1300 40 11 90
Speak to an expert now
  • Overview
  • Inclusions
  • Details
  • Location
  • Itinerary
  • FAQ
  • How It Works

Marine Science & Open Water Scuba Field Course in False Bay

South Africa
2 to 4 weeks
18 to 85

Limited spots. Earliest available arrival is currently Jun 2023, and closing very soon.

Trip overview

Once you dip your toe in the diverse waters off the Cape of Good Hope, your world will change forever. Live for a month in a little hidden-away corner of the Cape, just half an hour from Cape Town, giving you the best of both worlds, that unique wilderness experience and access to one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Spend your days exploring the oceans, making a genuine difference to the planet and exploring an underwater kingdom that few humans ever get to see. 

You will be helping to count, document and report on various species under the waves, making daily visits to vast kelp forests and rocky reefs. No experience of diving? Don’t worry, the first week of your conservation post, you will work on getting SSI certified, your first step to becoming a scuba diving legend and gaining access to this vast and glorious underwater kingdom. 

Every morning you will wake to the crashing of waves, the ocean luring you through your glorious, wild surroundings. Spend your afternoons gliding through the turquoise waters, getting to know your patch of this incredible underwater world, as well as the one above the surface. After being suspended in this weightless paradise, surrounded by colourful fish and forests of kelp, you return to your base for sundowners (afternoon drinks) with the team, watching the bold African sun drop from the sky.  

We offer the complete package for those looking to learn how to scuba and make a difference to the state of the planet. This exclusive opportunity is expertly handled by our partners in the tiny town of Glencairn, 30km from Cape Town, so you don't need to worry about a thing. Your expert pre-departure team will be able to flawlessly sort out your airport pickup, accommodation, on-site training and so much more.  

This is a genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to truly become one with the ocean, to take your scuba skills and knowledge of the seas to a completely different level. Not only this, but you will make new friends from all over the world and truly make a sustainable impact on the planet. Explore the wildlife of Africa that hardly anyone gets to see and help make a true difference for its unique inhabitants.


Structured in-depth Marine Research and Conservation Course

This in-depth course in a unique and rich marine environment will give you a solid understanding of how the ocean works as part of a sustained, ongoing practice of monitoring and protecting the marine life of the Southern Cape.

SSI Certified Dive Course

If you have no diving experience, no worries! You can spend an additional week of the course getting SSI accredited, learning all about your equipment, the safety measures and how to stay in control while you are under the water.

Dedicated Trip Coordinator

Handpicked from an experienced team who’ve been there, done that and are ready to guide you through your entire journey and leave no question unanswered.

Pre-Departure Guide

Our in-depth pre-departure guide will have all the information you need about your trip & destination, at your fingertips.

Personal Travel Concierge

You'll get a personal Travel Concierge to plan your flights, insurance or any add-ons to synchronise perfectly with your trip. Deal with a real human and get a personalised booking experience that ticks all your boxes.

Return Airport Transfer

To take you straight to your accommodation in Glencairn. Upon completion of your placement, you'll also be taken directly to the airport, unless, of course, you fancy a little travelling.

Comfortable Accommodation

There is no need to try and set up your own accommodation, you will be staying in custom accommodation in the idyllic town of Glencairn. You will be living with the other members of your course and will either have your own room or share a twin.

Project Supplies

Get equipped with all the supplies and materials you need to perform your duties, as well as everything you will need to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Certificate of Completion

In recognition of your hard work and dedication throughout the experience, and, it goes very well with your future resume. Employers will love this addition!

Ongoing local team support

Think of us as your family away from home. Whether you need advice or a shoulder to lean on, our team will provide you with unlimited support.

24/7 Global Emergency Line

Feel confident knowing we have a worldwide emergency team on standby, 24/7/365, so you can feel safe and secure throughout your whole trip no matter where you are in the world.

gWorld Access

Stay organised with your personalised portal where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global.


Global Academy

Gain access to an ever-growing range of skills & languages to learn before & whilst you travel.


Marketplace Deals

Get exclusive access to deals and discounts through our online Marketplace. Save big on a huge range of products and services from our brand partners worldwide.

$250 Off Your Next Trip

The “Travel Bug” is a very real thing! Once you catch it, it really doesn’t go away! Book any other trip with us later and save $250. Why would you ever stop travelling?

Just in case it’s not clear already, we’re not an employment or recruitment agency. Read more


To qualify for this trip you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-85 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

Ask a question

Chat with us online now, or we can call you back for free, 24 hours Mon-Fri.

Trip details

The Marine Science Scuba Course in South Africa has been designed to get you enrolled on an exceptional overseas course in a safe and fun environment and with an incredibly rewarding purpose. Our expert team and local partners take care of everything you need to start making a positive impact, setting up your phenomenal course, accommodation and ongoing support throughout your entire journey. 

