2017: 31 Mar, 14 Apr, 30 Apr, 14 May, 31 May, 14 Jun, 30 Jun, 14 Jul, 31 Jul, 14 Aug, 31 Aug, 14 Sep, 30 Sep, 14 Oct, 31 Oct, 14 Nov, 30 Nov 2018: 14 Jan, 14 Feb, 28 Feb, 14 Mar, 31 Mar, 14 Apr, 30 Apr, 14 May, 31 May, 14 Jun, 30 Jun, 14 Jul, 31 Jul, 14 Aug, 31 Aug, 14 Sep, 30 Sep
Responsible tourism: The great white shark conservation project in South Africa
The Great White Shark Project is run in partnership with a world-leading organisation, focusing on the Great White Shark. Founded in 1989 purely as a research centre, it is now a large commercial operation, establishing shark tourism as an educational experience.
The project's motto is "misconception, education and preservation" and the aim is to educate as many people as possible on the misplaced, negative stereotypes of this apex predator, and in turn help to preserve the species which for so long has received pejorative press.
The project also carries out a vast amount of field research on the sharks, tracking individuals and gathering population data, whilst also studying their behaviour in the wild. This allows a better understanding of great whites as a species, honing and improving conservation efforts to ensure the survival of this magnificent predator.
There is a common misconception that volunteering abroad must be a good thing and will positively benefit not just the volunteer but the host community and those involved. Unfortunately this is not always the case. The increased demand for volunteer placements in developing countries has been met by an influx of new projects and volunteer-sending organisations created purely to meet this demand. The result may cause devastating effects to local culture and result in the exploitation of both the volunteer and the host community.
This project strives to adhere to the strict Responsible Travel policy, and has been developed so that it addresses actual local needs and has the community’s needs at its heart. Understanding and respecting the host community is paramount to the success of any project as long term commitment, support and adoption of sound environment, economic and social practices. This project employs as many local people possible, making it sustainable socially as well as environmentally.