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Scuba Diving and Marine Conservation

Experience
Volunteer
Destination
South Africa
Duration
2 to 8 weeks
Ages
18 to 36
Book now, pay later. Cancel anytime.

Trip overview

Experience the real South Africa while you explore the treasures of the Indian Ocean. Live and volunteer in an unknown corner of South Africa, complete with tropical forests and wild animals, while you contribute to ocean conservation! 

Break out of your day-to-day routine and embark on an adventure that will make the world a better place and help you grow as a person. 

On this all-inclusive volunteer trip, not only do you get to live and volunteer with a trusted partner organisation in South Africa. When you go with Global, you get:

  • Volunteer project placement – Guarantee your spot at our screened and vetted project partner in South Africa. Start your volunteer journey without spending months searching for a reputable organisation on the other side of the world. 
  • Comfortable accommodation – You will share a room in a comfortable volunteer house with communal living spaces. Located about a 10 minutes drive to the beach, you are conveniently within walking distance of many bars, restaurants and shops. 
  • Meals – 3 meals a day, prepared by the volunteers on a rotation basis.
  • And way more!

Can you picture it? Since you passed your diving certification, you’re completely comfortable as you explore beneath the waves. 

You're diving into an extraordinary adventure with a focus on one incredible creature: the nudibranch! If you're not acquainted with these vibrant, patterned, slug-like creatures that look like they're from another planet, just imagine them as fantastic sea slugs.

You're teamed up with passionate researchers to snap photos and collect data on these captivating creatures, serving as vital indicators of reef health and climate change. As a volunteer, your dives will feel more like fun than work.  

You know you’re making an important contribution to the conservation of ocean life in the area, but you get to have these unbelievable experiences while you’re at it. 

For most people, spending some time in this corner of South Africa  is a bucket-list experience. 

Although most people don’t get the chance to experience something like this. Diving twice a day in South Africa’s premier dive spot while making important contributions to ocean conservation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

And when you book with Global, you book with the best. You get the full experience for a fraction of the hassle. Your volunteer placement and accommodation is sorted before you leave, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Inclusions

Tap to expand

Volunteer project placement
Dedicated Trip Coordinator
Pre-Departure Guide
Trip visa guidance
Personal Travel Concierge
Return airport transfer
Comfortable accommodation
Daily dives and gear
Meals
Certificate of completion
Ongoing local team support
Global Emergency Line
gWorld access
Global AcademyNEW
Marketplace dealsNEW
$250 off your next trip

Qualification

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

  • Be between 18-36 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

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Meet your very first travel buddy, gWorld

Trip details

Scuba Diving and Marine Conservation in South Africa has been designed to get you volunteering overseas 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, from volunteer placement to accommodation and ongoing support throughout your entire journey. 

Your first week will focus on getting you PADI 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 a day to dive down and collect photographic data on nudibranches.

All of this, surrounded by an unbelievable, ethereal underwater landscape, filled with glittering fish, inquisitive octopi and so much more. 

South Africa is a vibrant country and you are heading to a part where life has pretty much stayed the same since the dawn of time.

Bypassing huge development, this traditional Zulu part of the country is tucked away underneath Mozambique and in a fantastic spot for further exploration.

Travel up through Mozambique or Eswatini to reach Kruger National Park and connect with a wilderness that will blow your mind. 

You will arrive in Africa with the confidence that absolutely everything has been pre-arranged for you.

You’ll be able to jump straight into your volunteer duties, relax into the African lifestyle and start making new friends with all the logistical details sorted, from airport transfers to accommodation. 

This trip is a game-changer, not only for your personal development, confidence and understanding of the wider world, but is an actual positive step towards creating a better planet for everyone.

When you are not diving, you can help clean the beaches, to keep this wild corner of Africa as pristine as it deserves to be.

With time and space to be with nature and wonderful, like-minded people from around the world, this trip will change the way you think and interact with the world around you and you will head home all the better for having spent time here.

Requirements 

Be fit to dive.

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, souvenirs, visa & spending money.

Purpose & impact

The vast expanse of the ocean remains one of the last largely unexplored frontiers on our planet, holding secrets and mysteries yet to be unraveled. Unfortunately, this precious ecosystem is under constant threat due to various human activities.

However, amid these challenges, nature provides us with remarkable 'indicator species' that play a crucial role in alerting researchers to potential threats and changes in the marine environment.

The focus of this incredible volunteer trip is on a particularly fascinating indicator—the nudibranch. These colorful and intricate sea slugs serve as early warnings for ocean warming, which, in turn, can impact coral reefs.

