Kelp forest in South AfricaLearning to dive in South Africa: experience the oceans in another way

Oyster is pleased to offer marine conservation volunteers the opportunity to take part in a 3 day intensive diving course in South Africa. This opportunity is open to those who stay on the project for 2 weeks or more. We recommend that you stay for a minimum of 4 weeks, to allow for bad weather and still allow you to have the full volunteer experience.

Learning to dive in South Africa is a great addition to your time spent volunteering with sharks and other marine life. Not only will you come away with a new skill and qualification, but you will also be able to experience the underwater world in a different and exciting way.

What qualification will I receive?

  • Upon successful completion of the e-learning module and the practical sessions, you will receive a NAUI scuba diving qualification (National Association of Underwater Instructors).

Learn to dive in South AfricaWhat are the requirements?

  • You will need to be staying for a minimum duration of 2 weeks on the shark volunteering project to be able to participate
  • We would highly recommend that you join for 4 weeks, so that you can fully immerse yourself in the volunteer project and allow for bad weather
  • Completion of a medical evaluation form before taking part in the course

How does it work?

  • Before arrival in South Africa, you will start an e-learning course
  • The e-learning course takes about 14 hours to complete
  • Once in South Africa, you will receive 17 hours of practical tuition, of which 10 hours are spent in the water
  • The practical sessions are divided into 3 days
  • You will not have a set date for your diving course before departure, as this is dependent on weather
  • You will be put in touch with your diving instructor before departure, and will meet him or her in the early days of your volunteer period when your schedule will be set

What will the practical pool sessions entail (day 1 of the course)?

  • Swimming technique
  • Familiarisation with diving equipment
  • Learning scuba dive equipment skills
  • Descent / ascent skills
  • Underwater skills
  • Emergency skills

A diver practices in the pool when learning to dive in South AfricaWhat do the practice dives entail?

  • Dive in the harbour, practicing underwater skills and communications learned (day 2)
  • Shore entry dive (day 2)
  • 2 shore entry or boat entry dives up to 18m (day 3)

Please note, according to NAUI regulations, not more than 2 scuba dives should take place on the same day during training. Dives may be split up depending on weather and other requirements.

Can I use my diving qualification on the project?

Learning to dive in South Africa might well be useful whilst you are volunteering. There are times when you might be asked to join a boat going out to see Mako sharks, if the weather allows it. You may also be able to do kelp diving. You will be learning to dive in a unique area with a lot of kelp – it is amazing to see! There is beauitful scenery both in and out of the water.

Here is what one one of our friends in South Africa had to say about diving in kelp forests:

“Diving in the kelp is a bit like being in a maze, or like moving through a forest – zigzagging through the kelp, being in anticipation about what you might see next around the corner… perhaps an opening with some interesting animals in it or a cliff face full of interesting colours and creatures/plant. I love seeing the change in species from one area to the next. It is nice to look up and see the sun rays filtering through the fronds.”

A participant learns to dive in South AfricaDo I need to be able to dive to go shark cage diving?

No, shark cage diving simply involves holding your breath underwater for a few seconds as the shark swims by. You will be wearing a snorkel mask and wet suit and will be standing in a cage next to the boat. You do not need to be able to dive to join this project.

How much does it cost?

Learning to dive in South Africa as part of the marine conservation volunteering project will cost just £350. Payment must be made upfront to secure your place.

How do I book?

  • Specify on your booking form that you would like to add the dive package to your booking
  • If you are already booked, please let your Destination Manager know that you would like to add in the dive package

Volunteers learn to dive in South Africa

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