Your first week will focus on getting you SSI qualified, ensuring that you are comfortable, happy and qualified to negotiate the underwater world of scuba diving. It’s a really fun week of learning, but the real joy starts afterwards. With your own little patch of ocean, you will take to the water once or twice a day, depending on weather conditions, to dive down and participate in a wide range of activities. From tagging fish and sharks, sampling the amount of microplastics in the ocean and monitoring species numbers using a variety of techniques, to beach cleanups and tidal pool monitoring, you will be learning the ways of the ocean like no other. All of this, surrounded by an unbelievable, ethereal underwater landscape, filled with glittering fish, inquisitive octopi and so much more. 

South Africa is a diverse and vibrant country and heading down to the Cape is a phenomenal spot to spend your time. The town of Glencairn is just small enough to give you the feeling that you are living out in rural South Africa, well off the tourist trail, able to live like a local for a month. However, only 30 minutes away lies the beating heart of South Africa, Cape Town. Surrounded by incredible beauty, Cape Town is completely unique, with a party vibe down on Long Street or Victoria Road that is unlike anywhere else on Earth. Great food, good people and an opportunity to learn so much about life, Cape Town gives you the option to choose your own path, to search out exactly what it is that interests you. 

Arriving in Africa for the first time can be daunting, but you will be coming with the knowledge and confidence that absolutely everything has been pre-arranged for you. You will be able to jump straight into your duties or spend a couple of days in Cape Town first to acclimatise, with no other worries on your mind. With a group of like-minded students from around the world staying at your accommodation, you are going to make friends for life as you work and party together. 

This is a life-changing trip and we don’t mean that as a hollow platitude. What you will be doing is a game-changer, not only for the world we live in but for your own development. Spending so much time in this alien environment, getting to truly understand how it and its inhabitants function together will alter the way you see the world above the waves. When you are not diving, you will be cleaning the beaches, working with the community and getting to understand how other people live on the other side of the world from you.


  • You must be able to understand and speak English (all courses and lectures are in English).
  • You must be able to swim.
  • You must complete our dive medical questionnaire once you register to check you’re fit and healthy to go diving.

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, souvenirs & spending money.

Trip itinerary


You will be picked up from Cape Town airport by the team and transferred down to Glencairn. Once you arrive you will get a tour and over a few beers, you will get to know your fellow conservationists and get a better understanding of what lies ahead in the weeks to come.

Week 1

The main focus of the week is getting your Open Water Scuba (SSI) certification so that you are cleared to dive. This is a 4-day course that starts daily at 9:00 am and finishes between 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm. On days one and two you will get set up with your equipment and spend the day in our onsite swimming pool where you and your instructor will go through all the required skills needed to become a successful open water diver. Then on days three and four, you and your instructor will head out to the local training beach and complete two open water training dives. It is on these dives that you start showing us what you have mastered in the pool, and get to experience some of the local wildlife for the first time!

Week 2

In week two you will focus on dive training and acclimatisation and a thorough introduction to the course and research. Lecture subjects include an introduction to the area, substrates, fish and invertebrate species, and the systems and processes that create the unique biodiversity found in the Cape Peninsula. The scientific method is introduced through various Citizen Science initiatives. Practical diving sessions this week focus on developing buoyancy skills and familiarisation with sampling techniques and equipment.

Week 3

In week three we put to use the skills developed during the first two weeks. Research projects are introduced with comprehensive lectures on project backgrounds and methods. Students begin survey dives and collect data for the various research projects utilising the observation techniques learned in week two. Workshops on additional skills like GIS and Freediving are also introduced this week.

Week 4

Week four continues data collection for the projects introduced during week three and for new projects that will be introduced this week. We discuss the concept of biodiversity and how this is measured from study design to statistics and inferences. Students will also begin to process data collected in the previous weeks.

Week 5

This week wraps up the course with continued data collection and developing biological and analytical knowledge. Lecture topics cover a variety of subjects and can include shark physiology, white shark population dynamics and population modelling and others depending on the interests of students.

Day to Day

This is an example of your day to day itinerary. It will differ slightly, with only one dive on some days depending on schedules and the weather, but generally, this is how you will spend your weeks 9 am:  Morning pick up from the accommodation. Head to HQ for project introduction and practical methodology presentation or workshop session Dive/field briefing by lead dive instructor/scientist 12 pm: Lunch Break 1 pm: Equipment set up and loading of vehicles/boat Head out for practical session - dive survey + data collection, head back to HQ for data input and debriefing, skill review and logbook entries 4 pm: Drop off back at the accommodation Evening: Head out for dinner at a local restaurant in the village with other students, and grab some drinks for the magic of the South African sunset

New on the 'gram


Frequently asked questions

Why go with Global Work & Travel?

As the world’s leading gap-year and “work & travel” company, we offer you the ability to not only choose from a number of awesome experiences all over the world but, we'll be your support system from the very first moment you become a Global Traveller! We provide a premium service that allows you to pick the destination of your dreams, get our visa & pre-departure assistance, book great flights and organise the perfect travel insurance or tours for when you arrive. Plus, we’ll back it all up with some cool and exclusive tech features that are with you the entire time.

