Immerse yourself in a fascinating underwater world during your internship in marine biology at the Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa! You will fall in love with the underwater life full of color, beauty, calm and magic. You will have the unique opportunity to discover the wonderful fauna of the oceans around Cape Town while helping a young, dynamic and passionate team of marine biologists in the aquarium. All members do their best to protect the marine environment.
Highlights of the Marine Biology Internship
As the aquarium houses over 3000 live marine animals, many tasks are part of your work schedule! The amazing variety of marine life ranges from sharks, fish, turtles to penguins. Not surprisingly, it is considered a spectacular underwater nature reserve.
The aquarium is the ideal location to showcase the fascinating diversity of the underwater world of the Indian and Atlantic oceans.
Your volunteer work in marine biology will make you the protector of marine life in the ocean. Moreover, in your free time you can experience the beautiful Cape Town with all its cultural offerings!
Why your work in the marine biology lab is so important in the aquarium
Because the young team of marine biologists in the aquarium are passionate about preserving biodiversity in the oceans, they will appreciate your commitment so much! Although the aquarium has a small team of specialized marine biologists, you’ll also find people with degrees in architecture, law, education and psychology!
Diving in the aquarium
Diving in the aquarium
Experiencing the glass aquariums from the inside is a completely different world. I was able to pet Yoshi the loggerhead turtle, swim through the sardine school, and wave to children from above in the tunnel. – Allie, California, USA
Daily workflow during the marine biology internship
As a Marine Biology Volunteer, you can assist the aquarium’s permanent team in many tasks, from cleaning aquariums, preparing food to direct contact with fish, sea turtles and other marine animals.
Occasionally, you will even release marine animals back into the wild! If you work with animals daily, you will get to know them intimately, you will begin to understand their individual behavior and even be able to discern their different traits.
During your marine biology practice, you will also have the opportunity to share your knowledge with visitors to the aquarium. Adults and children will then pass on their enthusiasm for the wonderful world of marine fauna to family members.
Course of the Marine Biology Internship
Start your internship on a Monday
Arrive at Cape Town International Airport (airport code CPT), where a member of the team will meet you at the airport and then take you to our Volunteer House in Fish Hoek, where you will spend your first night. If possible, you should arrive before 4:15 pm to arrive punctually at 5:00 pm at the launch event.
On the drive from the airport to Fish Hoek of approximately 45 minutes you will see the magnificent Table Mountain of Cape Town for the first time!
At the introductory event, you will learn what to expect from the marine biology internship and what regulations you must follow. When working with the marine animals, you should play it safe. Of course, you can also ask any questions that you have in mind. Then you can relax first with a traditional dinner.
Note: If you can not find a flight that will arrive in Cape Town before 16:15, we recommend flying one day earlier. We can arrange an early pick up from the airport for you, including one night’s stay. Please call us for more information.
Tuesday: move into your new home!
In the morning, the team brings you to the volunteer house in Fish Hoek. Once you have settled in, we will show you how to get to your project every day. You can choose between a bus, a mini bus taxi or a taxi. Then we introduce you to the employees of the aquarium.
From Wednesday: Start with the marine biology internship
Now that you are already familiar with your accommodation and transport route, it is time to start work and put on your new team shirt. Have fun!
Give yourself a break for the weekend – you deserve it
The weekends are your free time to spend at leisure. At the Volunteer House in Fish Hoek you can relax by the pool and go on trips to Cape Town. There is much to discover, besides the golden beaches, Table Mountain tours await you, there are wine tasting and surfing in the waves is a super experience!
If you have settled in: More weeks to follow!
Working from Monday to Friday, you will become familiar with the marine animals and get to know the staff. In your daily work you will even notice individual behaviors of the animals. After a while you develop a sure feeling for their characters and needs.
Be prepared for hard physical work
The internship of marine biology also requires hard physical work. For example, participants must be able to lift a 20 kilogram bucket and, of course, be able to swim. During the internship you will be familiarized with the care of all animals and plants. Tasks also include the daily care, cleaning and maintenance of the exhibits and showcases as well as the feeding of animals (fish, penguins, turtles, etc.). She could also be on trips with the boat, for example, to put sea turtles back into the wild. If necessary, you can also participate in research and exhibition construction.
The day of farewell
After saying goodbye and hamba kakuhle (make it good in isiXhosa), it’s back to the airport.
Marine biology internship at the aquarium in Cape Town
The location on the southern tip of the African continent characterizes the aquarium so much: For here meet two mighty oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic. Therefore, the aquarium has the unique opportunity to show the incredible diversity of marine life in these two oceans.
Since the opening in November 1995, visitors flock to the aquarium. In this way, the population developed a greater awareness of the precious biodiversity of the seas. The haunting exhibits attract people from all over the world.
How can I participate in the Marine Biology Internship?
Visit our page with all the details for volunteering in South Africa. Here you can also find out how to register.
Find here reports from volunteers in animal welfare in South Africa