Full Price List
From 1 week to 12 weeks or longer,
subject to visa requirements
||All year round - you choose your
start and finish dates.
Not available between 10th December and
As availability on this project is
very limited, we strongly advise that
you book early.
||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
pre-departure support and assistance,
►Meeting you at the nearest
►Transfer to your accommodation
►Transport to and from your
►Local in-country team support
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a
visa is required), Return transfer to
Who can do this Project?
This project is open to all
nationalities and all ages over 16.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a
year out, grown-up gappers, career
breakers, anyone interested in marine
conservation, working with marine
wildlife, or conserving dolphins and
Also available as a summer placement in
South Africa or a short break.
YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa
and the many diverse cultures in South
satisfaction of helping in the conservation
of marine wildlife.
New skills, more confidence, a greater
understanding of a different culture,
invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will
put you head and shoulders above most others
in the job market.
- And best of all
... an unforgettable experience!
holiday resort town of Knysna has a prolific
amount of marine life off its coastline; all
through the year there are large groups of
Common Dolphin and the occasional Bryde’s Whales
found in the deeper waters. Closer to the
shoreline in the Buffalo Bay area, Humpback and
Bottlenose dolphins are often spotted.
Add to this 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
and you will find an ocean and coastline teaming
organisation 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 lagoon
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:
you'll be trained firstly in the area of
boat safety, maintaining equipment and basic
initially 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.
will include being a spotter,
entail sitting on one of the Knysna
Headlands and using binoculars and then
directing the skippers.
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 procedures.
occasionally go on one of the 3 daily trips
with the skipper and sometimes-another
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.
marine 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 software.
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.
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.
WHAT THIS PROJECT ACCOMPLISHES:
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 been taken:
logs are kept of all trips and sightings
GPS position of each sighting is recorded
electronically and manually, and where
possible to photograph and plot these on
or despatching assistance to any animal in
collected 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
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
ACCOMMODATION: THE VOLUNTEER HOUSE:
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
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.
You'll be given a
food budget which will cover your basic
essentials (but not extras like alcohol, snacks
and eating out). The 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.
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 too much!
The waterfront and
marine 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.
Volunteer house in Knysna
View from the
house overlooking the lagoon
Got any questions? Please email us:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a
placement, we'll contact you and send you our
Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details
and password for our Volunteer Extranet where
you'll have access to all the documentation and
information which we've put together to
facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will
liaise with you throughout the arrangements
process, as well as while you're on your
placement and on your return home.
you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may
assist you on your particular programme (e.g.
Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never
forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and
As with all our
destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which,
although one of the most exciting aspects of
travelling, should be borne in mind.
Self-reliance and independence are highly
appreciated in all our destinations and will
help you to make the most of this wonderful
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:
When you arrive you
will be welcomed by a member of our South
African staff who will take you to your
accommodation and introduce you to everyone.
During your first few days you'll be given an
induction so that you can learn about the
country and its culture, as well as other useful
information, like how to use the transport
system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots
"The area is beautiful and travelling is easy.
The house we stay in is lovely and the
Travellers workers are such kind, loving people
which really makes it feel like a home away from
home. What with all the other volunteers and the
Travellers staff, it really does feel like our
own little family ... well, our own very big
family, I suppose!!"
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
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.
is 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
Plettenberg Bay (better 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!
nestles 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 natural wonderland.
Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing
with creativity and energy,
and the pulse of good music.
It's a place 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
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.
Read more about Knysna and its attractions
To read about Travel
arrangements and what happens when you arrive in
your new country,
please click here.
Support & Backup:
read about the excellent
& Backup we provide
before you leave and during your programme,
MARINE LIFE YOU MAY ENCOUNTER
Whale (Balaenoptera edeni)
Bryde's whale is an elongated baleen whale with
twin blowholes with a low splashguard to the
front. It has no teeth, but has two rows of
baleen plates. They have a sleek dark smoky gray
body with a lighter underbelly and an upright
prominent dorsal fin The
females are the largest with the ones of the
South African coastline measuring up to 14.4
meters in length and weighing between 12 and 25
Bryde's whales display
seemingly erratic behaviour because they surface
at irregular intervals, can change directions
for unknown reasons and are known for their deep
diving. They usually appear individually or in
pairs, and can found off the Knysna coast with
large groups of Common Dolphin occasionally and
can be very active of the water’s surface.
dolphin adults range between 1.9 and 2.5 m long,
and can weigh between 80 and 235 kg although the
range . Males are generally longer and heavier.