Addressing the threats facing our oceans requires a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand. During your immersive journey, the data collection activities conducted during your daily dives will prove to be a vital component of this crucial process.

Your active involvement in gathering this important information contributes significantly to the ongoing effort to comprehend and mitigate the impact of human activities on marine ecosystems. By participating in this trip, you not only explore the hidden wonders of the ocean but also actively contribute to the preservation of this invaluable and underexplored realm.

Accommodation & meals

Once you touch down at Richards Bay Airport, the team will be waiting to take you to your volunteer accommodation. 

You’ll stay in a shared volunteer house located about 10 minutes from the beach. The house has a communal kitchen and lounge as well as shared bathrooms.

Your accommodation is conveniently located next door to a bar/restaurant with pool tables, TVs and great food. You're also within walking distance of a variety of cafes, bars and shops. This area is very safe for walking, so have a stroll when you arrive to explore your new surroundings. 

With your accommodation in South Africa sorted and your volunteer placement organised, what will you do about food? 

You’ll be given 3 meals a day, everyday. Prepared on a rotational basis by you and the other volunteers.  

Trip itinerary

Arrival

You will be picked up from Richards Bay airport by the team and transferred down to the camp. Once you arrive you will get a tour and experience your first South African braai! 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 first week is dedicated to completing your PADI Open Water certification. This involves classroom and pool skill sessions, before heading to the ocean once you have proved your skills in the pool. You will get to know the seas, the underwater geography and what to look out for as you get used to ocean diving and before you know it you will be fully qualified and ready to go.

Week 2

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: 7:30 - Leave camp 8:00 - Kit up on the beach 8:30 - Dive 11:00 - Return to camp 11:00 - 13:00 Lunch break  13:00 - 14:00 - Database entry  14:00 - 15:00 - Lecture  17:00 - Free time

Ongoing

Our dedicated team will check in regularly and keep in touch with you throughout your stay but, if at any point during your trip you need travel advice or assistance, we’ll be here to answer all your questions. Don’t forget you can always jump on our social media pages too or buzz our 24/5 emergency support line for urgent matters.

Why choose us

When you travel with the best we take care of pretty much everything so you don’t have to. You’ll arrive in South Africa totally prepared with a plan of action and trusted people helping you along the way. 

Our volunteer trips are designed to help you make a real change in critical causes around the world. All while experiencing off-the-beaten-path locations with passionate locals. Our goal is to save you time, money, and stress while eliminating the risk of returning home early. Here’s how we do it: 

We’re on your side from the moment you get started. 

You’ll be assigned a dedicated Trip Coordinator. They’ll guide you through the next steps and answer all your questions. They’ll also help you with the pesky visa. No guesswork – only the right paperwork, approved the first time, in your hands before you leave. 

Your Personal Travel Concierge will help with flights, insurance, and any add-ons you’d like for your trip. These are real humans too – no robots here. 

We maintain relationships with a huge network of screened and vetted partner organisations all over the world. We know they’re trustworthy and that you’re in good hands because of all the successful trips Global Travellers keep having with our partners. 

Our team is well travelled so you can rely on our experience. We’re with you every step of the way. 

Join 82,000+ travellers – giving us 10,000+ 4 & 5 star reviews – by choosing Global to make your travel dreams come true.

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Frequently asked questions

Why are you the best company to choose?

As the world’s leading gap-year and "work & travel" company, we pride ourselves on providing a premium service for Global Travellers. Choose from a variety of awesome experiences worldwide, and let us assist you with visas, pre-departure preparations, flights, insurance, and tours. Throughout your journey, our cool tech features will support you every step of the way. As a Global Traveller, gain access to gWorld, our personalised app designed to enhance your travel experience. Keep important documents and trip details handy, and take advantage of exclusive Marketplace deals, a vibrant social network, language learning resources, side trips, meet-ups, and more. It's like having all your favorite travel apps merged into one, but even better! But our support doesn't end there. With four international offices, over 100 dedicated staff members, a 24/5 emergency team, and the backing of over 90,000 Global Travellers who have turned their travel dreams into reality with us, rest assured you're in good hands. We also proudly boast the most and best reviews in the biz, and maintain a massive following on our social channels including Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Embark on your next adventure with confidence and ease. Join us and discover the world in a meaningful way!

Are flights & insurance included?

