My month in South Africa has been one of the best of my life and with certainly the most special moment of my life.

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I haven’t felt this happy and fulfilled in a very long time. Being face to face with my favourite Great white, a 4 metres female called Scarlett, and having a unique chance to look her in the eyes and have a connection with her, changed me forever.

As a volunteer at WSDC, I collected data on Great whites characteristics and behaviour. I also learned the correct angling technique and caught, measured, tagged and released small shark species as part of their elasmobranch study. It’s incredible to feel like I’m contributing and hopefully making a difference towards shark conservation. Being able to take part in Great white and other smaller sharks research, and attending the South African Shark and Ray symposium 2017 highlighted the urgent need for further research and action on marine animals and ocean conservation to avoid extinction and destruction of our the oceans.

unnamed (4).jpgI have been truly blessed with loads of sea days, sharks encounters, breath-taking moments and meeting two soul sisters, my fellow volunteer Felicity, and Imke from White Shark Diving Co. Imke enriched my experience by taking us to BARC animal rescue centre; Panthera Africa, one of the 7 true cat sanctuary in South Africa; Whale watching; Cape Town; Penguin sanctuary; Ivanhoe Sea Safari and much more. I am forever grateful to Imke, Felicity, Mary and all the WSDC staff for welcoming me with open arms and for making September 2017 truly special and unforgettable.

Veronica Zuccolo