Marine Birdlife Conservation

Help out at a Port Elizabeth based marine birdlife conservation centre.


The South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (SAMREC) offers visitors a unique and interesting insight into the world of the marine life of Algoa Bay and the challenges it faces. Today the centre rescues all marine animals but concentrates primarily on marine birds, specifically the endangered African Penguin.

SAMREC always needs help from volunteers of all age ranges. Our volunteers are supervised at all times and receive on the job training as well as the relevant learning material.

Possible Tasks

In the Hospital:

  • Scrubbing and cleaning the facility

  • Preparing food and medication

  • Feeding the penguins*

*This work is controlled by your level of training. It might take some time before you are confident enough to carry penguins.


Sea School:

  • Helping with children especially during rock pool and shipwreck lessons.

  • Assisting with teaching.

  • Helping with displays, both in the centre and in shopping centres etc. 


Front of House:

  • Welcoming visitors and front desk duty.

  • Answering the phone.

  • Guiding a tour, or helping the group link up with an existing tour.

  • ​Helping with coffee shop duties if needed. 

Marine Birdlife Conservation Marine Birdlife Conservation Marine Birdlife Conservation A penguin release Marine Birdlife Conservation Marine Birdlife Conservation

Suitable for


Typical day

On a day to day basis there are many interesting and varied challenges awaiting the volunteer, all vital to keeping this project operational.  These vary between working behind the scenes with the animals, and at the front of house with the visitors, as the venue functions as a place for the public to interact with the wildlife at the centre.


There is no fixed program of tasks, and your duties will be worked out depending on the demands of SAMREC, as well as your level of experience, but all take place during daytime hours. 

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Any questions? Just ask. We at Ubuntu Volunteering are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

Explore the beauty of South Africa's Eastern Cape Province with our registered tour guide with personalised weekend tours to suit your relaxation needs.  From surfing, to shark cage diving, to ostrich riding, our weekend getaway program is substantial and varied, and many Port Elizabeth based excursions are built into the base price. 

Water Sports
Winter Sports


What's included?
Airport pickup, accommodation (if staying in the flat) and breakfast are included in the fees.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

Transfer from the airport, to your accommodation.


We provide accommodation in a separate flat of our Port Elizabeth residence, or if you would prefer, at a nearby backpackers. The backpackers provides dorm rooms or individual rooms and this cost will be extra.  The standard of our accommodation is superb, and we take very seriously the needs of our volunteers.

Dorm Room Guesthouse Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Breakfast included, vegan and vegetarian available on request.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
5 weeks
7 weeks
9 weeks
20 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Port Elizabeth/South Africa between 2 weeks and 20 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Ubuntu Volunteering will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 Ubuntu Volunteering during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in South Africa

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for South Africa. Please check the visa regulations for South Africa.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in South Africa and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in South Africa.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Port Elizabeth (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth. 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.
Vaccine Checker
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.
What can you do in leisure-time in South Africa while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

You might be also interested in

© Volunteer World