This one-of-kind internship is suited to ocean enthusiasts and aspiring marine biologists looking for worthwhile field experience with a diverse range of shark species. 


Established in 2005 as a non-profit organization, Sharklife works to address the alarming exploitation of both shark populations and ocean fisheries in South African waters. Our marine internship programs aim to nurture shark conservation ambassadors through knowledge developmenthands-on training and many hours on the ocean encountering a multitude of marine wildlife. 

 "The overall goal of the program is to imprint a deeper understanding of the shark species in the minds of participants" 

Sodwana Bay is located in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal South Africa. The village borders the pristine world heritage site known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The park is South Africa's third-largest protected area, spanning 280 km of coastline and is one of the top ten dive destinations in the world. The coral reefs contain over 1 200 species of fish as well as a variety of underwater seascapes and marine flora and fauna making it a prime area to view sharks in their natural habitat. 

Key Benefits:

  • Research sharks
  • Gain field experience
  • Develop watermanship skills (freediving, boating)
  • Examine real specimens 
  • Encounter diverse marine mega fauna
  • Dive in warm clear ocean environments
  • Visit nearby Big 5 Game Reserves (optional extra +-$100)
  • Study in a World Heritage Site
  • Support a long-standing non-profit shark conservation organization

Field Course Components:

  1. Watermanship -  Develops your all-round ability to work in ocean environments 
  2. Shark and Ray Biology - Broadens your understanding of key areas of shark and ray biology
  3. Shark Identification and Behavior -  Enables you to identify sharks in the field and recognize different behaviors
  4. Shark Research Methodologies - Increases your understanding of shark research methods
  5. Shark Conservation and Advocacy -  Empowers you to promote shark conservation ideals objectively

Additional activities are varied depending on current programs at the Sharklife Ocean Center.

  • Assist with educating local school groups
  • Develop displays for the shark museum
  • Maintain research equipment 
  • Catalog museum specimens
  • Collate and input research data

Typical day

Your days will be divided into land days and ocean days, depending on weather conditions.

Typical Land Day:

Theory sessions are given in our auditorium using graphics, videos, and models to enhance your theoretical understanding of sharks. Interns use this opportunity to ask questions and discuss prevalent conservation topics. Interns are also tasked with collating research data and developing reports of findings.

We then move to the lab where we conduct various examinations of the specimens we have preserved, either frozen, dried or in solution. which enables interns to get a feel of the various anatomical features.

The rest of the day may be allocated to extra activities happening in the center at the time such as; museum display development and boat maintenance, etc. 

Typical Ocean Day:

After preparing the boat and equipment for the sea we head to the beach. Interns assist directly with all beach and boating logistics.  

We launch through the surf and make our way along the coastline to the designated study area.  We conduct various in-water surveys, record sightings data, location, and environmental conditions. 








Free-time activities

  1. The most popular free-time activity is a day trip to the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve. The park is home to Africa's big five: elephant, rhinoceros (black/hook-lipped and white/square-lipped), Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard.
  2. You can just relax on the pristine beaches of Sodwana Bay.
  3. For the more adventurous, you can embark on a microlight flight over the coastline
  4. There are also quad bike tours of the local lake systems and forests. 
  5. You can scuba dive on the world renowned reefs of Sodwana Bay. 


Company: Sharklife Conservation Group
Location: Africa
Town: Kwa-Zulu Natal
Country: South Africa


Contact person: Linda
e-mail: Email:

Sharklife Internship