While we would love to include flights and insurance in our trip packages, it is not feasible to have a fixed price due to the diverse destinations, trip durations, and individual coverage needs of our travellers from around the globe. However, once you register for the trip, we will assign you a dedicated Travel Concierge. They will work closely with you to arrange the ideal flights and insurance tailored to your specific adventure. Rest assured, our team is here to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience from start to finish!

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The trip fee covers all the essential trip inclusions that ensure you have a meaningful and safe volunteering experience. It includes comprehensive pre-departure support to assist you throughout your journey. Once you arrive at your destination, the fee covers transportation, accommodation, and in most cases meals and some amazing excursions you'll do alongside other international volunteers. This comprehensive support is essential to provide you with a positive and secure volunteering experience, which is of utmost importance to us. Your trip fee allows us to ensure your well-being while making a meaningful impact, and it contributes to the sustainability and effectiveness of the volunteer projects we support.

Will I receive guidance and support before starting the volunteering trip?

Absolutely! Before starting your volunteer placement, you will receive comprehensive pre-departure support, which includes project-specific information, cultural orientation, and advice on preparing for your journey. Additionally, most trips include on-site training and an orientation to ensure you are well-prepared and confident in your volunteer role.

How do I choose the right volunteer trip for me?

With so many incredible options, we understand that selecting the perfect volunteer trip can be tricky. That's why we recommend booking your favourite one, and your dedicated Trip Coordinator will guide you through the project details. They will consider your interests, skills, desired location, and the impact you want to make. If we find another trip that better suits your preferences, we can easily swap you over to ensure you have the ideal volunteer experience. Rest assured, we're here to help you find the right fit!

How long should I volunteer for?

We offer flexibility in our volunteer trips, allowing you to choose the duration that best suits your schedule and desired experience. While most volunteers join us for 3 or 4 weeks, our trips accommodate durations as short as two weeks or as long as 12 weeks, and even extended stays. The choice is yours!

What ages are most volunteers?

The ages of our volunteers can vary depending on the project, but we have a wide age range. Our volunteers typically range from 18 years old to 85 years old! Our Trip Coordinators ensure that all volunteers are vetted before embarking on their journey. While age may differ, what unites our volunteers is their shared passion for travel and their dedication to making a positive impact in the community or wildlife conservation efforts they are involved in. Regardless of age, anyone with a passion to contribute and explore is welcome to join our volunteer trips.

Is it safe to volunteer overseas?

Safety is our utmost priority, and it drives our thorough trip planning process and comprehensive inclusions. With a successful track record of safely sending tens of thousands of travellers overseas since 2008, we prioritise your well-being throughout the journey. Before you depart, we provide full support, ensuring a smooth and secure experience. Upon arrival, we take care of every detail, including secure airport transfers, comfortable accommodations, usually meals, and dedicated project supervision. Additionally, our 24/5 emergency line ensures immediate assistance whenever needed, providing peace of mind throughout your entire volunteer experience.

Why should I book now?

After the last unexpected disruption to travel caused by the..c word..people are now more eager than ever to venture out and explore the world, determined not to miss out on any experiences. 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 or partner?

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!

Can I bring my pet along?

At Global Work & Travel, we share a deep love for animals and fully understand the special bond you have with your pet. We recognise the challenges of embarking on a trip without them. Due to travel restrictions, requirements, and limited pet-friendly accommodations among our host organisations, we regretfully cannot facilitate their inclusion in the journey. However, many of our customers choose to entrust their pets to a family member or friend, embark on their adventure, and return home to wagging tails and furry cuddles.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip?

We know that life can get in the way of travel, so all our trips come with a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, if you cannot travel on your selected date, you can place your trip on hold to deal with whatever is holding you back, and continue in the future without incurring any penalty. You may also have the option of transferring to an entirely different trip and destination as well, or even transferring your trip to a friend or family member. In the event that you need to outright cancel your trip, if you give us 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 toward any other trip that we offer, including tours through third-party providers, as well as holidays through DealsAway.com, and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. As international travel can be complex, your options are based on the progress of your trip organisation and our support team can assist you in finding the best solution for your needs.

How it works

1. Choose a trip style

Find your dream experience & destination, then secure your spot with a flexible & low deposit. Activate your gWorld to unlock some cool perks. Well done! The hardest part’s over!

2. We become friends

Book a time to meet your dedicated Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs of your trip. They’ll be by your side and working behind-the-scenes to pull everything together.

3. Time to go!

We’ll get your tickets, accommodation & transfers ready. Our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared & waiting for your arrival. Get on the plane with no worries!

4. 24/5 support

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

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, 24/5.

We're the experts

With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 90 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.

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