Marine Volunteer Program: Facilities

Our marine volunteers have access to the full range of Marine Dynamics Academy facilites, including fantastic accommodation, bar and restaurant and of course, our dedicated marine vessels.

Live and breathe South African wildlife

Our Fleet of Vessels

Whale and bird watching boat:


Dream Catcher is our whale watching and eco-trip vessel and is the latest addition to our fleet. She is a 14m catamaran with an aluminium hull and is purpose-built for eco-marine and whale-watching trips. She was custom designed by owner, Wilfred Chivell. During whale season the boat runs several trips a day in search of the iconic Southern Right Whale. Out of season, eco-trips are run on demand.

Your duties will include: Assisting with life jackets for clients, Guiding, Data capture, Helping with any sea sick passengers (not as common on Dream Catcher as the boat does not anchor and is on the move a lot), Preparation and cleaning of boat

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The ultimate shark cage diving boat


Slashfin is the pride of Gansbaai. It is a premier cage diving vessel designed by company owner, Wilfred Chivell. It was purpose built for the rough seas we often encounter and is a fantastic ride on the water. It has an aluminium hull and four 300 hp engines which propel it to a top speed of up to 45 knots. Learn more about Slashfin. Trips run daily (weather permitting) going out 1 to 2 times a day on average and volunteers are allocated to each trip. Although your first trip is as a client, thereafter you will be tasked with duties.

Your duties will include: Assisting clients on land with their life jackets, Helping clients into wetsuits, Assisting with seasick clients where necessary, Recording of shark data, Preparation and cleaning of boat, Washing of wetsuits / Assisting crew with duties, Photographs, Recording of Seabird data, Assisting with temperature data

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Dedciated to marine research


Lwazi is our dedicated shark research vessel. She has featured in numerous documentaries and ironically was the vessel used to tag the legendary shark Slashfin (from which our cage diving vessel Slashfin gets its name) in February 2012.

Your duties will include: Assisting with tracking activities, Water sampling, Chum trips, Preparation and cleaning of boat, Data capture / Baitline & Decoy handling, Assisting with BRUV (baited remote underwater video) deployments and recovery

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