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Shark Academy

Shark Volunteering in South Africa


Shark Academy

Shark Volunteering Hands On


Shark Academy

Shark Volunteering with Like-Minded People


Volunteering with a Focus on Sharks

Delimiter White

The Shark Academy is more than just an internship or volunteer program. This is an academic field school experience specializing in connecting undergraduate students, early-career scientists, conservationists and senior scientists. We focus on skills development, academic mentoring, fieldwork, science communication and professional portfolio development. All with a focus on Africa’s diverse sharks.

Let the Shark Academy team develop and build your skills. Are you a university student looking to build critical skills working with sharks and in the field of marine science? A shark enthusiast looking for an exciting way to spend quality time with these fascinating predators? A diver looking for an exceptional experience to develop new dive skills in some of the sharkiest waters in the world? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then a volunteer or internship position at the Shark Academy is for you!

The Shark Academy is a division of the South African Shark Conservancy. For more than 10 years we have worked with students, young scientists, conservationists and divers from around the world to provide marine biology skills and unparalleled opportunities working with sharks. Depending on your background and ambitions, we can tailor a package to suit your needs.


Why we do what we do

The overarching goal of our work is to improve conservation and management strategies for shark species. A staggering 25% of sharks and their relatives are threatened with extinction. Despite surviving 5 global mass extinction events, human actions are causing massive population declines and sharks are now considered the most vulnerable group of vertebrates on Earth.

South Africa has one of the most diverse assemblages of sharks and rays, yet most of the science has focused on charismatic species like white sharks. The South African Shark Conservancy and the Shark Academy are studying Africa’s diverse sharks to help conserve and protect vulnerable species, working together with our interns and volunteers to save our oceans. Our shark research is important and impactful.

Where we offer it

The Shark Academy is the skills development and training division of the South African Shark Conservancy. We are a volunteer organisation in South Africa based in Hermanus, on the shores of Walker Bay. This is a shark diversity hotspot where more than 60 species of shark, skate, ray and chimaera can be found. Marine Biology students and others who are passionate about marine conservation come from around the world to join our internship and volunteer programs in South Africa.

What we offer

The Shark Academy offers amazing opportunities working with sharks in South Africa in the form of environmental internships and volunteer programs. Through our hands-on conservation and science programs, interns and volunteers gain in-depth experience in shark science and contribute to valuable research efforts through experiential conservation internships.

Who is it for

The 2 to 8-week volunteer program provides an excellent opportunity for conservationists and shark lovers to gain a sneak peek into the life of a marine biologist while contributing to shark conservation efforts. The 8+ week intern program is best-suited to undergraduate students, early career scientists and conservationists interested in becoming a marine biologist. We also provide many research options for post graduates and senior scientists interested in collaborating with the South African Shark Conservancy scientific team.

Life at The Shark Academy

Are you a shark enthusiast and looking for ways to spend some quality time with these fascinating predators? How about a volunteering program with the South African Shark Conservancy? Our training and education program, the Shark Academy, gives you an unparalleled hands on experience in shark science – above and below the water. Our days are filled with fun, action, adventure and of course sharks.

How can we help you?

Fill out our contact form and ask any questions you might have. You can also view our FAQ section to see if some of your questions and answers are listed there.

We would love to hear from you and assist you in your journey to gain valuable knowledge and experience in marine conservation and South African marine ecosystems.

Become a Shark Sponsor


Are you interested in getting involved with shark conservation by becoming a shark sponsor? Shark Academy has tailored some great options for you where you will receive some insights into the sharks you have helped along the way. Take a look at our Shark Sponsor page to see how you can contribute and choose an option that is most appealing. All proceeds fund our conservation program to protect the sharks of South Africa. All certificates and information about the sharks named or sponsored will be sent to you by email.



I had the most amazing time! I have learned so much since I've been here that will no doubt help me along my way in marine bio!