||Please see the Prices Page - prices for all projects and all lengths are listed and you can also choose which currency you'd like to see them in.
||All year round -
you choose your start and finish dates!
Not available between 10th December and 10th
As availability on this project is very
limited, we strongly advise that you book
1 week to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
You'll need to be hard working, have a love
of marine life, boating, being outdoors and
at sea. You don't need prior knowledge or
experience, although this would be
advantageous, as would experience at sea or
on eco boat safaris and research.
pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection Insurance
Daily transport to and from your project
in-country team support and backup
What's not included
Cost of Visas (if a visa is
Airport pickup and return (but we can
arrange this for you)
The estuary holiday resort town of Knysna has large
groups of Common Dolphin and the occasional Bryde’s
Whales found in the deeper waters of the
lagoon. Closer to the shoreline,
Humpback and Bottlenose dolphins are often spotted.
are also Humpback and
Southern Right Whales (migrating from the months of
June all the way to January), Cape Fur seals, sharks
seabirds, the occasional Orca and other species.
provides trips out to sea in their own boats to
tourists who want the experience of seeing whales
and dolphins close-up in their natural environment.
The tours are very weather-dependant. In addition to
the eco boat ocean safaris, they also do sunset
Much of your role will
be involved in monitoring and data collection, but
you'll also have the opportunity to assist in and
learn about the tourism side of the exciting
activities involved in watching dolphins and whales
in their natural habitat.
will include some or all of the following:
On arrival, you'll
be trained firstly in the area of boat safety,
maintaining equipment and basic skippering.
job shadow one of the skippers and work in the
office to gain a basic understanding of the
business and of the marine life that is
encountered out to sea.
Your duties will
includer being a spotter,
entail sitting on one of the Knysna Headlands
and using binoculars and then directing the
The boats need
to be cleaned, covered, fuelled and life jackets
got ready and you'll also assist guests with
boarding and checking onto the boat and safety
on one of the 3 daily trips with the skipper and
observations need to be made of the marine life
encountered and the records are sent to DAFF.
For this, you'll need to photograph dorsal fins
for identification, observe behavior and
photograph and plot GPS coordinates.
Occasionally research trips are also done with
post grad students from local universities who
will capture the data and study it themselves.
animals and life found along the trips also need
to be monitored. All this data will then need to
be captured onto spreadsheets and photographic
help with daily updates of records, blogs and
social media. These are done from the main
office, which is found where the whale watching
boats are docked.
You'll start the
day at 9.00 am and finish at 16.00 with an hour
break for lunch. Work takes place 5 days a week
spread over the 6 days of Monday to Saturday, with
no work on Sundays.
THIS PROJECT ACCOMPLISHES:
has embraced the
opportunity to do marine research and make a
positive difference to the marine ecology of this
area. To this end the following initiatives have
are kept of all trips and sightings
The exact GPS
position of each sighting is recorded
electronically and manually, and where possible
to photograph and plot these on relevant
despatching assistance to any animal in
data is shared with relevant conservation and
government bodies as stipulated by the Marine
Living Resources Act of 1998
material is compiled by the company and shared
with the community via talks, visual material
and newspaper articles.
To grow a
unique tourism attraction which is socially and
environmentally responsible, has a low impact on
the lagoon and marine environment;
awareness in the community of the need to
conserve and protect the estuary, wetland areas
and the marine eco system surrounding Knysna.
The owners of
the company are also committed to providing
employment and training to previously
disadvantaged community members.
whale-monitoring placement is approximately 1
kilometre away from the Knysna main town and it is a
beautiful walk along the side of the lagoon.
The volunteer house in Knysna is within walking
distance of the town, yet set against a natural
green belt. The bird life is prolific and often the
local Vervet monkey troop comes to visit to
entertain the volunteers with their antics. The
sunset views from the top balcony of the volunteer
house of the Knysna lagoon are beautiful and great
way to relax after a day working at your placement
or to catch up on your tan in the summer. See photo
on right-hand side.
The house is large and
spacious and also has a self-contained flat
downstairs for couples and families. The bedding in
the two same sex dorms and the towels in their
ensuite bathrooms are changed regularly every Friday
by our much loved cleaner, Pretty, and there is
plenty of cupboard space to store your clothing.
Facilities include a
kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining area, a few
bathrooms, TV, DVD player, free Wi-Fi, garden and
several wooden verandahs.
There is an outside
courtyard and garden in the secure grounds where you
can have a typical South African barbeque known
there as a ‘braai’. Make sure you try the
local spicy sausage known as ‘boerewors’ and the
Karoo lamb chops are to die for on a ‘braai’, but if
fish is more to your taste then a fish ‘braai’ with
South African ‘snoek’ is a must.
Food is not included in this project, so you will
need to budget for that.
kitchen has all the cooking amenities that you might
need to take advantage of preparing meals with some
of the great seafood, meat, fresh fruit and
vegetables South Africa has to offer.
There are supermarkets
and local shops where you'll do your food shopping.
There are plenty of
excellent restaurants within walking distance that
offer the most incredible local and international
cuisine which our volunteers rave about. Knysna is
also famous for its oysters and even has an annual
Oyster Festival where everyone eats and drinks far
The waterfront and
marina is beautiful and full of restaurants and
cafes with cuisine that ranges from breakfast,
coffees, cakes and snacks, through to sumptuous
meals and various different nationality menus.
LOCATION | TRAVEL
| SIGHTSEEING & EXPLORING:
The best advice you'll get from us is to try to see
some of the country while you're in South Africa.
It's big (huge!) and each different region is
exciting and very, very beautiful.Cape Town is
probably the most beautiful city in the world (I can
say that, I grew up there :-) KwaZulu-Natal comes
a very close second, albeit very different. Knysna is
where South Africans go on holiday, which gives you
some idea of how lovely the region is. When you lie
on the beach and watch dolphins jumping the waves,
you'll think you're in Paradise.
approximately 500km from the
beautiful capital city of Cape Town and voted
South Africa’s favourite town 4 years in a row! Its
mountainous backdrop, impressively sized estuary and
indigenous forests really give the town a natural
feel to it. Although it still has that ‘small-town’
feel, Knysna is growing rapidly, and has all the
amenities you could ask for such as banks, hotels,
internet café’s, cinemas and shopping malls.
About 20-30 minutes' drive away from Knysna you'll
known simply as Plett), which is
a bit smaller than Knysna, but equally stunning.
Its' pure white beaches stretch as far as the eye
can see and there is a lot to do, from whale and
dolphin watching, to hiking trails and awesome
The Garden Route is famous for all sorts of
activities from adrenalin sports such as bungee
jumping, skydiving and shark cage diving to more
relaxed pursuits such as hiking, quad biking in the
forest or visiting one of the many animal
sanctuaries in the area. Your local Travellers
liaison will be happy to assist you in finding
interesting things to do and places to see so make
the most of it!
on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of
the ‘Garden Route’ of South Africa. It is surrounded
by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests,
tranquil lakes and golden beaches, making it a real
Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing with
creativity and energy,and
the pulse of good music. It's
where the you can enjoy the mellow atmosphere of
street cafes, watching
the world go by. The main street is very leafy with
trees along the pavements and it has a wonderful
holiday atmosphere with sun umbrellas everywhere.
Most cafes have
outdoors seating areas overlooking the street or on
the pavements, with colourful sun umbrellas -
a perfect place to sit with the sun on your face,
watching passers-by ambling along, sipping a steamy
cappucino or staving off the heat with a cold drink.