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SAVE Foundation

Marine & Coastal Conservation

Cape Town, South Africa

Our Marine Conservation project is an informative and fun marine focused educational program.

About the Program

Our Marine Conservation project is an informative and fun marine focused educational program. It consists of learning through marine and coastal volunteering along the Garden Route of South Africa. We focus on the complete coastal and marine ecosystem, the ecology and the various contributors to and various factors affecting marine conservation. In addition, we focus our attention on gaining a deeper understanding of the lives of iconic marine animals such as whales, dolphins, sharks, seals, penguins, otters, reef animals and coastal and pelagic birds.

Project Highlights
  • Learn about marine conservation in South Africa
  • Get involved with regional marine conservation projects and research initiatives
  • Learn about the perpetual threats to ecosystems and the environment
  • Develop an appreciation for the coastal and marine ecosystems and their various inhabitants
  • Experience observing marine animals in their natural habitat
  • Create long lasting memories and friendships with people from all over the world
Week 1 – Marine and Coastal Ecology and Ecosystem Functioning

Volunteers will be guided through the various facets of what makes the Marine and Coastal Ecosystem ‘tick’. We look broadly at:

  • Marine guiding and the guiding principles
  • The coastal marine environment and two oceans
  • Geology and the coastal environment
  • Marine coastal conservation management
  • Coastal and sea plant biodiversity
  • Marine fish – basic anatomy and physiology
  • The marine reef ecosystem and reef ecology
  • Historical coastal habitation and features

All of this is done in a fun, informative and interactive manner where newly acquired knowledge is applied. Volunteers will be required to report back on their daily experience and provide feedback to your fellow volunteers as to what they have experienced and gained in knowledge for the day. Each day volunteers will be tasked with individual and group research assignments.

Week 2 – Marine Animal Awareness – Whales, Dolphins, Otters

Much of what volunteers experienced and learnt during the first week will be carried over to the second week. Volunteers will now immerse themselves into the lives and behaviour of whales, dolphins and otters. They will do research, workshops and explore the lives of these animal groups, using three key principles in behavioural monitoring namely, observation, interpretation and deduction.

Week 3 – Marine Animal Awareness – Sharks, Seals and Penguins

Volunteers will now immerse themselves into the lives and behaviour of sharks, seals and penguins during this exciting week of natural and interactive discovery. Volunteers will do research,workshops and explore the lives of these animal groups, using three key principles in behavioural monitoring namely, observation, interpretation and deduction.

Week 4 – Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Marine Conservation Research

Volunteers will be exposed to an additional group task being undertaken where all observations found within the marine environment and marine animal populations, observed on our marine journey so far are brought together in a group project based outcome. Individual experiences and interesting facts pertaining to the marine ecosystem and its iconic animal inhabitants are collated by the group in presentation format. The document is copied, bound and presented to each participant when the program concludes.

In addition to this, volunteers will be exposed to a variety of localised conservation projects & conservation research initiatives over the duration of your stay with us. This region, due to its diversity of habitat and endemic species accounts are a favoured research zone.


** This is the schedule for a 4 week program, the schedule for a 2 week program is attached under "Typical day description" **




Typical day

Volunteers will work from Monday to Friday during which they will cover different aspects of the project. Daily schedule starts at 08h00 am and finishes at 4:40 pm unless otherwise specified.

Week 1 – Marine Animal Awareness – Whales, Dolphins, Otters

Much of what volunteers experienced and learnt during the first week will be carried over to the second week. Volunteers will now immerse themselves into the lives and behaviour of whales, dolphins and otters. They will do research, workshops and explore the lives of these animal groups, using three key principles in behavioural monitoring namely, observation, interpretation and deduction.

Week 2 – Marine Animal Awareness – Sharks, Seals and Penguins

Volunteers will now immerse themselves into the lives and behaviour of sharks, seals and penguins during this exciting week of natural and interactive discovery. Volunteers will do research,workshops and explore the lives of these animal groups, using three key principles in behavioural monitoring namely, observation, interpretation and deduction.

Free-time activities

Optional regional adventures & activities for our own account on weekends.

