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South Africa shark research adventure

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 14 reviews.Van Dyks Bay, South AfricaPart of the Airbnb Animals collection

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Adventure hosted by Cindy

10 days
Moderate activity level
Includes food, drinks, transportation, equipment
Hosted in English

What you'll do

Get acquainted with South African's diverse marine life on this trip down the Western Cape.

On this ten-day journey, we’ll go shark cage diving, zipline through treetops, and visit a penguin sanctuary. We'll do beach cleanup, learn about the area's sharks from a marine biologist, help tag small sharks, and explore caves.

There will also be some downtime, including a wine tour and cheese tasting, plus a spa day where you can dip into natural hot springs.

Cindy's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
Learn more
Guidelines created with World Animal ProtectionLearn more

What's included

  • Accommodations
    9 nights in a house
  • Food
    9 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners, snacks
  • Drinks
    Water
  • Transportation
    10 car rides, 1 boat ride
  • Equipment
    Outdoor gear, safety equipment

Your itinerary

  • Day 1
    Shark cage diving
    Get up close and personal with Great Whites on a thrilling cage diving adventure.
  • Day 2
    Local shark species training
    A marine biologist will teach us about local shark species and ethical shark handling.
  • Day 3
    Cheese and wine tasting
    Visit some of the Western Cape’s world-famous wineries then picnic on a local cheese farm
  • Day 4
    Beach clean up
    Team up with the local high school's Marine Science Club to clean up trash at the beach.
  • Day 5
    Marine wildlife tour
    Get the chance to see whales, dolphins, sharks, stingrays, giant petrels, and more.
  • Day 6
    Cage diving
    Have another exciting cage diving trip and the chance to encounter Great White Sharks and Bronze Whalers.
  • Day 7
    Caledon hot springs spa
    Pamper yourself and dip into the thermal pools at Caledon Hotel and Spa.
  • Day 8
    Catch-and-release shark tagging trip
    We’ll tag some of the smaller sharks that the coastline supports.
  • Day 9
    African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary
    Visit a sanctuary and rehabilitation center for penguins and other marine birds.
  • Day 10
    De Kelders Drip Caves tour
    Explore the drip caves in De Kelders cove, which provide a habitat for two bat species.
From $1,176
/ person
Sun, Nov 1
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
$1,176 per person
$1,176 per person
Sun, Nov 15
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
$1,176 per person
$1,176 per person
Availability for this experience is rare.

Meet your host, Cindy

Host on Airbnb since 2018
  • 14 Reviews
  • Identity verified
I grew up by the ocean and I have always had a great passion for the sea - in fact for all of nature and its creatures. I have always wanted to get more involved in conservation and sustainability, and I realised this dream in 2015, when I first got actively involved with shark and marine conservation. The driving aim of this adventure is to raise awareness of our shark and ray populations - which face such severe threats across the globe and are so essential in preserving the health and vitality of our oceans. Our programme supports critically needed shark research and allows our guests to be an integral part of this, as well as to experience our beautiful sharks and amazing coastline up close!
I grew up by the ocean and I have always had a great passion for the sea - in fact for all of nature and its creatures. I have always wanted to get more involved in conservation and sustainability, and I realised this dream in 2015, when I first got actively involved with shark and marine conservation. The driving aim of this adventure is to raise awareness of our shark and ray populations - which face such severe threats across the globe and are so essential in preserving the health and vitali…
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About the organization: Shark & Marine Research Institute



We are dedicated to protecting and conserving shark and ray populations, and safeguarding the health and vitality of our oceans. Our focus is on gathering vital data on sharks and other elasmobranchs to aid in their long-term conservation. We also facilitate regular community outreach projects, including beach clean ups and educating local learners and the wider community about our oceans

This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Shark & Marine Research Institute.
AIRBNB EXPERIENCES

Responsible interactions

All hosts must follow guidelines created with World Animal Protection.

Caring expert hosts

Learn from biologists, conservationists, farmers, and more.

Diverse animals

Meet over 300 kinds of animals, from alpacas to zebras.

Where you'll be

We'll be in Van Dyks Bay in the Western Cape province of South Africa, known for its Great White population. Van Dyks Bay is just over a 2-hour drive from Cape Town, South Africa's capital.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 14 reviews.

