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Shark & Coastal Research Volunteer

Inshore the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is made of dunes and dense brush that reaches kilometres inland, the coast itself a string of marshes, lagoons and bays and out at sea, several coral reef systems. All together this makes a protected area given official UNESCO in 1999, South Africa's first world heritage site.

About the Accommodation

In a small and idyllic beach community, you'll be based at a research centre a walk away from the ocean and nearby wetlands. Perfectly situated to study and explore the local environment both onshore and out at sea.

The research centre

A mixture of buildings each serving different functions and uses, from a boat yard and equipment maintenance area to communal kitchens, recreation & living rooms and then accommodation for volunteers, researchers and students. It also boasts a museum and laboratory for greater learning.


Each room is private, simple and comfortable. A bed, storage space, power for charging appliances and mosquito nets, everything you'll need to relax after projects.

Toilets and bathrooms

There are communal bathrooms and toilets around the centre for residents.

Communal Areas and Kitchen

When not completing projects out at sea, volunteers and researchers typically spend their time socialising with each other at the centre. A relaxed and friendly environment, get to group mates from all over the world or for those that can't sit still, assist with ongoing research and equipment maintenance even after hours.


The centre is a walk away from the beach in a safe community where volunteers can explore freely. There are also several other shops and restaurants you can visit after hours. In the surrounding area, several wildlife reserves you can choose to travel to on weekends for safari activities.

On-site Amenities

Laboratory and museum

Engaged in raising public awareness with all things marine conservation, the centre hosts an extensive museum of exhibitions. Helping to showcase its research and results, this museum is open to the public so expect to see (and help with) guests having tours or walks around it.

The laboratory similarly helps the centre achieve greater success.  Volunteers, students and researchers are able to work and analyse data gathered or even specimens that are donated by local government or organisations in the area.

On-site Activities
Although you will be studying when not on activities, there will be leisure time in the evening and during weekends. You can spend this time socialising around the centre, swapping stories about your day and getting to know your fellow group members.

Board games and cards are popular, so feel free to bring your favourite.


The site itself is quite remote and although there is phone signal it is limited.

For those who wish to purchase their own South African SIM card and phone, you will have a chance to do so when ariving at the airport


There is an on-site launderette which you will be able to access, so you can keep your clothes fresh and clean - and ready to get mucky again during activities

Fencing and Security

The site is fully fenced off to keep a comfortable and safe environment.


Animals such as monkeys like to visit the lodge or others such as snakes during the summer months. When this occurs, staff will explain any health and safety concerns to ensure that you are comfortable with their presence and understand how to co-exist with them.

Although the place is well illuminated at night, please do stay vigilant.

Rules and Respect

The site itself is your home, so please treat the place along with other guests and staff who share the accommodation with you with the respect they deserve, and you will be treated likewise.

Equally, be mindful that you are in a protected area. Anyone found making a mess, damaging the environment or wildlife risk failing the course or being asked to leave.

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