insyte to the programme

“I'm grateful, I'm sad but I'm also overjoyed. I walked into this aquarium with no expectations, a little nervous but excited and ready to take on something new, I leave today with so much knowledge, so much love and even more excitement because when you find something that you are truly passionate about it is a life changing experience..” Katie

Get up close and personal with sharks, turtles, penguins, exotic fish and other marine creatures at this incredible aquarium in the heart of spectacular Cape Town.

With Cape Town’s unique positioning where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, the aquarium is ideally positioned to showcase an incredible diversity of marine life – and with over 3,000 living sea creatures this underwater nature reserve does not disappoint ! 

Join this passionate and dedicated team of dynamic marine biologists who are committed to the marine environment. As a volunteer, you’ll gain valuable behind the scenes experience in a world-class aquarium, assisting with a variety of tasks such as cleaning displays, prepping food and keeping the residents and visitors happy. You may even get involved in open water rescue missions or animal releases.


Day 1 (Monday) 

Arrive at Cape Town Airport (airport code CPT) where you’ll be met and taken straight to your new home, a journey of around 45 minutes during which you’ll get your first sight of the iconic Table Mountain. You’ll need to arrive by 4pm so that you’re in time for orientation at 5pm, otherwise you should fly in a day early. 

Day 2 (Tuesday)

In the morning the team will transfer you to your new accommodation.

Once you have settled in they’ll show you how to get to your project each day (a choice of bus, mini bus taxi, cab) and then introduce you to the staff at the aquarium. Most days begin early, around 7am and finish at 3pm - you’ll be working Monday to Friday each week under the guidance of permanent members of aquarium staff. 

Project Life

The Aquarium The southern tip of the African continent is the meeting place of two mighty oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic. This Aquarium is ideally positioned to showcase the incredible diversity of marine life found in these two oceans, and is recognised as a key player in raising environmental awareness through its high-quality exhibits, conservation and education programs.

The aquarium is respected internationally for its high standards of animal husbandry and the expertise of its staff in collecting and transporting live animals. The team is committed to environmental education in South Africa and promoting positive changes towards the management of our marine resources. The centre is involved in a number of conservation and research programs, depending the requirements at the time you may be able to get involved:

Sharks - around the globe millions of sharks are slaughtered every year for their meat, fins, teeth, skin, oil and cartilage. The aquarium successfully breeds and releases sharks back into the ocean each year – these sharks are fitted with satellite tags, giving scientists the opportunity to monitor their migration patterns, revealing fascinating insights into the sharks’ movements.
Turtles - during winter substantial numbers of juvenile loggerhead and leatherback turtles are washed ashore in the area, having been swept down from where they hatch further north in South Africa. They are often in a weak condition, suffering from injuries or dehydration, so the aquarium team rehabilitates these turtles and once they are nursed back to health releases them back into the ocean. In 2015, 162 turtles were successfully released, an outstanding achievement.
Seals - seals are being threatened by increased commercial fishing and by the pollution in the water. The aquarium has a seal rescue team who assist and rescue injured seals, often requiring intervention due to the seal becoming entangled in fishing nets or rubbish in the water.


Spend your free time as you please, your weekends are yours to enjoy. Cape Town offers so much to do. There are loads of stunning beaches to choose from, go for a surf or check out a penguin colony. Maybe you’d like to climb Table Mountain, visit Robben Island, explore the city with its fascinating museums and art galleries….or even go wine tasting. You’ll also want to kick back and chill in the garden or around the swimming pool at the volunteer house.

​Last day – (Monday) 

It will be sad to say goodbye to your newfound friends but you’ll have so many special memories to take back with you. Save around $30 for the airport transfer, which our coordinator will arrange for you

your digs

You will have your own room in a shared volunteer house in Cape Town. Bathrooms are communal, as is the kitchen and lounge area. The house is serviced daily and has free laundry facilities. There is a small local charge for wifi and electricity, around $60 in total for 4 weeks. Bedding is provided - but bring a sleeping bag for extra warmth – also BYO towel. 


You’ll be self-catering during your stay, and can cook your meals in the communal kitchen. Alternatively, there are also heaps of takeaways, bars and restaurants nearby. The main street is only 10 mins walk away.


start date

Every Monday year round

minimum age


important info

• Pricing : 4 weeks £1029pp, 6 weeks £1349, 8 weeks £1549, 12 weeks £1969. Prices will be advised in writing prior to confirmation.
• Fly In / Out : Cape Town (CPT)
• What’s included: Accommodation, airport pickup, briefing, local 24/7 support
• What’s not included in cost: Meals, flights, return airport transfer, travel insurance


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Great! We will be in touch ASAP to confirm your volunteer escape!

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