Monitoring whale shark populations

Project name:

East African Whale Shark Trust

Project purpose:

Monitoring whale shark populations

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • teaching

Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration

  • data/statistical skills

  • field research skills

  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:


Shared accommodation on the beach

When does the project run?


accommodation included, food included, kitchen facilities, 2 minute walk from local restaurants, post office, nearby medical centre

How long can I stay?


It will be helpful but not essential if you have a marine science background, have a diving licence, have a driving licence and are happy in the water.

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

Volunteer activities

All our volunteer programmes include accommodation, training, studying whale shark behaviour, physiology and movement, whale shark safaris, education workshops and more! Volunteers

What will you do?

Help with the education programme in schools and hotels, assist with fundraising, assist with data collection and analysis, assist the guides on whale shark safaris, help in the Fibre-Glass Turtle workshop


1 – 3 month programmes at a cost of $750 per month. Weekly costs are also available. Whale shark season runs from Oct – March, peak being Feb – March. In the off season, focus is on research, education and community projects. Activities such as safaris and mountain climbing are available and encouraged during days off.


Monitoring, tagging and satellite tracking working in tandem with Universeum and Chalmers University in Sweden and Hubbs Seaworld Research Institute in the US among others to create a wider knowledge data base on the whale shark. Remarkably little is known about the biggest fish in the ocean. It is unknown where whale sharks go to breed or whether global populations are related.Their migration patterns remain a mystery



There is also a turtle and a fisherman project.

Reviews & ratings



Very Good Program

My week at Daktari was excellent and the program is very intense in the sense that we all get together with the kids and animals from 7am until 9 pm. It is an excellent choice for a first volunteering program abroad considering and I would definitely like to go back someday



It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of

Wild Sun Rescue is an animal rehabilitation center located in the remote and scenic fishing village of Cabuya, Costa Rica. The long-term (12 week) volunteer experience involved getting to do hands-on work with all of the animals that are housed at the center, including howler monkeys, capuchins, opossums, squirrels and raptors. The daily duties included diet prep (mostly chopping and cooking fruits and veggies), enclosure cleaning, facility maintenance (repairing enclosures, building new enclosures and enrichment), and animal handling and medical treatment. It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of--nowhere else in the world would I be able to work with all of these amazing animals, in such a unique and beautiful location. As a wildlife biology intern, I also had the opportunity to create my own research project at the center, supervised and assisted by the internship coordinator.

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