SANCCOB Training

Local and overseas volunteers play an integral part in operations at our Table View (Western Cape) and Gqeberha (Eastern Cape) centres, providing thousands of hours of much-needed conservation work on a daily basis. Volunteers must be over the age of 18, hard working and passionate about saving seabirds.

For under 18 years: In Cape Town, school-going groups under 18 years of age are accommodated through off-site volunteer experience programmes and Gqeberha has specially designed programmes for young people under 18.


SANCCOB relies on volunteer support to carry out operational tasks at both centres. If you are seeking a place where you can donate your time and make a meaningful impact, then contact us.

International Volunteer Programme

Get hands-on experience working with endangered African penguins and other seabirds at the world renowned SANCCOB seabird centres in Cape Town or Gqeberha in South Africa.

  • You must be 18 years and over
  • No experience necessary
  • Minimum 6 weeks in Cape Town or Gqeberha
  • Placements all year round, with the busiest time in Cape Town from October to March.

As an international volunteer you will become an extension of our team of Bird rehabilitators, helping with most handling and feeding tasks.

Unfortunately, SANCCOB does not provide accommodation – but we can recommend accommodation used by many international volunteers in the past.

Your programme fee for a six week period will include a volunteer T-shirt and a seabird release trip (weather and bird permitting). Further information about the Cape Town and Gqeberha international volunteer programmes are available in the respective documents below.

Local Volunteer Programme

Local volunteers play an important role at SANCCOB’s centres in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape and are needed 365 days a year to perform tasks such as:

  • Assisting with seabird rehabilitation, cleaning and feeding birds
  • Driving/collecting seabirds
  • General centre maintenance and cleaning
  • Answering phones
  • Education/behind the scenes tours
  • Marketing/fundraising

Volunteers must be 18 years or older and reside permanently in the Cape Peninsula (Western Cape) or in the local Eastern Cape surrounds. Half day and full day shifts are available week days and over weekends. Our volunteers assist with important daily operational tasks to support SANCCOB’s rehabilitation team.

Further information about the Cape Town and Gqeberha local volunteer programmes are available in the respective documents below.

Clubs For Young People in Gqeberha – Eastern Cape

SANCCOB Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) in the Eastern Cape offers conservation-focused educational meet ups for young people, which includes a chance to assist with kid-friendly and supervised tasks around the centre.

The Little Blues Club (6–11 year olds)

The Little Blues Club (7–11 year olds) gathers on the second Saturday of every month from 09h00 to 11h00 and 12h00 to 14h00. Attendees receive a fun-filled lesson and participate in a related activity which could include beach clean-ups, assistance with small tasks in the Rehabilitation Department, nature walks artwork and loads more.

The cost is R65 per child and includes a light lunch. Please contact for more information.

The Penguin Protectors Club (12-17 year olds)

The Penguin Protectors Club (12-17 year olds) members meets on the fourth Saturday of each month from 09h00 to 11h00 and 12h00 to 14h00 to enjoy a fun lesson to stimulate environmental interests, assist with tasks at the facility, as well as participate in activities such as beach clean-ups and nature walks.

The cost is R65 per session and a light lunch will be included.
Connect with for more information and to join The Penguin Protectors Club.

What People Say About Their SANCCOB Experience