As a Global Traveller, you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace deals for discounts with our brand partners, a unique social network to connect you with other Global Travellers when you’re overseas, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages to learn as you travel, invites to bucket-list side trips with other travellers, local meet-ups and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better?

And it doesn't even stop there. We continue to be there from the moment you land with a dedicated 24/7 emergency team, over 100 staff and ongoing support ensuring that you have the tools you need to feel like a local. That’s why 65,000+ Global Travellers from all over the world have chosen to turn their travel dream into reality with us and we can proudly brag that we’ve got the most & best reviews in the biz!

Why should I book now?

Covid-19 threw us a curve ball and pretty much halted all travel. This means that we have a backlog of travellers, just like you, who are desperate to get out and explore the world! Global Work & Travel works on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Booking earlier ensures that you don’t miss out on the best intake, season, placements and more! We recommend our travellers take 6-12 months to plan their trip for a reason - to make sure you’ve got everything organised perfectly, stress-free.

As a Global Traveller you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace Deals, a unique social network to connect you with other like-minded Global Travellers, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages, and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better?

Why not give yourself something to look forward to by booking that trip!

Can I travel with a friend?

Yes you can! Simply tell your Trip Coordinator after booking that your friend is also going and they can link your profiles. For most of our trips we should be able to have you and your friends placed together or nearby. Meaning that you can live, work, play & travel together!

But wait there's more! Not only can you travel the world with your besties at your side, you can also earn some extra cash towards your own trip just by referring your friends to Global Work & Travel. You can learn more about the great referral rewards program inside your gWorld account once you join.

And for those who decide to go-it-solo, we’ve made it easier to meet other Global Travellers in the same region as you. Just like any other social platform, you’ll be able to interact, share, chat and meet with some really cool people who are doing trips just like you!

What happens if COVID affects my trip?

If you have to make any changes to your departure date, you’re protected with our Lifetime Deposit Guarantee and our Ultimate Corona Booking Flexibility. With this, we will change your trip dates for free. If this doesn’t fit around you and you can’t go on your trip anymore, we will give you a 100% refund in the form of a Trip Credit with us (See terms). If you’re unable to use it, you can also transfer that credit to someone else for them to put towards any trip too.

If you’re affected by Covid-19 while you’re overseas, you will have all the support you need from our team or partners in-country as well as have access to our 24/7 Global Emergency Line. We recommend travellers purchase Global Travel Cover travel insurance that provides Covid-19 medical protection too.

Do I need to be vaccinated to book?

As border restrictions for countries begin to ease, being fully vaccinated will maximise the number of locations you can visit. So while you are not legally required to be vaccinated, and it’s also not a requirement to travel with us, it will limit some of the countries that you can visit and may make it harder to travel through over the next 12-18 months. We highly recommend our travellers look at the current travel restrictions of their destination, speak with a medical professional or get in touch with our team for travel advice.

What happens if I want to cancel my trip?

Our Ultimate Corona Booking Flexibility means you can change your trip’s start date up to 84* days before departure without incurring any charges when you rebook it for any time (or even any other trip) in the next 2 years from your original start date.

In the event that you want to cancel your booking altogether, if you give us over 84* days notice you can do so with only a 50% cancellation fee. Your refund of the balance will come in the form of a Store Credit which you can put towards booking absolutely anything travel related with your Travel Concierge within the next 2 years!

*Some select trips excluded, including Teach (Spain, Italy & Czech Republic) and USA (Summer Camp, Working Holiday and Hotel Professional), and others as listed in Booking Conditions.

How it works

Make your decision

Choose your trip style and destination, and confirm your spot with a deposit. Then, open your gWorld account and celebrate, the hardest part is over and the fun is about to begin.

We become friends

You’ll be matched with a personal Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs. They’ll guide you through everything we need to do together, so you can leave your worries behind.

Time to go

We’ll get your tickets in-hand and your transfers ready. Then, our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared for your arrival. It’s now time for the real adventure to start.

24/7 support

Never stress, knowing we’re there with you when you need us with ongoing & unlimited local team support and check-ins. And just in case, we’ve got an emergency team on stand-by, 24/7.

Still have questions?

Why go Global

Flexible trips

The unexpected can happen sometimes. Can't travel right now? Swap your trip, gift it or save it for later with our Lifetime Deposit Guarantee.

Worldwide support

Know that someone is always ready to assist throughout the journey & they’re only a call, tweet, comment, text or double tap away, 24/7.

We're the experts

With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 100 passionate pros, you can bet we know our stuff better than anyone else.

Partner network

We have over 1,200 partners around the globe, so we have access to plenty of exclusive opportunities to make your trip the best it can be.

Other trips you’ll love