Dyer Island Marine Experience

Register here | Prep here

If you’ve been searching for an entry point into marine and coastal conservation, wildlife rehabilitation and marine veterinary medicine to gain some in-person, practical experience, you may be restricted by the cost or quality of the options out there. For this reason, we’ve designed a package just for vets and marine biologists in-training that is both affordable and of high quality. It’s built around our principles of collaboration, credibility and accessibility by connecting communities and exceptional projects and experts while not sacrificing on some of the fantastic food and accommodation that South Africa has to offer.


Interviews now open!

Enquire for dates.


Sunday arrival into Cape Town Airport where you will be collected by our team (please arrive by 14:30pm on your arrival day in order to meet our transfer time).

Contact us for details and coordinating flight arrivals and departures.


Starting at £70 GBP / $100 USD / *R1455 ZAR (for 2021) per day (2 weeks minimum)
*Rate based on required South African Rand and therefore international currencies subject to change.

Your experience includes

Selecting only a few student per two-weeks, the Dyer Island Marine Experience will bring elements of the Wildlife Conservation in South Africa course to life with a combination of penguin rehabilitation, marine protection, shark research, plus marine veterinary exposure on demand. The experience includes the following highlights…

Inspiring marine and coastal conservation

Heartwarming penguin sanctuary support

Rare and groundbreaking shark research

Credible biologists, researchers and vets

24 hour support crew

Professional airport pick up and drop off

Complementing activities and conservation topics

And fantastic cottage accommodation

Penguin Sanctuary

Focus – Penguin Rehabilitation (and Veterinary Medicine on request)

ProjectDyer Island Conservation Trust

Summary – African penguin conservation includes a nest project providing critical protection to the penguins during their fledgling stage. South Africa’s endemic penguin species would normally burrow into their mass deposits of guano but sadly, this was stripped by man over many decades and used for agricultural fertiliser.

The Trust participate in all top level conversations related to the African Penguin Biodiversity Management Plan – this includes the habitat working group and oil disaster strategy planning. APSS is visited by at least 20 000 people every year who observe feeding time on a screen with no disturbance to the birds in our care.

In 2015 the Trust opened its own rehabilitation facility in Gansbaai – the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, known as APSS. With a fully equipped lab and a vet on standby, injured, oiled or ill birds can immediately be treated thereby increasing their survival rate. Penguins are released on or close to their home colony of Dyer Island.


Shark Research

Focus – Marine Biology

ProjectDyer Island Conservation Trust

Summary – The seas around Dyer Island have one of the most accessible populations of great white sharks in the world, creating a rare opportunity for our marine biologists to conduct invaluable research from our eco-tourism vessels and dedicated research boats.

Studies include tagging and tracking, behavioural surveys, wound healing, environmental parameter monitoring as well as daily observational data – fin identification for population studies helps assess this vulnerable species. Our senior shark biologist, Alison Towner, is part of the White Shark Research Group in South Africa. DICT are the only group tagging and tracking great white sharks in Gansbaai and have an array of acoustic receivers in the Bay.

Scientific Skills (On Request)

Focus  – Marine Biology and Ocean Conservation

ProjectDyer Island Conservation Trust

Summary – A series of exclusive, high level academic and field-based skills training modules for marine science undergraduates and recent graduates. It’s open for all students within the natural science, biology fields. Between ecological studies and utilisation of upcoming technologies, our emphasis is on providing students with experiences that will help further them along their chosen career paths. We are affiliated with various Universities worldwide.


Local Area

We are situated in a low-risk Malaria area – coastal Western Cape, South Africa. We advise participants to consult with their doctor for any vaccinations or about the use of malaria tablets before their travels to South Africa.

Find out more about the Gansbaai area here.

How to book

1. Register here.

2. Once your initial registration has been approved you will be invited to set up an interview here.

3. A deposit request to secure your spot will be sent to you.

4. Personalised support then follows – this includes payments plans and trip planning.

Before you travel

Consult our Terms and Conditions here and also refer to Government advice and regulations around COVID (South Africa here and UK here) and prepare your Declaration for Travel if required.

The best way to prepare for this experience is to take our Marine Dynamics / Wildlife Conservation in South Africa course and read about our partners.

Register here | Prep here


As a social enterprise, we are unique in our community partnerships and project spending. Additionally, our expeditions include donations and community support, carbon offset via tree plantings and local business partnerships. Where your money goes is very important to us! Continue reading – click here.


The EXPEDITION Project works with organisations, NPOs, charities, social enterprises and small businesses to create a reliable network across South Africa for all to use as a ‘how, what, where, who’ resource. Our vision is to contribute meaningfully to sustainable rural communities, food security and an improved quality of life for all South Africans. Continue reading – click here.


It is the passengers responsibility to ensure that all COVID related requirements as well as passport and visa requirements are met prior to traveling. The Expedition Project cannot be held responsible for the traveler being denied boarding / entry due to incorrect / insufficient documentation.

We understand that planning travel in the currently situation is stressful. Should you have to cancel your trip for reasons around travel restrictions or COVID-19 then full refunds are available 45 days prior to arrival and partial refunds will be available up to 7 days prior to travel – Continue reading – click here.

Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure you will be allowed entry into South Africa with all relevant documents and COVID-19 tests complete.

Look out for updates on entry requirements – click hereContinue reading – click here.


No quarantine at present when entering South Africa, however travellers could also still need to quarantine if they present COVID symptoms upon arrival.

Travellers must produce a printed negative COVID PCR test that is not older than 72 hours. Passengers are advised to have several printed copies ready.

Look out for updates on entry requirements – click here. Continue reading – click here.

Dyer Island Marine Experience

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