Marine Guiding

Become a marine tour guide while visiting our Conserving Great White Sharks project in Gansbaai, South Africa.

Volunteering on board of vessels, offers the chance to gain exposure with various marine species, including but not limited to Great White Sharks, Southern Right Whales (seasonal), Dolphins and many marine bird species such as the endangered African Penguin. Every trip sports a dedicated marine guide that can guide volunteers, increasing their knowledge of the target species and ecology of the area where they operate during the set trips.

This program will suit anyone who loves the ocean, marine wildlife, whale enthusiasts (seasonally) and people who want to learn more about how Eco-Tourism benefits conservation

Project Details

On successful completion of the course and on being declared competent for the coastal-marine qualification, you will be issued with a Coastal-Marine Guide Certificate and the FGASA Marine Guide (NQF2) Certificate. Your achievements will be processed and the relevant CATHSSETA Certificate will be obtained via FGASA. This will then allow you to register with the National Department of Tourism (NDT) as a legal Tourist guide being able to work in the relevant coastal-marine environments. During the course, you also have the option of adding the following certificates to the Marine Nature Guide Certificate, by completing relevant workbooks, theory exams and practical assessments: Nature Site Guide (NQF2), Culture Site Guide (NQF4), The Fynbos Biome Certificate.

Our programme offers people from all over the world the chance to experience unique marine projects in the biodiverse environment of Gansbaai in the Western Cape of South Africa.

On successful completion of the course and on being declared competent for the coastal-marine qualification, you will be issued with a Coastal-Marine Guide Certificate and the FGASA Marine Guide (NQF2) Certificate. Your achievements will be processed and the relevant CATHSSETA Certificate will be obtained via FGASA. This will then allow you to register with the National Department of Tourism (NDT) as a legal Tourist guide being able to work in the relevant coastal-marine environments. During the course, you also have the option of adding the following certificates to the Marine Nature Guide Certificate, by completing relevant workbooks, theory exams and practical assessments: Nature Site Guide (NQF2), Culture Site Guide (NQF4), The Fynbos Biome Certificate.

Situated near Cape Agulhas, the Southern most tip of Africa, Kleinbaai hosts an extraordinary marine environment.

Known as the Great White shark capital of the world, this are provides thousands of local and international tourists with daily sightings of these magnificent animals (peak May to September). Their density can be attributed to the availability of viable prey in our region. Geyser Rock, one of the islands in the Greater Dyer Island Complex, is home to roughly 60,000 Cape Fur seals, the favoured prey of our Great White sharks.

Despite frequent sightings, there is no evident growth in population and little research has been conducted on Great White sharks in general.

The Birkenhead Volunteer Lodge, your accommodation during your stay, is equipped with 4 chalets that house between 4 and 6 persons per chalet, with own bathroom, kitchen and living areas as well as daily living essentials.

The main house will be occupied with volunteer coordinators and a full time janitor so all the needs of the grounds are met. There is also a very spacious living area in the main hall with a pool table as some entertainment and a cash bar, communal indoor braai and kitchen area that can be used.

The facility has a big and safe swimming pool and garden. Walking to the office is easy, quick and safe and will only take between 10 and 15min (1.2km). We also have a volunteer bus that is equipped with all the safety permits and regulations and is used daily for the volunteers needs.

Key things about the lodge
– Expect to share
– Fully furnished
– Satellite TV – a whole lot of channels
– DVD player
– Wireless internet (remember to bring laptop or phones)
– Emergency numbers are in the house
– Sheets are provided and washed regularly
– Maintenance kept weekly
– Heating in the rooms and living area
– 3 Bicycles for personal use
– Keep your personal belongings safe (we have a safe at the office if needed)
– The water is safe to drink

All workday meals are included. Dinner is excluded.

