Marine Conservation & Ocean Explorers Eco-Learning

This AMAZING SEA-FARI, a 4-Week Marine Discovery Program takes Eco-Learner's on an exciting Marine journey of discovery as we delve into the deep blue

The Marine Environment has always fascinated man. It is a uniquely diverse, unpredictable and interesting environment providing the perfect opportunity to gather Marine-based knowledge through experiential eco-learning, interpret that knowledge and process that knowledge in a practical environment using the principles of observation, interpretation and deduction. The marine environment is a haven for ecological and species studies, as diverse as life itself. Join us on this awesome Marine-Eco-Adventure and Sea-fari experience like no other.

This 4-week Marine Conservation & Marine Animal Awareness Eco-Learning Volunteer Program is an informative, fun yet formalized Marine focused experiential educational program and comprises learning through Marine and Coastal Eco-Volunteering along the Garden Route of South Africa. Eco-learners participate in a residential, structured and dedicated Marine specific volunteering program which is founded on outcome-based learning objectives with innovative approaches to deciphering observable marine animal behavior and applying sound Marine Conservation strategies, procedures and protocols applicable to Marine and Coastal Ecological, Conservation and Ecosystem Management. 

PROGRAM SCHEDULE AND BREAKDOWN

5-Days Marine and Coastal Ecology and Ecosystem Functioning.

Eco-Learning 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 Bio Diversity; Marine Fish – Basic Anatomy and Physiology; the Marine Reef Ecosystem and Reef Ecology; and Historical Coastal Habitation and Features. All of this is done in a fun, informative and interactive manner where newly acquired knowledge is applied. You will be required at close of day to report back on your daily experience and provide feedback to your participating peers as to what you have experienced and gained in knowledge for the day. Each day you will be tasked with individual and group research assignments.

What you the Eco-Learning Volunteer will learn in this module:

Marine and Coastal Ecology and Ecosystem Functioning – You will participate in this interactive, research component of the program which will better equip you knowledge-wise to prepare for the three weeks that follow. We explore, dissect and interpret all the information from the various topics of discussion and apply it practically on a daily basis. Expect the unexpected from time-to-time.

Weekends are free time to explore the region.

5-Days Marine Animal Awareness – Whales, Dolphins, Otters

Much of what you experienced and learnt during the first module will be carried over to this module with continued application practically of what was learnt. We do however now immerse ourselves into the lives and behaviour of whales, dolphins and otters.

We research, workshop and explore the lives of these animal groups and use three key principles in behavioural monitoring – Observation, Interpretation and Deduction. Each day participants will be required to provide feedback to the group as each volunteer compiles their own account of their marine experience through photographic accounts, written accounts and recorded research data which not only is a living memory of your experience but also a data contribution to the daily management.

What you the Eco-Learning Volunteer will learn in this module:

Whale and Dolphin Knowledge, Research and Behavior – This component has been designed to create a better understanding of Cetaceans, their behaviours and specific adaptations as animals of the vast oceans. You will delve deep into the lives of whales and dolphins. We explore the species composition which occurs off Plettenberg Bay and the specific pelagic habits of not often seen species. The lives of these animals beneath the sea surface has been a secret one and their hidden life in the vast expanses of the ocean realm has given birth to myths and legends which we seek to uncover. We aim to create a positive and enlightened awareness of whales and dolphins through this highly informative and interactive program of discovery. You will have the opportunity to do land-based as well as sea-based viewing of these amazing animals. Whales are seasonal but we do have resident Bryde’s whales.

Otter Knowledge, Research and Behavior – You will delve deep into the secret life of the Cape Clawless Otter which is resident along the coastal environment. We look into general behavior, social organisation, feeding behaviors and interesting facts pertaining to the ecological functioning of Otters in the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems.

Weekends are free time to explore the region.

5-Days Marine Animal Awareness – Sharks, Seals and Penguins.

Much of what you experienced and learnt during the first two-weeks will be carried over to this module with continued application practically of what was learnt. We now immerse ourselves into the lives and behaviour of Sharks, Seals and Penguins during this exciting week of natural and interactive discovery.

