Up Close and Personal with Great White Sharks

Ashleigh Wood Start Date: Feb 13, 2017 - End Date: Aug 31, 2017
  • South Africa

My Travel Story

by: Ashleigh Wood Start Date: Feb 13, 2017 - End Date: Aug 31, 2017
Ruthless killers or extremely misunderstood creatures?

**Hello everyone!
Thank you so much for taking the time to have a little look at my campaign. I have no idea if this is going to be worth my while but what I do know is that I am a young lady with a big heart and i want to make a difference. Infact I am determined to do so. I don't want to come accross cliche, using the whole 'I've loved animals since I was three' line because I'm sure most of us have. What I do want to say is that I would be incredibly grateful if the kindness of strangers with a passion for conservation assissted me in making even the tiniest difference. I am 22 and live alone with my two cats, working tedious shifts in a call centre located in the busy city of Newcastle until I move to Wales for my studies. Money is extremely tight and there is no way I could fund this trip on my own. I don't expect to accumulate the full cost of the trip or anywhere near but I reach out to anyone with an interest or passion in the cause to kindly donate a small some if even a few pennies.
I really do want to make a difference and it's sad these days that you seemingly need wealth to do so but hopefully I can defy the odds!**

Sharks have been negatively percieved by the media and horror stories of vicious and unprovoked attacks leading to negligance in research and conservation efforts. These fascinating animals may not be fury and easy on the eyes in the opinion of many however they are incredible complex species and vital piece in the importance of marine conservation.

As a marine life lover and conservation enthusiast and years of not knowing how to get involved with the cause on such a low income I was informed about this site by a collegue. I am planning on studying a Martine Biology degree starting September this year in which I will be packing up and moving miles away from home. Before getting my head down and obtaining my degree I wish to have a go at my dream volunteering trip of a lifetime and travel to 'the Great White Shark Captial of the World' to contribute to the amazing efforts on going in and around South Africa's coastline.

The trip will allow me to work alongside the Marine Big 5 (whales, great white sharks, cape fur seals, dolphins and the african penguin. I'll be monitoring sharks in their natural environment in order to assist in the obtaining of research as very little is actually known about the species. I'll have the oppurtunity to get up close and personal with the sharks from a cage under water and gain insight into conservational issues for sharks and african penguin colonies.

I will be travelling daily on the ecotourism and education boat whereby I will partake in lectures and trips as well as educating visitors about marine conservation. I will be taking part in other conservational activities such as: animal rescues, shark egg collection, bird surverys, whale watching, rehabilitation, observing, monitoring, photography, blogging and data recording.

I plan on blogging and documenting as much of my trip as possible on social media in an attempt to better educate and change the opinions of sharks as well as bring light to Marine Conservation efforts and get more people interested and involved.

  • South Africa