Sumedh
February 2020
Put this adventure in your life's bucket list. Cindy and her team has curated a life changing experience here. Everything about this adventure is perfect, be it the itinerary, the location, or activities. More importantly everyone on the team is so warm and family like that you will feel like you have got a new family.
Put this adventure in your life's bucket list. Cindy and her team has curated a life changing experience here. Everything about this adventure is perfect, be it the itinerary, the…
Andrey
February 2020
Cindy managed to create very warm atmosphere in the project house. Everything was well planned. The shark cage diving, the snorkeling, caves and many more adventures are really once in a lifetime opportunity. We met a very educated and dedicated marine biology expert Mary who shared her expertise with us and was there to assist us if needed. Can't recommend this project enough for those in love with nature, ocean and sharks! Thank you!
Cindy managed to create very warm atmosphere in the project house. Everything was well planned. The shark cage diving, the snorkeling, caves and many more adventures are really onc…
Leisha
February 2020
From the moment we were picked up until our tearful departure we were well taken care of. The chance to work alongside a shark biologist research team was such an amazing experience. The knowledge and passion shown were truly inspirational. Weather is a factor to consider, this leads to regular schedule changes and a bit of downtime, comfortable downtime though, the house is incredibly roomy. Bring yourself a book or deck of cards. There is not a single activity we did that I would change, everything was really interesting, the hands on shark research projects were such a special opportunity to experience.
From the moment we were picked up until our tearful departure we were well taken care of. The chance to work alongside a shark biologist research team was such an amazing experienc…
Jan-Philipp
January 2020
This is an awesome opportunity for everybody who chose the wrong career path and wants to get a glimpse into the world of scientific shark research. You get the chance to pick the brain of one of the leading shark researchers in the world in Mary Rowlinson. She loves sharks and is happy to show you how to identify great white sharks with a dorsal fin ID software, tells you stories about the mystical strandings of dead great white sharks and takes you out for snorkeling trips where you learn to catch smaller sharks by hand and gather all measurements needed for a study. She is supported by Ricardo and the PhD student Simmy, who both joined our daily activities. During your stay you live together in a big house in walking distance to the harbour, where the cage diving trips leave. Keep in mind, that you might be unlucky with the weather and have to spend some days off the water. Mary and her team try their best to find activities around Gansbaai to make even those days an experience. In my opinion you can have a great time, if you want to learn about sharks, the ocean and research. If you are just about cage diving with sharks, you better just book a daily tour with them. Since it is unfair to the rest of the group who want to live a short life as a shark researcher :). I personally would have wished to find out about the longer volunteering program they do for up to three months. I'm pretty sure I would have considered that. Ask Google for it (white shark diving company volunteering). I can highly recommend this experience. Thank you Mary, Simmy, Ricardo, Danny and Cindy! 🙌
This is an awesome opportunity for everybody who chose the wrong career path and wants to get a glimpse into the world of scientific shark research. You get the chance to pick the…
Jan-Eike
January 2020
A great recommendation for all who want to learn more about sharks and scientific work with sharks. Your tasks/activities in this regard may include shark dives, snorkeling trips in kelp forests where you catch sharks with your hands and then miss and tag them, identifying great white sharks/copper sharks during cage diving trips or identifying shark fins via dorsa fin. Apart from that, Mary is a scientist who is completely dedicated to her job and therefore has a lot experiences to share. This includes stories and presentations about the dissection of washed up great white sharks or the general threat to sharks worldwide. We lived in a big beautiful house with sea view near the harbour, which is within walking distance. Mary's team includes PHD student Simmy, who is currently writing her PHD thesis on the Coppersharks aka Bronze Whalers, jack-of-all-trades Ricardo, soccer-loving driver Danny and of course the cage diving team around Paul, Paul, Karin & Cindy. As said before, if you are interested in the above tasks/activities and want to learn a lot of new things about sharks or just want to support the conservation of sharks, you are in the right place. Thank you Mary, Simmy, Ricardo, Danny, Cindy and the rest of the awesome cage diving team. We had a blast.
A great recommendation for all who want to learn more about sharks and scientific work with sharks. Your tasks/activities in this regard may include shark dives, snorkeling trips i…
Raphael
January 2020
Si vous êtes passionné par les requins et que vous voullez apprendre énormément de choses c est l experience idéale . Les lectures sur les requins sont passionnantes . A côté de ça , j' ai plus souhaiter aider aux actions menées par cette structure comme nettoyer les plages , aller sortir les chiens du refuge que faire du tourisme lors de certaines journées dédiées a ça .Nous avons quand même été voir les pingouins , visite la region . Le choix d activitées proposées sont énormes et très faciles a organiser , sans oublier le chauffeur qui est super sympa . Super expérience ,merci a vous tous
Si vous êtes passionné par les requins et que vous voullez apprendre énormément de choses c est l experience idéale . Les lectures sur les requins sont passionnantes . A côté de ça…

Choose from available dates

2 available
  • Sun, Nov 1
    9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    $1,176 per person
  • Sun, Nov 15
    9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    $1,176 per person

Activity advisory

Expert industry partners
Every adventure follows industry guidelines. We partnered with the Adventure Travel Trade Association, expert leaders in adventure travel, to define best practices and standards for safety.
Know your comfort level
Please note outdoor activities carry risks, and you may be exposed to dangerous situations as part of this experience. Make sure you can participate safely given your abilities and the conditions (such as location, weather, and equipment).

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase.

Government ID

You’ll need to take a picture of yourself that matches the photo on your ID. This is so Airbnb can confirm who’s actually going on the experience. You’ll only have to do this once.

Guest requirements

Up to 8 guests ages 18 and up can attend.

More tips

Please note that this activity is dependent on weather/sea/shark activity and we may need to swap days/adjust the schedule according to Mother Nature.

What to bring

Seasick tablets, if necessary

Your camera!