We research, workshop and explore the lives of these animal groups and use three key principles in behavioural monitoring – Observation, Interpretation and Deduction. Each day participants will be required to provide feedback to the group as each volunteer compiles their own account of their marine experience through photographic accounts, written accounts and recorded research data which not only is a living memory of your experience but also a data contribution to the daily management.

What you the Eco-Learning Volunteer will learn in this module:

Shark and Pelagic Shark Knowledge, Research and Behaviour – You will dig deep into the evolutionary life of sharks, their specific adaptations as one of the apex predators of the ocean and the specific form and function that they as a species have evolved to be highly specialised and successful predators with specific physiological and anatomical adaptations. Sharks have always evoked emotional reactions from man as perceived monsters of the deep with insatiable appetites and ferocious attacks on and which prey on humans. This perception has shifted in the last couple of years from subjective speculations to objective facts. We use this component to introduce you to the fascinating world of sharks. We will do shore based observations

Cape Fur Seal Knowledge, Research and Behaviour – We will delve deep into the life history of Seals, their biology, anatomy and physiology as key predators in the ocean. We look at mating and breeding strategies and behaviours, and the social structures inherent in a colony-style existence. We will explore the threats to seals on a global scale, the human-seal conflict and how climate change may affect global seal populations. We will visit our resident Seal population, giving both a land-based and a sea-based perspective as to the colony and the dynamics at play. You will get a Seal-of-Approval from this experience.

Penguin and Coastal Bird Knowledge, Research and Behavior – You will gain a better understanding of birds in a Coastal and Marine context along the South African Coastline and more specifically the Plettenberg Bay Coastal areas with diverse lagoon, estuarine and Marine Protected Area habitats and species available. We focus on identification, identification features, behaviors, feeding behavior, breeding behavior and specific adaptations physiologically to the Marine and Coastal Habitat. We will visit bird projects and conservation research initiatives during this week.

Weekends are free time to explore the region.

5-Days Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Marine Conservation Research and Projects

Eco-Learning 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.

Each day participants will be required to compile their own account of their Marine journey through photographic accounts, written accounts and recorded research data which is a living memory of your experience with the African Edu-Eco Wizard team but also a data contribution to a variety of Marine Conservators and Research Project coordinators.

In addition to this you will be exposed to a variety of localized 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 favored research zone.

What you the Eco-Learning Volunteer will learn in this module:

Marine Animal Rehabilitation - Principles, Protocols and Procedures for Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release – You will explore and research the principles, protocols and procedures for the Marine Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release of animals back into their natural habitat. We look at assessment criteria for treatment on location, to a care and rehabilitation strategy culminating in the release back into the wild, of rehabilitated animals. You will visit a Rehabilitation Centre for a first-hand experience.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Techniques, Tools and Methodologies – Marine Animals – We explore and research a wide spectrum of Marine Rehabilitation techniques, tools and methodologies for injured animals on a daily basis. You will be tasked with a variety of research initiatives from a theoretical perspective and discuss as a group the possible practical applications and implications of using specific techniques, tools and methodologies. We also do a Marine Mammal Stranding Workshop with a Marine Biologist.

Conservation Projects – Conservation projects in the region include clearing of Invasive and Alien plant species; Monitoring Estuarine Ecosystems; Clearing Hiking paths and trails; Beach debris clean ups and documenting debris found; Elasmobranch Egg Case Collection and Data assimilation;  to name but a few. Please note that you will be exposed to 3 of these Conservation projects. Conservation Research Initiatives - These initiatives include Bird Ringing; Fish monitoring; Fynbos Research initiatives; Bird monitoring; Marine Animal research initiatives; Macro Invertebrate Research; and Seabird Research, to name but a few. Please note that you will be exposed to 3 of these research initiatives during your stay with us.

We wind up the program with an awards ceremony and dinner on Friday evening with Saturday designated for packing and on-wards journeys.

PLEASE NOTE - WE OFFER SCHEDULED DEPARTURES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. 

