Stephanie’s Experience in South Africa

Posted by: Stephanie B.

The experience of a lifetime! Simply amazing! I don’t know how many times I have used those phrases since my return from volunteering in South Africa with GoEco at the Great White Shark Conservation project. Since childhood, I have been fascinated with sharks and have participated in many shark dives across the world. It has always been a dream of mine to dive with Great Whites in Africa, and it finally came true!

The entire experience was well organized and unforgettable. The staff were all friendly, hardworking, and knowledgeable. From the volunteer coordinators, to the crew aboard the vessels, to the biologists and the staff at the Great White House, they were all very helpful and accommodating.

Most days started with early mornings heading to the bay before sunset. The volunteers would spend their days either aboard the shark cage diving boat, or the eco-tour and whale watching boat. We assisted clients aboard the vessels, helped the biologists with readings, answered guest questions, and got to dive ourselves. Every day, we were fortunate to see numerous sharks and get to share in the excitement of the clients aboard the boat. We also were treated with appearances from stingrays, humpback whales, Bryde’s whales, dolphins, copper sharks, seals, and the infamous African penguin. Speaking of penguins, we also spent time volunteering in the African Penguin sanctuary right next door to the cottages where we helped with daily cleaning, feeding, and medicating.

The coordinators kept us busy with lectures during the day and fun sightseeing activities on no sea days and in the evenings. We went caving, climbing, out to local pubs, and on a shopping trip to Hermanus. Overall, I would highly recommend this experience to anyone with a love of the ocean and respect for the magnificent Great White sharks!