The ORCA Foundation volunteer program officially started in 2001, and was designed to increase awareness about conservation issues and initiatives, and to help create a conservation model for the Plettenberg Bay area. People of all ages and with different backgrounds come from all over the world to learn while helping us further our work in sustaining marine and coastal resources.
Our research projects are both sea and land based, and daily activities include opportunistic marine animal research with our mother company Ocean Blue Adventures, cetacean fin profiling for movement studies, marine mammal stranding response and necropsies, seal behavioural observations, seal population growth monitoring and tag re-sights, white shark population monitoring, seal-shark interaction observations, seal-fisheries interaction monitoring, seal scat processing and prey identification.
Our conservation, education and outreach work involves regular hikes, marine debris clean-ups, indigenous tree planting, alien plant eradication, river health assessment, assistance at seabird rehabilitation centers, assistance at animal welfare centers and education of children at preschools. Ocean Blue Adventures maintains a small aquarium, which holds a collection of fish that represent the local nearshore marine ecosystem in the bay. Volunteers are responsible for collecting food for the fish, cleaning the aquarium, facilitate water changes, and collect specimens. This allows them to learn more about local rivers, estuaries and the coastal environment, and the delicate balance between them.
Your time with us can be as short as two weeks or can last as long as you want!
The ORCA house will be your temporary home, and is located minutes away from the beach and steps away from the estuary. Transportation for ORCA-related activities will be provided by ORCA staff in our vehicle. Plettenberg Bay (fondly Plett) is located in the Western Cape in the heart of the Garden Route. We are 210km from Port Elizabeth and 600km from Cape Town, and just a short 84 km from George Airport. Plett is a small town but experiences busy moments during the summer season, when a huge amount of tourists visit. Our days start around 8am and run to 4pm (depending on activities) from Monday to Friday; evenings and weekends are your personal time. The relaxed atmosphere of the ORCA house offers an amazing South African experience, while still feeling very much like a home with tons of friendly faces. Often, volunteers become a little ORCA family and join together for evening get-togethers that range from enjoying dinner prepared by our very own cook, Teliswa, or going out to a restaurant for a casual drink in town. Plettenberg Bay is full of wonderful nature and adventure based attractions, which volunteers often fill their weekend with. If you have a passion for marine and coastal wildlife and ecosystems, a longing to learn, a desire to help the less fortunate, and a general love for work/adventure, ORCA Foundation is the answer for you!
Click on ORCA Info Pack to download your own pack.
Click on ORCA Activities to download more information about our projects.
Click on ORCA Banner to download your own poster.
Click on ORCA Flyer to download our latest flyer
Click on Fundraising Kit if you need ideas to raise funds for your journey of a lifetime!
Use this link to GoAbroad and raise funds for your visit with us!