Marine Animals Helper

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
founded in 1999
Rainbow Garden Village
Ask A Question
Coordinator | Steffen
Coordinator | Steffen


Experience the South African way of life alongside other volunteers by staying in our shared volunteer house
Contribute to the protection of numerous endangered species and play your part in their conservation
Further your career working with animals by making a difference in another country
Make memories by travelling in your spare time around one of the world's most beautiful countries
Explore the rest of the 'Safari Superpower' South Africa and see incredible animals in their natural environment.
Get involved in engaging work which will cover all sorts of animals, including whales, dolphins, turtles and help provide the essential support the project needs. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

South Africa is home to a diverse collection of animals and plants. This includes 43 species of marine mammals, which you can observe in their natural environment at this project. However, numerous species are threatened with extinction due to pollution or the overfishing of the oceans, caused by humans. At the marine protection project site in Port Elizabeth, our volunteers work hard to ensure that this fascinating collection of biodiversity is preserved for future generations.

Your job site is a foundation near Port Elizabeth, that is committed to protecting endangered marine life. Located on the shores of the Indian Ocean, it is in the middle of the world-famous Garden Route region. Here you will find breath-taking landscape, with azure bays, natural sandy beaches, and dense forests. Off the coast, the Indian Ocean is home to many marine species, such as orcas, white sharks, dolphins, penguins and sea turtles. The goal is to promote the protection of marine life and nature in the region and to raise awareness of animal and nature conservation, by improving on the ground education.

Typical day

As a volunteer in this project, you can be active in three different areas: animal and nature conservation, education and English lessons in schools, as well as research and data collection. In the area of environmental protection and nature conservation, for example, you can help rescue seabirds or rescue stranded marine animals, such as whales. You bring turtles that come to the beach for egg deposition into a protected coastal area. Furthermore, you help keep the beach clean and plant trees to protect against erosion in the coastal region. In the area of information and education, you can help to run an environmental protection programme at local pre-primary and primary schools. You educate the students about animal and nature conservation and contribute to raising awareness through fun tasks and games. In the research area of the project, you and a team of oceanographers take a boat out to the open sea to observe whales and dolphins. You photograph them and collect data about their population, which you later feed into an online database. You also analyse the water quality of the surrounding rivers and the sea. To capture the population of seabirds and to investigate their behaviour, you equip the animals with numbers. In addition to these three main areas, it is also possible to help with the local leisure activities and experience tours and to work with international guests. For students there is the possibility, if desired, to carry out a small research project of their own and work with a local researcher.

Free-time activities

White beach, crystal clear water and the Tsitsikamma Mountains; there’s a reason why Plettenberg Bay is the so-called district of Eden. The picturesque scenery lies on the Indian Ocean. East of the city Plettenberg Bay, you can see the jungle and coastal areas. Even the Robberg peninsulas on the western side are not far away. As a nature reserve, they are a true paradise for their inhabitants, a seal colony!

You will also see one of the largest breeding colonies of seagulls on the South African coast. Until 1920 this was the location for a whaling station. Today the big sea creatures are at home there, especially during their mating season between July and December. In the surf not far off the coast, you can also discover dolphins. If you go for a hike along the coastal paths, you can stop at Keurboomstrand or visit the landlocked Monkeyland. There is also a 128 m long suspension bridge that attracts many backpackers.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Required Documents
CV, letter of motivation, criminal background check and visa document
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Although no formal education or background is required, a passion for working with animals is essential.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Rainbow Garden Village

What's Included:

* Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

* Accommodation 

* Volunteer Placement 

* Full Orientation

* Personal Contact Person

* 24Hr Emergency Number

* Assistance with Travel Preparation

* Branded T Shirt

* Participation Certificate

* Extensive RGV Travel Documentation


The volunteer house is located about three kilometres from your project site. Depending on the season, one to twelve volunteers are at home there. You never share your room with more than three other volunteers. A laundry room is available on site, where the housewife. Furthermore, restaurants are not lacking around your accommodation. In the immediate vicinity is a shopping centre. Car hire and taxis (from economy to premium) are also available on weekends and in the evenings for various leisure activities.

In the Marine Project, you will meet founder Tony along with Jared, who leads the project as an experienced environmentalist and marine guide. Minke is head of the research department and holds a master degree in ecology. She is always happy when she can teach you something new.

Michael is a qualified marine guide and instructor and he loves to work with new people. As a project coordinator and house manager, he always strives to make you feel at home in the volunteer house. The good soul of the house is Tilly; without her and her cooking skills, the volunteer house would not be what it is! For you and everyone else in the project, Tilly is everyone's 'mum' away from mum!

Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Teliswa prepares a delicious dinner for the volunteers five times a week. From the basic foods that are freshly prepared for you, volunteers can put together a lunch or cook together. Also, breakfast is included too.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Before you even depart, our friendly UK team will take you through every step of the process, from answering your questions about the programme, through to advising you where to go for your visa. We are here to help you and to ensure that you feel totally comfortable (and prepared!) before departing.

For your volunteer work in the project for marine animals, you will land in Port Elizabeth or in George and the project takes people on each Sunday. Your project is located between the two airports. The on-site project team will gladly arrange your airport pick-up (not included in the initial fees). You will be picked up from the airport and taken directly to your accommodation. Alternatively, you can also travel by public transport from the airports to where you will be staying. When you arrive, you will get to know your local contact people, and there will be an introduction to the project. You will be shown the whole area and will be given information about the way of working, safety instructions and house rules.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in GBP (USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
£1,249 ($1,636)
3 weeks
£1,709 ($2,239)
4 weeks
£2,169 ($2,841)
5 weeks
£2,629 ($3,444)
6 weeks
£3,089 ($4,047)
7 weeks
£3,549 ($4,649)
12 weeks (max. stay)
£5,849 ($7,662)
Average fees
£556 ($728) /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Rainbow Garden Village will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Rainbow Garden Village during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Rainbow Garden Village cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Rainbow Garden Village.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

  Africa Southern Africa South Africa  Plettenberg Bay, 8 Earp Jones St

Marine Animals Helper

Get involved in engaging work which will cover all sorts of animals, including whales, dolphins, turtles and help provide the essential support the project needs.


You might be also interested in

Football Coach Accra, Ghana Rainbow Garden Village
The football coaching program is the perfect program for those looking to combine their athletic, football and social skills whilst making an impact in a new community.
Wildlife Reserve Kenton-on-Sea, South Africa Rainbow Garden Village
Observe and monitor the likes of lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos, to contribute towards scientific research in the protection of these incredible animals.
National Park Assistant Thabazimbi, South Africa Rainbow Garden Village
Play a part in helping manage and document the life of endangered species, for scientists to then use the data and try and prevent us from losing these incredible beings.
Children's Kindergarten Assistant Cape Town, South Africa Rainbow Garden Village
Make an impact at a kindergarten project, where you are able to contribute towards creating a safe, positive and fun environment for the children here to learn and grow.
Kindergarten Helper Sriracha, Chonburi, Thailand Rainbow Garden Village
Help make a difference on the grounds of an eco-farm pre-school in Bang Phra and play a part in an influential time of the children's development.
Environmental & Conservation Assistant Axim, Ghana Rainbow Garden Village
See first-hand the devasting effect that plastic pollution can have across the world and help address these issues with our environmental protection programme.
from £1,249 ($1,636)
see price table
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Why am I seeing this?

You requested a page that doesn't exist on this site any more. This could be caused by a link you followed that was out of date, by a typing in the wrong address in the address bar, or simply because the post has been deleted.

Take Me Home