Run by: The Great Projects
Reference number: Mafia Island Whale Shark Conservation
Start Dates are every other Thursday Between October and March
This marine conservation project, situated on beautiful Mafia Island, is completely one of a kind. Renowned for its kaleidoscopic coral reefs, excellent diving and fascinating culture – the island really is a unique destination in which to complete a whale shark internship.
Often labelled as the Zanzibar of 'thirty years ago', Mafia Island really is an intrepid traveller's dream – particularly given its white sandy beaches, dazzling aquamarine waters and lack of tourists. What's more, given the amount of astounding marine life here – including humpback whales, marine turtles and of course, whale sharks – the island really is a treasure trove and the perfect destination in which to get 'off the map'.
Aid the conservation of the world's largest fish here by completing a range of activities, all the while making memories that will simply last a lifetime. You have the opportunity to swim with whale sharks in the open ocean and help to educate tourists about the importance of responsible whale shark encounters.
On this project you will get the chance to take part in a wide variety of exciting activities. Below are examples of some of those included in this project.
Plan And Execute Whale Shark Tourism Excursions
Up to 5 days a week you will assist with conducting responsible tourism excursions where you will get to witness the largest fish on the planet in the open ocean. You will help to deliver an orientation to guests, and possibly even conduct whale shark research during this time. You can also expect to jump in the water with guests to witness the sharks up close and personal!
Photo And Video Identification
You will take photos and videos of the whale sharks to help identify them, so you will learn how to do this so they can be submitted to the global database. Whale sharks can be identified as they each have an individual spot pattern, and you will learn how to analyse their spots to identify individuals.
You will participate in one or more development project in the local school and community, such as teaching English, conduct discussion groups in English, give swimming lessons, carry out study groups on whale shark conservation awareness and assist in the primary school library.
During each week one and a half days will be at your leisure to relax on the beach or explore the Island! In camp, there are stand up paddle-boards and bicycles for free use or at an extra cost you can take a picnic day trip by boat or road, go bird watching, learn to SCUBA dive (a PADI Scuba Course costs around U$600 including manuals and certification) or learn to sail a traditional dhow or ngalawa!
What are you waiting for? Volunteer with whale sharks in the beautiful Mafia Island!
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust