marine BIOLOGY course


04 June to 17 June
02 July to 15 July
30 July to 12 August

MARINE BIOLOGY COURSE COST: $3 090 – US Dollar / €2 620 – Euro

Only 8 spaces are available in each group, to give you the best experience possible! We work on a first come first served basis, so book early to avoid disappointment! Complete the application form to register your interest in the Discover Eden Marine Biology Course.

The Discover Eden Marine Biology course is specifically designed for those who are either studying or working in the marine conservation field. With a wide range of field-based components, interspersed with topical theoretical discussions and workshops, this short course gives you the hands-on experience you have been looking for to see what being a marine biologist is all about.

This activity packed course addresses topics such as shark, seal, bird and cetacean research and conservation, the global ocean plastic pandemic, the interface between development and coastal conservation, and combines field work on beaches, in the water and boat-based research. Food, accommodation, and ground transport are all included in this package.

Please note: Due to the unpredictability of nature and the weather, the days and activities stated below may be switched around or substituted to give you the best experience possible.

marine biology COURSE OUTLINE

Day 1


Your friendly Discover Eden Guide will pick you up at Cape Town Airport in the Western Cape Province. We will then make our way to our overnight accommodation, at a guest house in a quiet residential suburb not too far from the airport. You will be able to freshen up before dinner and a chat, getting to know your fellow students who are on the tour with you.

Day 2


Today you will partake in an orientation where we will explain everything that lies ahead. After the orientation you will go to the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town where you will be taken on a special ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the aquarium by one of the aquarium biologists after which you will have time to explore the aquarium at your own pace. You will have the rest of the afternoon to explore the famous Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, one of South Africa’s most visited cultural and historical attractions.

Day's 3 to 7


Spend an incredible 5 days getting to grips with the science behind marine biology. From basics of citizen science projects, to advanced marine studies, you will cover a range of topics presented by top marine scientists. Immerse yourself in free-dive research in a marine biodiversity hotspot, learning the techniques needed for your future career. If conditions are rough for underwater work, there is plenty to learn e.g. assisting with data input (BRUV Video analysis), conducting a shark egg beach search or a rock pool biodiversity survey.

Day 8


Today you will make your way to Gansbaai. On the way you will stop over at a coastal nature reserve where you will be given a talk by a marine specialist about marine conservation relating to endangered seabirds. The site is also a natural penguin colony! Afterwards you will spend the afternoon partaking in your first activity with the marine biologists in Gansbaai. 

Day 9


The next 2 days will be spent with marine biologists who work for an organisation that is heavily involved with marine conservation in their area. You could take part in activities such as a shark cage dive, shark tagging on a research boat or from shore, a snorkelling survey or a dissection, an estuary survey or other relevant conservation-based activities. Apart from these activities you will also be receiving lectures from the biologists. (Please note these activities are dependent on weather, tides and availability).

Day 10


In the morning you will be visiting a world class African penguin and seabird sanctuary. Here you will be given a tour of the centre and given a talk by one of the conservationists about the endangered African penguin and other sea birds that they have under their care. You will assist in the morning routine at the centre and watch the penguin feeding. In the afternoon you will once again be spending your time with the marine biologists.

Day 11


After breakfast we make our way along the scenic Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay which is your last stop for the tour. In the afternoon we head out to sea again, this time for a close encounter with the charismatic and playful Cape Fur Seals. Visit these playful creatures at a large breeding colony and enter their world for a snorkel with them. 

Day 12


Launching nice and early, this is a full day at sea looking for and learning about the large diversity of cetaceans found along the southern Cape coastline. Working with an experienced skipper and crew, enter the realm of sustainable tourism, learning about the boat-based whale watching industry, the impacts it can have on the animals that sustain it, and chatting about local research ensuring the industry continues for years to come.

Day 13


Coastal impact research is the focus this morning as we join the local NVT research team to participate in beach plastics research and breeding shorebird impacts field work. See up close and personal the impacts humans have on coastal biodiversity and learn about innovative coastal intervention work that enables local biodiversity to co-exist with visitors on our beaches. After lunch, sit and chat about careers in conservation with Dr Mark Brown, as he shares his experiences of mentoring ecology students for over 20 years.

Day 14


Today is a sad day as we have to say goodbye. After breakfast, we will take you to George Airport where you will start to make your way back home. We are sure this experience will benefit you throughout your career and will never be forgotten.