On arrival at Cape Town International airport you will have to clear Immigration and collect your baggage, once you have cleared customs formalities proceed to arrival. You will need to arrive in Cape Town no later than the previous Sunday and spend the evening at an accommodation of your choice. You will need to be in the centre of Cape Town.

You need to provide us with your accommodation details, Marine Dynamics will contact you the Sunday evening with the exact pick up time for the Monday morning. Our launch times depend on the weather and tide and changes on a daily basis and this affects the daily pick up times. Make sure to ask reception for messages. Pickup can be as early as 05h00am. You will be picked up with our clients so please be ready as any delays in pickups will have an affect on our launch time.

You will arrive at our head quarters the Monday morning and usually will be going on our trip for the day so pack your bathing suite, camera and sun block. If you are prone to seasickness, it is better to take a tablet the evening before and then again the next morning.

You will be going on the trip as a client and will have a breakfast/lunch with the clients as well as a safety briefing. You will have the chance to dive and enjoy the day out at sea.

After the trip you will be greeted by one of our volunteer coordinators that will take you for food shopping and get you settled in your accommodation.
Please also use this time to ask questions or raise any concerns.

Our programme also ends on a Monday. Our transport will take you back to Cape Town to your preferred or booked accommodation. This transport is always after our trip with our clients.

If you prefer us to take you back to the airport, your flight has to be departing after 19h00pm. Anytime before that, we can not guarantee getting you there on time as you need to be at the airport 2 hours ahead of time, then you might have to go back the day before, spend one evening in Cape Town and make your own way to the airport

We recommend you bring your mobile phone for use in South Africa. There is mobile phone coverage (cell phone with local service); please be sure to ‘unlock’ your mobile device for international use with your provider.

Not known as the “Cape of Storms” for nothing! It is wise to pack for both warm and cold weather conditions – the temperate climate of the Overberg can surprise with very cold squalls and extremely humid conditions. The Western Cape region has its rainy season during the winter months. But come warm or cold, this does not stop us from having fun every day!

The Western Cape region including Cape Town offers a variety of activities and excursions to book during your time off from volunteering. From surfing lessons, to local wine farms, the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the rich culture of the region, you will be spoilt for choice!

Some excursions will included :
Cape Agulhas – the most Southern Tip of Africa (1 ½ hours drive)
Hermanus for shopping and wine tasting (50min drive)
Betty’s Bay to visit the Penguin Colony at Stoney Point (1 ½ hours drive)
Cape Town to the Waterfront and the Aquarium (2 ½ hours drive)
Cave hike
The beach
Horse-riding
Quad bikes
Shopping

Accommodation
All trips on the boat
Other educational excursions and activities
We supply basic breakfast essentials such as cereal; and tea and coffee is available. Lunch is supplied but please note that dinner is excluded.
Laundry one per week and room service twice per week
Lectures and related conservation work
Internet access at the accommodation
Required training material and certification fees

The course includes modules on:

• Guiding skills (Creating and Conducting)
• The Coastal marine environment and the two oceans
• Geology and the coastal environment
• Astronomy
• Weather and Climate
• Ecology
• Basic Taxonomy
• Plants and Sea Plants (Algae)
• Marine and Terrestrial invertebrates
• Amphibians
• Reptiles
• Fish
• Birds
• Mammals
• Animal Behaviour
• Historical Human Habitation
• Conservation Management

The coastal-marine nature guide course programme will be split into aspects including lectures (both classroom and outdoor) conducted by the course instructors and subject matter experts, practical training boat trips, visits to surrounding nature areas, self-study and workbook completion time and a lot of fun. You will be provided with the programme schedule at the start of the course to ensure you have a full understanding of all the requirements for the duration of the course.

Comprehensive Information Pack

Starting from: (2022 price)
£ 000.00
Starting from: (2023 price)
£ 000.00

Quick Overview

Country & Area  : Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Nearest Airport  : Port Elizabeth

Transfer Time     : 10 min

Duration              : 4 or 8 weeks

Minimum Age     : 18