Dates for 2016:-

4th – 30th July 2016

1st – 27th August 2016

5th September – 1st October 2016

3rd – 29th October 2016

7th November – 3rd December 2016


Dates for 2017:-

6th February – 3rd  March 2017

3rd April – 28th April 2017

5th June – 30th June 2017

31st July – 25th August 2017

4th – 29th September 2017

6th November – 1st December 2017

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Families
Groups

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Education Requirements
Biology, Geography, Science, Wildlife, Nature Science at Matric or University or Life Experiences level
Required Documents
CV, Completed Application Form, Copy of Passport and Medical and Insurance Cover
Other Skills
Energy, enthusiasm, commitment, passion and a willingness to learn and explore
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in South Africa? Volunteer World directly connects you with African Edu-Eco

Marine Conservation & Ocean Explorers Eco-Learning Southern Right Whale Double Room at Alcedonia Seine Netting - Fish Evaluations Coastal View Balcony at the House Autopsy on Dolphin Salt River Having a Good Time Marine Debris Clean Up Open Plan Kitchen and Lounge Elephant Seal 2000 km North of Home Seal Colony by Sea Fish Measurements Tail Up Kelp Gull on the Wing Coastal  Otter Walks Colony Watch Whale Breaching

Free-time activities

Full and comprehensive activity profiles are given to participants on arrival so as to budget accordingly for exploring the region and the incredible variety of activities and adventures on offer in the Garden Route region.

One can expect adventures to be mild to wild. From Bungy Jumping, to Skydiving, to Sea Kayaking, to Canoeing in Wilderness sections of various rivers, to Black Water Tubing, to Paragliding, to Swimming with Seals, to Great White Shark encounters, to Walking or Hiking a number of the most scenic routes available on the Garden Route, to Mountain Biking, to Trail Running. You name it we have it. African Edu-Eco Wizard will assist in organizing your extra-mural activities. This list is not comprehensive by any means and can be embroidered on extending all the way from Mossel Bay to Oudsthoorn to Jefferies Bay to Port Elizabeth to Addo Elephant National Park and the Sundays river.

African Edu-Eco Wizard facilitates and manages many of these adventures and only suggests and utilizes reputable adventure operators in the region which conform with the legal requirements to operate such adventures. AEEW also offers a transfer service to and from adventure activity.

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Riding

Services

What's included?
Included: All arrival and departure transport components for your program. This is for arrival and departure from George. 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. Fresh linen is given weekly. A washing machine is available as is an iron. WiFi. Television & DVD player. An Eco-Learning Workbook, Tuition, Professional Instructor. Certificate.
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

We collect our Eco-Learners from George Airport ONLY. The approximate travelling time between George and our Alcedonia House Base in Plettenberg Bay is about 1,5-hours. It is advised that you arrive on the day prior to the commencement of the program and depart on the final day of your scheduled program date. Should accommodation extensions be required this will be for your own account.

Accommodation

Alcedonia House located in River Club Estate in Plettenberg Bay serves as our Primary base for duration of your program. All accommodation is on a SHARING basis – 2 in a room. All accommodation is comfortable, up-to-date with necessary amenities. Eco-Volunteers are expected to keep their rooms and personal belongings tidy at all times and participate in any chores as required for the cleanliness and operation of the shared facilities, vehicles and program presentation areas.

Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

You will be provided three balanced meals per day. A basic breakfast, brunch or lunch and dinner daily.
Meal times are: Breakfast 7h30 am. Lunch 12h00 pm. Dinner 18h30 pm
Breakfast Format – Help yourself - Breakfast; cereals, fruit, yoghurts, toast and spreads
Lunch Format – Lunch will be help yourself to lunch – with breads, fruits, cold meats, salad of the day and spreads.
Dinner Format – A hot meal will be served and will include a meat, starch and vegetable.
DRINKS are for own account

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
Costs
4 weeks (min. stay)
$2250

You can volunteer at the project site in Plettenberg Bay/South Africa between 4 weeks and 4 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. African Edu-Eco will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$563/week
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 African Edu-Eco 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.
Budgeting
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?

Airport
The nearest airport is George (GRJ) in George. 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.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in South Africa while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in South Africa upfront.
Alcedonia House, River Club Estate, Piesangs Valley, 6600 Plettenberg Bay, South Africa