Frequently Asked Questions about the Volunteer Program

Who can volunteer with the Baywatch Project?

Anyone over the age of 18, of any nationality (including South African) can apply to volunteer for the Baywatch Project. You will need to ensure that you have funds to cover your trip, have a valid passport for the duration of your stay and do not have a criminal record.

How long can I volunteer for?

We can usually accommodate for any period of time, with a minimum duration of one month.

What is the work like?

Volunteers will be busy with marine conservation. The many practical outings, for example to St Croix Island, Bayworld, and on fishing expeditions, will lead to a lot of knowledge about what is going on in nature. You must expect a lot of diversity on the course.

Because we believe that one can learn a lot more from practical outings than just theory, we decided to focus more on the practical side. Of course you must have some theoretical knowledge about the different subjects and to equip you better for this situation, routine input is given by our skilled lecturers. The great thing is that you will soon find that you can actually apply the theory in practice when you are out at sea.

A core part of the assignment includes working with the public. Volunteers will eventually all be expected to participate in the various briefings and talks to tourists on the boat. They will also be taught the basics of boat handling and be expected to drive the boat on occasion. There is the opportunity to get your skippers ticket whilst on the project. Volunteers will also be expected to undertake some proactive marketing and make constructive suggestions to improve our marketing strategy.

Do I need any qualifications?

To volunteer for the Baywatch Project you do not need to have any qualifications. You just need to be motivated and you must be willing to learn. You will see a lot of things you may have never seen in your life so just keep your mind open and take in the experience.

How much does it cost and what does the fee cover?

Please visit our Costs page for this information.

Why do I have to pay to be a volunteer?

Africa is the poorest continent in the world and there is essentially no budget to run the conservation and educational volunteer programs we have here. Your payment gets broken in to two; the first section goes towards meeting the costs of your stay (meals, accommodation, transportation etc.), and the second part goes towards the operating costs of the project.

Where is the Baywatch Project located?

The volunteer house is located in Seaview, near Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Most of the work will take place in and around Port Elizabeth, or at sea.

What arrangements are made for when I arrive at the airport?

The Baywatch Project will meet you at the airport upon your arrival and transport you to the volunteer house.

What happens during orientation?

Once you arrive in Port Elizabeth, you will be met by a Lloyd Edwards of the Baywatch Project, he will be your host and teacher for your stay. You will then be brought to the house for orientation, lasting 2-3 days. This way you are able to meet the current volunteers at the house, and the Raggy Charters staff you will be working with, get familiar with the area that you'll be staying in, and get used to the African way of life. It will also enable you to gather some basic information about life as a volunteer, in South Africa, and also give you the chance to get familiar with the currency, the shops and products available, modes of transportation etc. All the basics you will need to know before embarking on the project.

What does the Baywatch Project do for me while I am volunteering?

We will be a constant support to you while you are on the project. You will be living at our house so will have daily contact with the staff and other volunteers. We will ensure that you have transport to and from the project, and to/from any where you may need to attend in relation to your work. We will also provide computer, internet, and telephone access for you and cover any project-related usage. We can also help you identify and meet useful contacts in the area, assist with translation where necessary, and generally support you in whatever way you may require. We will provide accommodation for the duration of your stay, and occassional meals. We are always on hand to try and resolve any difficulties our volunteers may be facing, whether personal or work related. We want everyone to enjoy their time here and hope you hope that you will feel able to approach us about any concerns so that we can try to find a solution as quickly as possible. If you are unhappy on the project, we will endeavour to find a way of improving the situation.

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