South African freediver Hanli Prinsloo founded ocean conservation charity I Am Water in 2010, and has raised $125,000 in the past 12 months alone. The nonprofit has joined up with intrepid tour operator Steppes Travel and this October Prinsloo will lead a nine-day trip (£4,595) to the Sea of Cortez, off Mexico’s Baja California.
Prinsloo, who can hold her breath under water for six minutes and freedive to 63m, will teach travellers to freedive, starting with yoga breathing exercises, and then escort them into the rich marine environment. Aspiring underwater explorers can expect whale sharks, sea lions and schools of jack fish by day – and nights spent at a rustic beachside hacienda on the outskirts of the national park. Forty per cent of proceeds will go to the nonprofit, which focuses on raising awareness and campaigning, but also training, including teaching schoolchildren to swim in Mozambique.