Marine Adventure & Diving

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Coordinator | Joanne
Coordinator | Joanne
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Volunteering in a NEW way! Experience a diving vacation in Africa while contributing to marine research.
Gain PADI dive qualifications of any level. Beginner to Divemaster!
Short casual (no shoes allowed) lectures and database sessions.
More than 20 different activities to keep you busy! Surf, play pool at a local bar, go for sundowners, chill by a bonfire, enjoy pizza nights and so much more.
Make memories with unforgettable new friends in this amazing sub-tropical paradise.
Deep Blue offers the experience of a lifetime, marine conservation volunteering with a diving vacation all rolled into one! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
The Deep Blue volunteer program incorporates marine conservation research with an incredible diving vacation. Whether you're a diver or not we've got you covered! We offer PADI dive qualifications from zero to Divemaster and everything in between.

Once volunteers are able to dive they jump straight into our marine research, collecting photographic data during dives on turtles, mantas, whales, ragged-tooth sharks and nudibranchs. Volunteers also get the chance to take part in marine lectures to learn more about the ocean and marine conservation.

Volunteers get the opportunity to make a difference while also having the experience of a lifetime, there is a lot of free time that can be used to make the most out of this adventure and experience everything that this little piece of paradise has to offer. 

Typical day

The first week is used to complete the PADI Open Water or Advanced Open Water course. If volunteers have chosen not to do a dive course they can begin with research diving on the Monday after they arrive.

Volunteers dive once or twice every day during the week in the morning, collecting photographic data on turtles, mantas, whales, ragged-tooth sharks and nudibranchs. We follow African time so we are never in a rush, after the morning dive volunteers can relax on the beach or grab something to eat. We then head back to camp to freshen up and enter any data we collected into the database. Volunteers then get the chance to take part in short, casual marine lectures to learn more about the ocean and marine conservation.

Once database and lectures are done, volunteers have the rest of the day to relax at the camp or go and explore the town. There are loads of awesome activities to keep volunteers busy during their stay. The days usually end with a bonfire at the camp which is great to experience a proper local braai (barbecue), socialise and relax.

Free-time activities

There are loads of awesome activities to keep volunteers busy during their stay!

  • Relaxing on the beach or at the camp pool.
  • Freediving.
  • African beach market.
  • Local bars and restaurants.
  • Bonfires.
  • Looking for chameleons.
  • Whale watching during whale season.
  • Picking up shark teeth at Anton's Dive Site.
  • Sundowners at local view points.
  • Watching the moonrise on the beach.
  • Turtle tours during nesting season.
  • Surfing.
  • Trips to Lake Sibaya for sundowners and a braai (barbecue).
  • Game drives.
  • Night walks on the beach to see the bio-luminescent plankton.
  • Trips to Tolla se Gat.
  • Hikes and nature walks.
  • Weekend trips to Kosi Bay.
  • Braais (barbecues).
  • Quad biking trips.
  • And more...

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Application Form and PADI Medical Certificate
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers must be able to swim.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Deep Blue Conservation
  • PADI Open Water course (If you're already a diver you can do your Advanced Open Water or do the 2 week program without a dive course).
  • All required dive training manuals.
  • 1-2 dives per day (Mon-Fri).
  • Hard gear rental (BCD, regulator, cylinder and weight belt).
  • Transport to and from the King Shaka Airport in Durban.
  • Welcome and farewell traditional South African braai (barbeque).
  • Transport to and from the Sodwana Bay beach as well as around Sodwana.
  • Gate fees into the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (excluding weekends).
  • Food (Each week volunteers buy food at the Spar and prepare their own food in the shared kitchen).
  • Accommodation.
  • Weekly excursions to local attractions and view points.
  • Marine lectures.
  • Recommendation letter.

The above prices are an estimate and may be subject to change due to fluctuations in exchange rates, the final prices will be confirmed by Deep Blue during the application process.

Airport Pickup at King Shaka International Airport

Staff will pick volunteers up on the first Friday of the month. The suggested flight arrival times are between 9:00 and 14:00 There is then roughly a four hour drive from the airport to the camp. 


Volunteers stay at a rustic beach camp located on the main road of the Sodwana Bay town so volunteers are within walking distance of all the town has to offer. The camp is fully equipped with a communal kitchen, fire area, pool, restaurant and free WiFi. The rooms are wooden cabins or igloos with en-suite bathrooms. 

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Each week volunteers go to the neighbouring town to buy food for the week as per the budget which is included in the project cost. This covers basics and staple foods, extra luxuries can be bought by the volunteers at their own expense (chips, sweets, alcohol etc). The volunteers then prepare their own food in the communal kitchen.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The program starts on the first Friday of each month (excluding December). 

OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg (JNB) is the nearest international airport, from here a domestic connection can be taken to the King Shaka airport in Durban (DBN). Both of these flights must be booked by the volunteers as well as the return flights. Volunteers must hold a valid return ticket at all times. Domestic connecting flights can be booked on SA Express Airways (

Volunteers must book their flights for the first Friday of the month. Upon arrival staff will transfer volunteers to the camp between 14:30 and 15:00. 
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 8 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$1,222 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Deep Blue Conservation will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Deep Blue Conservation during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Deep Blue Conservation cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Deep Blue Conservation.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Marine Adventure & Diving

Deep Blue offers the experience of a lifetime, marine conservation volunteering with a diving vacation all rolled into one!


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