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[ Due to the unexpected loss of R. Aidan Martin, all expeditions are cancelled until further notice. ]

Become a Great White Shark Volunteer Research Assistant - Apply Today!

These electrifying Expeditions are rare opportunities to join an international team of shark researchers to learn about the biology an behavior of legendary Great White Shark as well as to participate in an on-going study of this mysterious creature in the wild.

  • Quicktime Movie Puzzle over White Shark social behavior and interactions with our research team.

  • Observe the life-or-death drama between this awesome predator and its prey, the Cape Fur Seal

  • See spectacular White Shark breaches

Join the ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research for a unique opportunity to participate in our on-going study of the predatory and social behavior of the White Shark in False Bay, South Africa.

We at ReefQuest are dedicated to education and research and during our trips, participants will have the opportunity to learn hands-on about White Shark biology and contribute to our ongoing studies.

Applicants selected for our expeditions will assist in conducting and documenting experiments designed to reveal aspects of the mental processes, predatory strategies, and social hierarchy of one of our planet's most feared and least understood creatures. 

Your Expedition includes a series of informal, slide-illustrated talks, each followed by a question-and-answer session. These talks will be given on alternate evenings in the comfort of a spacious indoor lounge. Topics covered include:

  • Evolution and Functional Morphology

  • Diet and Feeding Ecology

  • Attacks

  • Behavior

  • Research and Conservation

Research Boat

Special Guest Lectures by Chris Fallows, renowned wildlife photographer, showcasing his latest and best White Shark images.

Field research will focus on White Shark learning, feeding, and social behavior and be accomplished during two weeks of topside and underwater observation. Led by Alex Barron together with local Great White Shark research pioneers Chris Fallows of Apex Predators and Rob Lawrence of African Shark Eco Charters, six lucky applicants per Expedition will be selected to assist in conducting and documenting experiments designed to reveal aspects of the mental processes, predatory strategies, and social hierarchy of one of our planet's most feared and least understood creatures.

Overview of White Shark Research to Date

Read ReefQuest's Overview of White Shark Studies at Seal Island.

Contact Alexandra Barron


"Thank-you for allowing me to participate in this trip. You have afforded me an opportunity to see sharks in ways that few are lucky to experience. Witnessing their majesty, power, brutality and grace first hand is amazing and rare. T.V. documentaries will no longer be the same."

Cheryl Kelterborn,
White Shark Expedition 2000


What Kind of People Are Needed?

These Expeditions are open to anyone interested in observing White Sharks in the wild and learning more about their biology and behavior. The Great White is a complex enigma. Thus, diversity of background and experience among Expedition participants will enhance our research efforts.

We do not require that participants are certified scuba divers (except those hoping to dive in the shark cage), but strongly prefer individuals who are physically fit, work well under pressure and collaborate well with others composing our team. Skills that would prove especially helpful to our research efforts include: nature or sports photography and/or videography (topside and/or underwater), experience working with or around animals (wild or domestic), experience designing and conducting research of any kind (including scientific or business), and writing or broadcast journalism.


Applicants chosen for the expeditions will be selected based upon their ability to work as a team and on the skills that they can contribute to the research.   We receive more application that spots available on the expeditions.   Therefore, participants for expeditions are screened very carefully and not everyone who applies is accepted, but anyone with a positive attitude, a willingness to work as part of a team, and having skills that will contribute toward a given Expedition's objectives will always be considered.  To apply please prepare the following:

  • Resume

  • Cover letter - describing how you feel that you will benefit from this experience and contribute to the expedition.


"This trip has been amazing. It has turned decades of shark nightmares into good dreams. They are beautiful, graceful, and so interesting. Thank-you."

Melissa Carp
White Shark Expedition 2002

Expedition Details

(Limited to 10 participants per Expedition)

Expedition 1
1 - 14
June 2006
Expedition 2
16 - 29
June 2006
Expedition 3
1 - 14
July 2006
Expedition 4
16 - 29
July 2006

Package Details

Based in beautiful Simon's Town, South Africa - a safe, charming little community, rich in nautical history, located some 22 miles (35 kilometres) south of Cape Town - our team will enjoy an incredible 14-day experience with the White Sharks of False Bay.

  • Package price includes: Airport pick-up and drop-off, 15 nights' accommodations, all breakfasts and on-board  lunches, up to 10 days* of White Shark observation from cage and the deck of  our research vessel, travel to and from our research site off Seal Island,  dive tank and weight rental, and unlimited access to Expedition biologists and  naturalists. Does NOT include airfare.

    * Weather permitting -- peak White Shark season in False Bay occurs during winter months, when weather can be mercurial; the probability of  being able to spend 8-10 days at sea is high, but there are no guarantees. The first day will be an orientation day (and an opportunity to get over jet lag), and the final three days will be for data analysis and discussion. Excursions such as to Cape Town, or the wine lands can be arranged on weather days and the final three days.

  • To participate on the expedition you must pay for your accommodation and  boat fees, which is paid on your behalf by ReefQuest to our South African  operators (African Shark Eco Charters and Apex Expeditions) in advance who  will organize our on site logistics and provide what is described above.  Travel costs are your own responsibility.  

  • If you are accepted, downpayment of US $1,695.00 must be received by  ReefQuest Marine Projects no later than February 15, 2006.

  • Balance (US $1,600.00) is due by May 15, 2006.

  • Cancellations before April 30, 2006 are fully refundable, if  we are able to fill your spot; otherwise, cancellations are subject to  forfeiture of the downpayment.

  • We reserve the right to cancel the Expedition if we are unable to maintain the minimum required number of qualified participants.

ReefQuest Marine Project's education expeditions are conducted under the knowledge of Herman Oozthuizen- South Africa's Marine and Coastal Zone Management and we would like to thank and acknowledge their support.  ReefQuest Marine Projects gratefully acknowledges the generous donation of research equipment by our corporate sponsors.

We are interviewing expedition applicants NOW!


More Videos!

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White Shark Research Team


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