A Volunteer Review From The Great White Shark Project - See How Close Amy Got To The Beasts!

A Volunteer Review From The Great White Shark Project - See How Close Amy Got To The Beasts!

Posted by Michael Starbuck on 17th Mar 2017

Back in September last year, Amy headed out to the Great White Shark Project in South Africa and she has been kind enough to tell us all about her experience on the project. If you are considering taking advantage of our 10% discount on this project this month, then read up on what Amy thought and see if you could become our next Great White Shark Volunteer....

Can You Tell Us What It Was Like The Moment You First Came Face To Face With A Great White Shark?

Great White Shark

The moment I saw my first Great White Shark was the most incredible sight, they're the most beautiful, gracious, intelligent and yet such misunderstood creatures in the world. I felt truly honoured to see them in their natural environment, and as they're so endangered it was so humbling. I fell in love with South Africa after this trip and returned in December and volunteered on a game reserve and a school too, having enjoyed my time at Gansbaii so much. Unfortunately the game reserve was nothing in comparison to my experience on the Great White Shark Project. As a volunteer on this project I felt really respected for my time and work. Tom, the marine biologist in particular was brilliant! I learnt so much from him, and it was a true honour to be taught by such an intelligent man that truly cared and devoted his life to the cause of the sharks.

How Was The Experience Of Working In The Swop Shop With The Local Children?

The Swop Shop was another great part of the trip; in fact I'd love to have had the chance to go back more than once. It was truly humbling to talk with the children, and I loved it so much I decided to return to South Africa and volunteer with a school!

What Tips Do You Have For Future Volunteers?

My tips for future volunteers are that you must stay at least 2 weeks due to the possibility of no sea days (these are days when the sea conditions are not suitable for cage diving). But even when saying that, another amazing part of the trip was that on the no sea days additional days out were arranged, and these included activities and fun things to do which just made the whole experience more enriching and exciting.

 

South Africa Shark

From my experience like they all say, once you visit South Africa you truly fall in love with it as did I, hence why I returned just 2 months after having left! So I advise anyone to go on this amazing project for as long as you can as it is truly the most amazing experience of my total of 7 weeks in South Africa and my life so far. And of course be prepared to want to extend your trip as South Africa is the most beautiful place!

What Was Your Best Moment On The Trip?

The best moment of the trip was when, despite my sea sickness, I got in the cage for the first time and saw my first Great White. Seeing them come towards you in the chum line is truly amazing! Seeing their eyes glare at you as they pass the cage is so thrilling I can't put it into words!

I decided to go on this trip as I needed a break in life, but it has truly changed my life for the better. Seeing these beautiful creatures and working with such an amazing team in such an amazing country was life changing. I met such incredible people and I have now completely changed my life all due to the dream I fulfilled in going to see the amazing Great White Sharks.

Why Should Other People Volunteer On The Great White Shark Project?

Great White Shark Boat

The greatest thing about this volunteer project wasn't just that you saw the sharks in all their beauty, and were able to cage dive with them every day, but that you were valued as an individual by the boat team. I actually got really bad sea sickness to begin with, and felt more a nuisance than a help, but the whole team helped me through it and really seemed to value the little that I could do when feeling so unwell. I really felt like part of a family and like I really mattered, which I didn't get from my other experiences in South Africa. The Great White Shark Projects really a unique volunteer scheme in comparison to the others I have done both in the UK and South Africa.

Thank you so much to The Great Projects for all your help prior to the trip. But most of all thank you to the boat crew, in particular Tom, and Grant - both of you made my trip even more amazing.

As you can see Amy thoroughly enjoyed her time in South Africa, so much so that she was inspired to go back and help out in other ways! If her story has inspired you to volunteer with the Great White Sharks, then why not check out the project page and learn a little more about this amazing project?


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