 5, such as whales, dolphins, penguins or seals. The tour lasts anything from 2 – 4 hours, depending on the sharks and the weather/ sea conditions.
Upon returning to shore, you can have a shower to freshen up and a bowl of hot soup with some comforting bread to warm up after the cold of the ocean. We will show you the video of your dive, after which the other clientele will depart. You will now be introduced to our Volunteer Coordinator, our Marine Biologist, as well as the rest of the volunteers. You will take part in all the activities they may have planned for the day – these activities vary, depending on the day of the week and the weather; and may include a mix of the following:
- Lectures on Shark behaviour; biology; conservation and incidents.
- Beach clean-ups
- Visit to the local animal welfare, BARC, to assist walking the dogs etc.
- Tuesdays are our Recycle Swop Shop Day – this is our long-standing community project working alongside school children.
- Tuesday nights are also our Pub Quiz nights – all proceeds go to BARC.
- Visit to the Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary.
- Walk along Danger Point to the Lighthouse, collecting ocean debris along the way.
- Visit the South African Shark Conservancy in Hermanus for lectures.
- Join in any local festivals that might be on during your stay.
- Movie night or a Braai night with the volunteers and crew.
After your activity filled day (and night, if you choose) you will be taken to your 4-star Guest House for a comfortable night’s sleep. The next morning, you will be up early again as we will collect you at dawn for our first tour of the day.
After a quick breakfast you can assist the other volunteers with some of their duties, such as handing out the life-vests to the clients. You will join the clients on board and once again you will have the opportunity to dive with the Great White Sharks; meeting them eye to eye and observing their behaviour. Once we have returned to shore, and you have freshened up, you will depart with the other clients and head back to Cape Town.
- All transport.
- Two Shark Cage Diving excursions.
- Two Breakfasts, snacks on board and light meals on return from sea.
- All activities, unless there is a charge involved, then the charge would be for your own account.
- 1 Night’s accommodation in a 4-star Guest House in Gansbaai.
- All other meals and drinks not mentioned above, are for your own account. (The volunteers usually decide what to cook/braai and then they all contribute to the meal. Alternatively, they decide to go to a restaurant.)
- Any item of a personal nature.
- Sun Protection – sunscreen, hat, sunglasses etc.
- Anti-Seasick tablets is strongly recommended.
- A warm jacket and sensible shoes.
- Notebook & pen.
- All personal items.
- Shark cage diving is wholly dependant on the weather and the sea conditions. We will do our utmost to ensure that we give you as much forewarning as possible, in the event of a cancellation due to unsafe conditions.
- Great White Sharks are nomadic and do not reside permanently in the area, but there is a perpetual presence of sharks in the area. Every trip is unique, and we never know what to expect until we get out to sea.
- The Atlantic waters around our coast is cold (10 – 18˚C) and the visibility is not very clear, which is why the Great White Sharks love it here.
- There will be 25 passengers on board – 20 Clients and 5 Crew Members.
- We put 6 divers into the cage at a time and they stay in the cage for approximately 20 – 30 minutes. The cage is always attached to the boat and does not get fully submerged.
- Whilst you are awaiting your turn in the cage, you will still have spectacular sightings of the sharks, just standing on deck.
- No diving experience or prior shark knowledge is necessary.
- Shark Cage Diving will leave you in awe and with a renewed sense of amazement, turning you into a shark ambassador and fin-protector by the time you return to shore.