Orca Foundation Volunteer Program

By June 29, 2019 August 15th, 2019 Conservation Volunteering

Volunteer World International in conjunction with the O.R.C.A Foundation (Ocean Research Conservation South Africa) are proud to offer our volunteers the once in a lifetime opportunity to view some of the worlds most amazing marine species and learn about their lives and behaviour whilst assisting and getting hands on experience of genuine marine conservation and research.

Program Outline         Location          Dates and Rates          Gallery

Program Outline         Location          Dates and Rates          Gallery

Program Outline

Set in the stunning seaside town of Plettenberg Bay, the ORCA Foundation Volunteer Program in conjunction with VWI provides one of the most idyllic locations anywhere for a volunteer visit – volunteers will find themselves surrounded by pure, unspoiled golden beaches, large indigenous forests, beautiful estuarine rivers and dramatic rocky peninsulas – all rounded off by stunning views over the Indian Ocean right at the heart of South Africas world famous Garden Route!

Volunteers with VWI to the ORCA Foundation Volunteer Program are guaranteed a hugely engaging stay at the heart of Plettenberg bay full of rewarding and fulfilling activities in perhaps the most amazing outdoor classroom in South Africa. Volunteers daily activities are structured to support the projects long term conservation plans and goals to manage this hugely diverse coastal zone in a sustainable manner and thus allowing you to actively participate in conserving the marine and community life of the region for future generations.

On a day to day basis, volunteers may be
involved in the following activities:

  • Regular trips to sea (weather dependent) to encounter the amazingly diverse range of biodiversity that frequents the local waters where you will be sampling, tagging, and monitoring local fish species.
  • Assisting with the rehabilitation of marine animals found stranded on the beaches – volunteers can also opt to participate in ‘The Marine Strandings Course’ – an introduction to first aid for marine animals. Organizing and presenting at provincial/national marine and coastal awareness campaigns (such as National Environment Week, National Marine Week, and Youth Day) when they occur.
  • Experiencing and assisting in amazing marine eco-tourism with Ocean Blue Adventures (whale and dolphin watching).
  • Monitoring and beach cleaning campaigns – a hugely important conservation practice!
  • Maintaining, cleaning and collecting food for O.R.C.A.’s aquarium species – used for education and conservation purposes.
  • Fin profiling and spatial distribution programs for various local species.
  • Assisting with O.R.C.A.’s carbon reduction program and removal of alien plant species within the locality (volunteers at ORCA have visited Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre to assist with clearing of alien plants). Enjoying educational presentations on conservation and ecological topics.
  • Participating in community development and education programmes in local disadvantaged communities (e.g. Qolweni Pre-School).
  • Additionally, Volunteers staying for a minimum of 4 weeks may also partake in the ‘Marine Guiding Course’ to become qualified as a local marine guide or the ‘Competent Crew Course’ teaching volunteers basic boat skills, safety at sea, radio work etc – let us know if these are of interest to you when you book.


Plettenberg Bay, The Garden Route, South Africa

If ever there was a perfect location to visit as a volunteer, it would be difficult to find any better than Plettenberg Bay!

The jewel of South Africa’s famous Garden Route and a beach lovers paradise, Plettenberg Bay is a truly stunning town and location to spend your stay. Surrounded by a variety of game reserves, endless sandy beaches and situated at the heart of our world famous ‘Garden Route’, even in your free time, you will never be at a loss for something to do or have any excuse to be bored! Local amenities such as cinemas, shopping malls, restaurants and bars are also in easy reach and within walking distance of your accommodation making this a truly perfect spot for anyone wanting to experience the very best that South Africa has to offer.

Rates and Dates



FROM R17, 950

Volunteers to the ORCA Foundation must ensure that arrival is made to the project for the Sunday prior to your project start date the following day (Monday). Volunteers may arrive to Plettenberg Bay from where a free pick up will be provided or to George Airport from where VWI will organise transfers direct to the project if required – just let us know your flight details as soon as possible in advance! Flights are available to George from Cape Town and Johannesburg or travel may be made by road from Cape Town (approx 600kms but well worth the drive!).

What's Included:
  • Accommodation at ORCA House in shared bedrooms (located near the beach and within easy reach of local shopping malls, cinema, bars and restaurants)
  • Meals (6 nights a week) though volunteers may need to pack a lunch for certain activities – this will be advised in good time prior to the need arising
  • Dedicated and experienced coordinator throughout your stay
  • All activities at the project
Not Included:
  • Flights/Visas
  • Airport transfers (these can be arranged if required from George Domestic Airport for R600 each way. For arrivals to Cape Town International or Port Elizabeth Airports, please contact us for pricing)
  • Alcoholic beverages and evening/weekend entertainment
  • Medical insurance (we strongly recommend taking out private medical insurance)

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