Marine Dyamics
93% Rating
(7 Reviews)

Marine Dyamics

Operating in Gansbaai, Western Cape, a world hot spot for the great white shark, you will experience an incredible cage diving adventure on board our custom designed boat, Slashfin, (named after one of our visiting sharks). An on board marine biologist will educate you as you get up close and personal with this amazing apex predator. We are certified by Fair Trade in Tourism and live by our motto of ‘Discover and Protect’. We are involved in shark research which includes tagging and tracking the great white. You will leave with great memories and a deep appreciation of this majestic animal.

Most Recent Program Reviews

Susan
Female
58 years old
Austin, Texas
Other

Great Whites, Whales and Penguins...Oh My!

10/10

You do get “up close and personnel” with the sharks! I got picked up from the B.I.G. in Cape Town at 8:30am and after stopping off at some other hostels we were on our way to Gansbaai! We had volunteers from: USA, Canada, Israel, Holland, Italy, Austria and Scotland.

We were immediately given our gear (2 shirts, 1 ball cap and a wind jacket)and were taken to our cabins in their new facility. The rooms where clean; bathroom had plenty of hot water (which we needed as it was cold in August!) and a nice kitchen in each cabin. The coordinators drove us to the local grocery market to buy food and drinks; they did this every other day so buying food was no issue. Our first two days were spent training, meeting one of the Captains and enjoying a presentation at the Great White House. Our 3rd day in we made our first trip to sea was as a client, and the sharks were great! I had no idea I even took any decent pictures until we looked at the pictures that night. As you can see, I was inches from the teeth!

I spent most of my time on the Slashfin. I enjoy the water and never get seasick so this was Great! As a volunteer you are expected to help with boat prep and get all the guests into their gear both at the Great White House and on the Slashfin. The ride out to the diving site was always fantastic! You will get a lot of time to watch the sharks and film them, this is a major plus! The Marine Biologists, Kelly and Sara were funny and very knowledgeable. The local crews on the boat really know their stuff and it is like a ballet in motion watching them work.

What was unexpected for me was I came for the sharks and fell in Love with the Penguins! I worked every day of my two weeks at APSS. You have to prove yourself there. If you have ever seen the show Dirty Jobs one of them is cleaning Penguin poop and yes you are going to do it! You scrub pens, floors, everywhere, but it is so worth it. I quickly became attached to the little guys and had no fear of their beaks (which by the way can get you if you are not careful!) I was able to work with the Penguins directly; administering nutrients via tubing, hand feeding fish and giving medications. Since I work with my vet in Texas this was a whole new experience vs the livestock I am used to! The best part…I got to be involved in their Penguin release! They had 10 Penguins that we released on August 23, 2015 and I was so blessed to have been able to open a cage and let the little guys go back to Dyer Island! That on it's own would have made my entire trip but there was so much more to do! I went to Cape Agulhas, enjoyed seafood up and down the coast and you just cannot visit enough winery's! On our last two days we had a no sea day. We went into Hermanus and went shopping, sampled wines at Creative Winery and went to Stoney Point to see the Penguins in the wild. To say I am am in Love with Penguins is an understatement! The day we left we left early and went to the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town were I got to dive in the Predators tank with a couple of Ragged Tooth Sharks and a frisky Turtle (make sure to bring your dive card!) I loved it!! I plan on going back but spending at least a month there!

How can this program be improved?

My one big change would be that they allow volunteers a chance to at least work on the whaling boat at least once if they are there two weeks or maybe at least once a week. I noticed, while I was there that they tended to put the same volunteers on the same projects and as a volunteer you really want to be able to volunteer in as many different ways as possible.

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Blair
Male
42 years old
Australia

Face to face with one of the worlds last great predators

9/10

I've been lucky enough to have been involved with Dyer Island Conservation Trust for the past two years. First as a volunteer, and then this year as a Research Intern. For anyone with a passion for the ocean and it's inhabitants, this program is like a dream come true. You'll be out at sea every day (except for bad weather), where you'll see Great White sharks, seals, penguins, whales, dolphins, and oceanic birds including majestic albatross if your lucky. To come face to face with a Great White Shark if a lifetime highlight guaranteed. The marine biologists you'll work with are incredibly generous with their knowledge, not to mention just straight out good fun to be around! And this program just seems to attract a great mix of people in both ages, nationality etc that allows for a great social scene after a long day out at sea. Braais (BBQ's) at the volunteer house are an institution, as are sunset drinks overlooking the bay at DeKelders. As for the staff, they treat you like family and you can't help but feel it back. You'll help out on the cage diving vessel, have the chance to be involved in real research, take a trip on the whale watching vessel and so much more. Basically if the sea is your passion, then this is for you!

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TK
Female
42 years old
Nebraska
Other

Sharks are fantastic!

10/10

I first volunteered with Marine Dynamics four years ago and have been coming back every year since. What an amazing experience! It is such an honor to see great white sharks everyday. I learn so much while I am here and the marine biologists are wonderful to work with.

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Alex
Female
32 years old
Davis, California
Other

Truly Inspiring trip

9/10

The project speaks for itself. Having the opportunity to dive and interact with Great White Sharks on a daily basis was an experience I will never forget. I also was able to discuss conservation and biology principles with the staff, other volunteers, and tourists; people from all corners of the world. It's a priceless learning experience.

The staff of this project take the time to really get to know you on a personal and professional level. They go out of their way to make sure the volunteers are getting the most out their volunteer experience and that they are having the trip of a lifetime. Tracey would visit me at the volunteer house, take me and others out to dinners or out on the town when we had shorter days. She even helped arrange local entertainment (ATV riding, Capetown adventures, sky diving, etc) They treat you like someone who belongs there. When the owner found out I was studying to be a veterinarian, he arranged for me to assist the local veterinarian in a couple injured bird cases. Basically, you always have things to do there, even if they are not directly affiliated with the research project. I believe this volunteer project has a great future ahead of it, and my greatest hope is to return someday.

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MJLloyd
Male
24 years old
UK
University of Plymouth

Marine Dynamics Great White Shark Project: an unforgettable experience!

10/10

My time working at Marine Dynamics was without a doubt the greatest month of my life, and by the end of it, I was only thinking about when I could go back or how i could stay longer. The Marine Dynamics Great White Shark Project was not only a fun and exciting way to spend some of my gap year, but educational as well and gave me a fantastic pre-degree taste of marine biology in the field. The staff in the Great White house, the Marine biologists and the crew on the boat, all of them made me feel welcomed and allowed me to quickly feel comfortable working there throughout my time volunteering. Working on the cage diving boat was amazing, seeing the majestic Great Whites up close is definitely something I would say everyone should do at some point as it is an experience to remember! On the occasion that i could go out on the research boat 'LWASI' i was able to get a first hand experience of tagging and tracking a white shark, something that was an amazing experience and gave me an insight into how they move and how they hunt, i even got to witness a predation, which is amazing to see!
After boat work the social scene is amazing, whether its having a casual night in, going to a braii (BBQ) or going out to the pubs, the social aspect left nothing to be desired and was a seriously good time!
Overall, my time with Marine Dynamics was unforgettable and I would sincerely tell anyone thinking of going to see the white sharks to definitely go down to Ghansbaii and see the Sharks with Marine Dynamics! Truly an amazing experience without compare. I HIGHLY recommend this volunteering program, after all, I personally have already made plans to go back!

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The International Marine Volunteer program offers individuals from all over the world, the opportunity to experience unique m...