The back is dark and the belly is white, while
on each side is an hourglass pattern colored
light grey and yellow in front and grey in back.
There are two species, the long beaked and the
They are very social living
in groups from hundreds to as many as 10 000
thousand and are known to be fast swimmers (up
to 60 km/h) that breach and perform aerial
acrobatics like somersaults, pitch poling,
breaching, and bow riding . They do not migrate
but do move around for food. They have numerous
threats on a conservation level and do not do
well in captivity
Southern Right Whale
Southern Right Whale is a baleen whale
distinguished from other Right Whales by the
callosities on its head, a broad back without a
dorsal fin, and a long arching mouth that begins
above the eye. Its rotund body is very dark grey
or black in colour, occasionally with some white
patches on the belly. They can be up to 18
meters in length and weigh 80 tonnes.
They are fairly active on the
water surface and are curious and playful
towards human vessels and tend to interact with
humans. They are known for breaching, sailing,
“lobtailing”, or “spyhopping” and are listed as
endangered by CITES
Whales or as they are known “the angels of the
sea” are black or grey with a lighter
underbelly. They have distinctive rows on their
heads and grooves on the underside of the throat
and chest. They have a small triangular shaped
dorsal fin making easy photo-identification with
long tapering wing-like flippers. They can also
be identified by their individual flukes. They
can be up to 15 meters in length and weigh up to
Humpback whales are able to
launch their entire body out of the water which
is known as breaching and have been recorded
breaching over 100 times in succession. They are
also very vocal and are known for their haunting
“whale songs”. They can be sighted off the South
African coast in small groups from as long as
June to January when they follow their migratory
pattern up the east coast to mate and calf in
the warm waters of Mozambique and Madagascar.
They are listed as endangered.
Dolphins (Sousa chinensis)
humpback dolphin is known for the large hump
ahead of its dorsal fin, for which it's received
its name. They have a long, slender beak, and
their body is grey with a white underbelly. They
measure between 2 and 2.5 meters long with an
average weight of 150 kg. Each dolphin has a
unique elongated dorsal fin- both with regards
to shape and notches along the edge of their
fins- and therefore different individuals can be
recognized and data captured.
These species of dolphins
tend to be inshore dolphins rarely found in
water deeper than 20 meters. They live in small
pods of 1 to 12 individuals. They are fairly shy
creatures and normally avoid boats and humans
and are more leisurely swimmers than the other
dolphin species but on the odd occasions when
they are seen to surf and leap; they are
probably the most spectacular acrobats of all
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are a
subspecies of the Bottlenose Dolphin and have a
longer and more slender beak and their dark
upper body fades to an off-white underbelly
which can become speckled with age. They have a
large, curved dorsal fin and are fairly large
for dolphins measuring between 2.5 and 3 meters
in length and weigh between 200 and 320 kg.
They are usually found in
coastal waters normally no deeper than 30
meters. Bottlenose dolphins live in groups from
5 to 15 individuals but can sometimes be seen in
groups of 100 animals or more and have complex
social behaviour. They are the most inclined to
interact with humans and are often found surfing
in the break of waves. They do not seem to be
bothered with boats and will bow ride,
back-splash and somersault in their presence.
Other marine life that can be
witnessed out at sea and on the surrounding
coastal area can be numerous varieties of sea
birds, sharks, Cape Fur seals, Orcas (killer
whales), Minke Whales and a few years back a
Pygmy Sperm whale even swam through the Knysna
Heads into the lagoon and beached itself.
Blowing: A sound made when
expelling air through the blowhole. This is
accompanied by a spout of condensed water
Leaping out of water in an arching back flip and
falling back on their sides or back with a
The slapping of flukes and tail on the water,
causing a loud sound, appears to be a means of
The head and body are lifted vertically, as far
as the flippers, above the surface. This enables
them to see what is happening around them above