Marine diver conservation placement
Gain scuba diving qualifcations and work on marine conservation projects
Who should join this placement?
Anyone looking to gain experience and qualifications in diving and marine conservation. Perfect as part of a study abroad program for students seeking new skills or research techniques with adventurous gap year travellers wanting to explore South Africa's pristine tropical coast.
Location: Diving Lodge, KZN, South Africa.
Length: 4 week min - 3 months max.
Group sizes: 1 - 4 plus divemasters
What you'll be doing:
4 day diving accredited course
2 - 3 dives per week
Diving on coastal coral reefs
Coral reef surveys
Turtle monitoring research
Meet underwater wildlife
Day trips in the area
Safari and game drives
Diving placement role and duties
Life during the diving placement
The first week of your diving placement will be spent completing your diving course to gain your qualification.
Once you're a qualified diver you'll take part in multiple dives per week. You'll play a role with marine research and conservation projects. Study and gain scientific data as you survey coral reefs to look at effects of climate change, help monitor and protect turtles by boat and while underwater.
Monday to Friday
Leave the lodge and head to the coast to explore UNESCO world heritage reefs rich with rare biodiversity like the coelacanths. Build confidence and skill in the pristine tropical waters. During days when studying and research are the priority, take advantage of many class and communal study areas.
Weekends and free time
There are loads of activities on offer in the area, from safari drives, adventure activities or days out. Go try something solo or share the experience with new friends you've made.
Join any time
Placements are available throughout the year. Please contact us to arrange your dates.
From per week
Join from a minimum of 4 weeks and stay up to 12 weeks.
What is included?
We have taken care of all the details so you can focus on the adventure of a lifetime!
The placement includes:
Airport transfers to and from the reserve
Accommodation during your stay
Transportation and guides for all confirmed dives and group activities
Food and drink (excluding any personal extras)
4 day PADI/CMAS diving course
All itinerary/activity equipment is provided
Conservation projects and dives
Meet and greet event in the UK
Fellow volunteer contact list, to be sent out prior to departure
24-hour emergency onsite support
100% financial security with your booking
What is not included?
Please note, we do not book, manage or coordinate the following:
Visa and Immigration requirements
Vaccinations and health screening/checks
Personal travel insurance
Optional activities (any booked during your stay)
Must be above 18
Must have valid travel insurance
Must have booked return flights
Must organise any relevant travel and immigration documents
Must undergo any relevant medical checks and vaccinations
These are your personal responsibility and proof that all requirements have been met must be sent ahead of your arrival.
What you can expect
PADI / CMAS diving course
Start the placement by completing a PADI or CMAS diving course. This course will qualify you to dive worldwide and even start a career in professional diving!
Surveys and transects
You'll play a key role in various practical ecological techniques. Monitor coral reefs, fish populations and other key species that determine the ecosystem’s health and biodiversity. Build knowledge as you contribute to scientific research.
Coral reef diving
The coast you'll be diving in hosts some of Africa's finest coral reefs. They are also one of the only reefs on the planet not currently facing coral bleaching or shrinking in size. Home to animals like turtles, sea slugs, corals, sharks and many more!
Discover Sodwana Bay
The area around Sodwana bay is a wildlife paradise. Lagoons, wetlands and river estuaries make for incredible discoveries. From big five African wildlife like elephants and lions on land to bird life and reptiles on the coast's edge. Explore it all during the placement.
Several species of turtle can be found in the region. You'll perform catch, data collect and release as part of the placement to help monitor the success and breeding status of these animals.
In addition to the turtle research and surveying work, you'll help with local conservation groups and teams. From wildlife documentary film work to Ph.D research or projects. Why not develop your own? We'll support anyone joining with an academic background in marine conservation.