Ocean Research and Marine Conservation Volunteer and Intern Programme

Overall rating: 0 based on 0 reviews

Program Description

As a marine conservation volunteer, you will have the opportunity to aid research and preservation of dolphins and whales in order to broaden our understanding of these magnificent animals.

This volunteer program is run by the Ocean Research Conservation Africa (ORCA) Marine Foundation which provides opportunities for conservation volunteers and research interns to take part in dolphin and whale projects. You will also have the chance to participate in education outreach initiatives in the local community. This project is centered in Plettenberg Bay and boasts a variety of whale species including Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, and Bryde’s Whale as well as also dolphin species such as Bottlenose Dolphins and common dolphins. There are also Killer Whales and Great White Sharks in this area.

This project will adjust how people behave around these sea creatures so that the public is more enthusiastic about a sustainable co-existence. Volunteers will assist with this and in the long term aim of creating a Marine Park.

Volunteers may be involved with:

- Participate in marine eco-tourism with Ocean Blue Adventures (whale and dolphin tours)
- Monitor and launch clean up campaigns on beaches and coastal regions
- Maintain and clean ORCA’s fish tanks, which are used for education and conservation purposes
- Conduct conservation education initiatives and outreach in the region
- Participate in regional and national marine and coastal awareness campaigns (such as National Environment Week, National Marine Week, and Youth Day)
- Collect turtles and assist in rehabilitation (if any are found stranded) by taking them to be housed in the ORCA aquariums
- Rescue Penguins if they are found on the beach
- Sample, tag and monitor of local fish species
- Monitor river health
- Supervise the collection of aquarium species for the ORCA aquariums
- Lead educational presentations on conservation issues, which will be individualized to suit and stimulate the public’s interests
- Assist with ORCA Foundation’s carbon reduction program
- Work on fin profiling and spatial distribution programs

Long Term Marine Conservation Internships

We welcome marine conservation interns who are able to stay for a longer period of time (2 months to 10 months). Interns will assist with completing marine or cetacean based projects. Internationally renowned marine biologist Dr. Vic Cockcroft will be your supervisor and will direct you in finishing a project of your choice during your stay. Interns must be willing to share their knowledge and experience with short-term volunteers.


You will be settled by the professional ORCA team. You will have the opportunity, as an intern, to engage in and complete a long-term project of your choice. Plettenberg Bay will provide you with the unique opportunity to be face-to-face with incredible whales, friendly and playful dolphins, fun seals, and even to explore the land-based outdoors of mountains and forests. As an Ocean Research Volunteer, you will possibly be involved with dolphin and whale watching tours as well as sea kayaking.


Previous knowledge and experience is not a necessity for this project. Instead, you must have a passion for marine conservation and wildlife education, and be willing to work in a diverse, challenging environment. If you are looking to complete University research courses as a long term marine conservation intern whilst on the programme, then arrangements can be made to accommodate this.

Volunteer Types

Marine conservation

What`s Included

Included in this price is accommodation, 3 meals per day, transport within Plettenberg Bay, activities that form part of the volunteering programme, project t-shirt and cap, training manual, WorkingAbroad backup and support.

Program Locations

Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Overall rating 
Program Administration
Living Conditions
Cultural Immersion
Social Life
Health and Safety
Review This Program

Program Details

WorkingAbroad Projects
  • South Africa: Plettenberg Bay
Throughout the year
Program Duration:
1-2 weeks, 1-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months
1 week is £464, 2 weeks is £748, 3 weeks is £1032, 4 weeks is £1316, 5 weeks is £1600, 6 weeks is £1,884 and 8 weeks is £2,452
  • Dear applicants, we encourage you to leave a personal review if you have ever taken part in this program. Leaving a review will help fellow travelers to decide where to go and which program to go with as they plan their trip abroad.
    Review this program

About HelpGoAbroad

We showcase the best programs, countries and institutions in the world, so whether you are interested in interning abroad, studying abroad, working abroad or simply traveling or living abroad, we have your back.

More about us »

Subscribe to the Newsletter