The Whale Shark Marine Conservation Project in Mozambique is the ultimate marine conservation project. Help with whale shark data collection, reef monitoring, and humpbacked whale research. Volunteers will also be involved in turtle nest data collection, as well as getting the chance to dive at one of Africa’s best gap year diving destinations.

Whale Shark Marine Conservation Mozambique

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Whale Sharks are the giants of the sea. They are the biggest fish in the world and incredible to swim with. Whale Sharks are surface feeders eating tiny microscopic plankton, but they eat so much of it that they can grow up to 18 metres! This exciting Whale Shark Marine Conservation Project comprises of assisting with the conservation of Whale Sharks, coral reefs and other marine life while living in Tofo. Tofo is a hot spot of adventure on the Mozambique coast line.

Whale Shark Marine Conservation Highlights Include:

  • Contribute to a very important Conservation project.
  • Conservation of the Whale Shark and the coral reefs.
  • Boat launches and swimming with Whale Sharks.
  • Open Water Course or AOW included.
  • Located on Tofo, the best spot in the world for Whale Sharks.
  • All accommodation and meals included.
  • Great social scene: Making new friends is guaranteed.





A day in the life of a volunteer

Although day to day activities vary on the Whaleshark Marine Conservation Project a typical day in the life of a volunteer working on the Project might be:

  • 07:30 Wake up and have breakfast
  • 08:30 Data entry on the computer from previous day´s research work
  • 10:00  Walk over to the dive centre (100meters away) and get prepared for a whale shark launch. Jump on the boat and head out to sea to find whale sharks. On finding a whale shark enter the water snorkelling next to the whale shark and take photos of the correct parts of the shark. Photos enable us to identify individual sharks around the world and track their movements, age etc.
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 Depending on the time of year ” whale counts and data collection from on top of the dunes or preparation for turtle work in the night.
  • 15:30  Work generally ends around 3.30pm but this is flexible and can sometimes be earlier and sometimes later.

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Take malaria tablets but NOT Lariam, Mefliam or Mefloquine as these can mimic symptoms of decompression sickness and the nearest recompression chamber is in South Africa. If participants take Larium, Meflian or Mefloquine, they will be excluding themselves from the dive and there are no exceptions.
Whale Sharks are magnificent creatures and the oceans largest fish. Diving or swimming with them is an unforgettable experience. They are becoming increasingly rare though, and there is still much to learn about these species. This project helps to collect data, identify different Whale Sharks and track their movements giving scientists a better understanding of their behaviour and the factors effecting their conservation. Not only do you get to swim with these huge fishies, but your work will be directly contributing to their protection. Amazing!
Because they are considered good indicators of ocean productivity. Whale Sharks play a significant role with marine conservation of efforts. Not much is understood and known about the population dynamics of these big fishes and this Conservation Project aims to understand and prevent the threats to them.
Yes, you can join. Because 95% of the participants have no or little experience with diving we have included an Open Water course for you. You will be trained by PADI professional Dive Instructors how to dive safely. Remember, though most of the Whale Shark research is done without scuba gear. This is because Whale Sharks are surface feeders and it is much easier to keep up with them when not carrying bulky scuba gear.
The Whale Shark Marine Conservation Project   also involves protection of coral reefs. Reefs play an important role in the ecosystem, a lot of marine life is supported through healthy and living reef systems. Threats to reefs include: coral bleaching, alien invasive species (like the crown of thorns star fish) and other ecological changes related to tourism and man made activities. One of the main course components involves monitoring the state of coral reefs in the Tofo area. Methods used are based on the international reef check system. This will involve completing scuba diving transects amongst the reefs and then recording coral data as an indicator of fish species. All the while you will be doing this in one of Africa’s greatest diving destinations, Tofo!

Your job on the Whale Shark Conservation Project will carry out marine research data collection and assist with monitoring activities under the supervision and guidance of the projects field co-ordinator. Joining other   volunteers on this project, you will be hands on, collecting data via: beach walks, boat survey, swimming, freediving, and scuba diving.

Your assistance is vital to carrying out the required field activities, but also helping to fund the project. As you would expect   the diving will be excellent and this will be a stunning environment to enjoy learning principals of marine conservation and learning about the worlds biggest fish, the Whale Shark.

Our volunteers are vital to help monitor whale shark populations, assist in understanding their behaviour and also you will be able to take underwater photos to help identify them. Joining research scuba teams to assist with the monitoring of coral reefs, during certain seasons you may also get the opportunity to help with hump back whale surveys as well.

You will be well looked after on the project. You can expect a though briefing and induction on arrival. You will be taught about the project, the local area, safety and have a question an answer session.

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 1599Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 1759Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1899Book Now


  • PADI Open Water Course or AOW or research dives.
  • Transfer to and from Inhambane Airport to Tofo.
  • Full support and daily guidance from the project coordinators.
  • Project equipment.
  • Project activities (including boat launches).
  • All accommodation.
  • Orientation upon arrival.
  • All meals included, volunteers help cook.


  • Flights.
  • Visas.
  • Personal travel insurance for the duration of your placement. Please ask us for a quote.
  • Extra food and drinks.
  • Weekend activities (optional).
  • Other excursions than mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Telephone and internet.


More dates
“Unfortunately we did not see Whalesharks everyday, but the times we did it was amazing, so gracious and beautiful, and experience I will never forget.”
Peter Davis
“Very nice location, great weather, and it suited my biology study perfectly, thanks for the tip Xtreme!”
Amy Potter


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