Volunteering for DolphinCare is a great way to give back and help us keep up with the work load. As one can imagine there are many jobs, ranging from mundane office work to exciting sea travel! Visiting volunteers are accommodated, fed and mentored on-site by the Dolphin Team. Our visiting volunteer program offers a unique opportunity for one to gain hands on experience with a focus on dolphins, whales and turtles in-season. For some it is a month long journey tuning into mother nature through both giving back and really diving in and for others it is used as platform to extend their knowledge on wild dolphins, their behavior, the marine environment & ethical marine mammal tourism practice. During the humpback whale migration, the whales are an added bonus, as are turtles in season. The project operates year-round with programs lasting four weeks. We will generally start each four week program on the ﬁrst Monday of every month, each holding a maximum of eight participants.
DolphinCareAfrica is here to promote and campaign for ethical marine mammal tourism practices along the african coastline in hope of creating a safer world for marine mammals, non-human persons!
Volunteering can provide a wonderful insight into our environment and the runnings of an organization such as DCA. There are different areas in which one can volunteer and these include giving up your time for beach clean-ups, assisting with office work, be on stranding call or partaking in one of the visitor volunteer programs.
We act as a bridge between the scientific community and conservation with all our data being forwarded to the Natural History Museum in Maputo, Mozambique. It is under the guidance of Dr Almeida Guissamulo that we have been able to collect and correlate data captured over the last years with positive results. Bearing in mind that both prior and during the war no scientific studies were undertaken and it is our responsibility to encourage sustainable tourism through bridging the gap with science and tourism.
A typical day! Our mornings start early in Ponta! If we are launching one can expect to be up at sunrise in preparation for the days dolphin sessions at sea. After a quick cuppa and snack you will head down to the dolphin center (currently Dolphin House in the commercial center) where you will assist with guest preparations for their encounter with wild dolphins in the open ocean. This will include assisting with welcoming and registration, pre-briefings and gear allocation. This normally takes about an hour, after which you will head to sea with the Dolphin Crew to look for dolphins and whales during season. Once located, time will be spent collecting data that includes photography, acoustics, environmental and behavioral.
Time is dedicated to the capturing of 'fin shots' for the PDO dolphin id project. A set of steady sea legs, a good eye and some photography skills might find you behind the lens. Private cameras can be brought along to help with the project and your images will be added to the extensive data base.
Depending on dolphins behavior, we will enter into the water for behavior observations and further collection via underwater video and cameras.
Volunteers will be asked to undertake certain tasks in the water which may include assisting participants and dolphin counts. One can expect to be at sea for around two hours at a time depending on sea state.
There are a number of red-data list species that may be encountered at sea including the majestic humpback whale, whale sharks, turtles and manta rays.
Once back on land volunteers assist with de-briefing participants, rinsing & sorting gear. Time for a quick hour break with breakfast before heading to the office where specific post launch activities take place that include camera cleaning, capturing and sorting of days images and data.