Please note that these activities DO NOT form part of the program you are registered for. These optional activities are for your OWN ACCOUNT and in your off-time. Bookings are to be done through your facilitator and transport can be arranged and priced specific to where the activity is offered. In most instances facilitators will assist with arrangements, transport and accompany you.
Please note that a full list of adventures and prices will be available on arrival

Bungy Jumping off Bloukrantz Bridge. From R700pp
Canyoneering; From R500pp
And a Combination Canyoneering & Abseiling Adventure in the Crags. From R1100pp
Cage Swimming with Great White Sharks in Mossel Bay. From R800pp
Animal Sanctuary Visit in Crags – Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani Predator Park. From R450pp
Full Day in the Life of an African Elephant Program R1800pp
Or a Full Day in the Life of a Game Ranger R1750pp
Guided Walks on Robberg Peninsula From R300pp
Guided Walks in Natures Valley From R300pp
Guided Walks at Krantzkop From R350pp
Guided Walks at Goukamma MPA Reserve From R350pp
Guided Canoeing Adventures on Keurbooms Lagoon/Gorge From R350pp
Guided Canoeing Adventure on the Goukamma River From R350pp
Guided Canoeing Adventures in Natures Valley From R350ppGuided Interpretive Bush Walk Experiences From R300pp
Guided Interpretive Birding Walk Experiences on the Garden
Route From R300pp
Various Experiential Bush Eco-Adventures and an Overnight Bush Survival Adventures just outside Plettenberg Bay R1750pp
Skydiving in Plettenberg Bay and Tandem Paragliding in Wilderness or Sedgefield.
SCUBA Diving in Plettenberg Bay or Knysna or Jeffreys Bay. From R500pp per dive
Learn to Kite Surf or Sail in Knysna. From R2000pp
Swim with Seals in Plettenberg Bay. From R500pp
Pelagic Shark Day Adventure in Plettenberg Bay or Mossel Bay. From R2750pp
Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventure in Plettenberg Bay (Seasonal)
Sea Kayaking in Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. From R500pp
Oudsthoorn Full Day Adventure – Cango Wildlife Ranch, Ostrich Farm and Cango Caves Wild Adventure From R1950pp
Horse Riding in the Forests in the Crags or at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. From R500pp
A Whole Host or Regional MTB Cycling Adventures are available
Learn to Surf in Plettenberg Bay

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date. Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
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

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Any questions? Just ask. We at SAVE Foundation are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by SAVE Foundation.
Services by SAVE Foundation

All arrival and departure transport components for your program - Complimentary transport on Wednesday afternoon and a Saturday morning to town to stock up on supplies you may need and general retail therapy - All accommodation for the duration of the program - You will be provided three balanced meals per day - Tea and coffee will be available throughout the day at the respective bases - Fresh linen is given weekly, includes bedding and towels - A washing machine is available as is an iron - A manual, a workbook, tuition, professional instructors, facilitation and outcome based experiential learning components - Comprehensive public liability, professional and passenger liability cover for each participant for the duration of the program - The full-time service of a qualified professional instructor/facilitator who is your program leader - A certificate of attendance with certifiable aspects highlighted

Airport Pickup at Cape Town International Airport

You will be met at the airport by our representative on the day prior to the commencement date of the program. Alternative arrival modes are to be discussed with us prior to arrival.

Accommodation

Volunteers will be accommodated where the program is presented at the Backpacker Beach House in Plettenberg Bay on Central Beach. All accommodation is comfortable, with all necessary amenities and on a sharing basis, 2 – 4 in a room.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Volunteers will be provided with three balanced meals per day.

Breakfast: help yourself to breakfast; cereals, fruit, yoghurts, toast and spreads

Lunch: this will be in the form of a packed lunch on excursion days or help yourself to lunch – with breads, fruits, cold meats, salad of the day and spreads.

Dinner: A hot meal will be served every night such as traditional BBQ (Braai), stews (Potjies), casseroles, fresh vegetables and meats being the order of the day.

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.
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.
Vaccines
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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,458.00
3 weeks
$2,079.00
4 weeks (max. stay)
$2,700.00
Average fees
$702.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Cape Town/South Africa between 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. SAVE Foundation will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.
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 SAVE Foundation during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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