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    Diving Internship & Gap Year Experience in South Africa

    Diving Internship & Gap Year Experience in South Africa


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destinations: South Africa
    • Program Length: Academic Year, Quarter, Other
    • Start Month: January, February, May, July, August, September, November
    • Category: Outdoor Adventure
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Cabins, Tents, Student Apartment
    • Minimum Cost: $1,000 - $2,999
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    Experience of a lifetime! Diving Internship and Gap Year Experience in South Africa. Choose from a full year internship, shorter options or a 10 week Gap Year experience, combining Marine Conservation, scuba diving, African wildlife and community upliftment.

    Why Coral Divers? The scuba diving off the Zululand coast of South Africa is undeniably Africa's best kept secret! Comparable to the Great Barrier Reef for the number of marine species to be seen (over 1200 fish species), it is also one of the few places in the world where you can witness the nesting of the giant Leatherback Turtles. Even Coelacanths are found here...The warm waters of the Indian Ocean provide the perfect setting for sightings which include Whale Sharks, Ragged-Tooth Sharks (Sand Tigers), Black and White Tip Reef Sharks, Manta Rays, Devil and Eagle Rays, a number of turtle species, as well as the Bottle Nose, Spinner and Common Dolphin species. Your Gap Year experience will introduce you to most of these amazing animals. By the end of the Diving Internship, you will have a complete understanding of the industry, including leading dives and training students, as well as running a beach operation, customer service, stock control, equipment maintenance, presentation skills, and an increased knowledge of marine ecology and conservation.

    Coral Divers PADI 5 Star CDC Centre offers you the opportunity to become a fully qualified PADI Open Water Instructor by joining our Diving Internship. Whether you have already dived, or are keen to learn, you will be carefully instructed and guided while based at South Africa’s biggest and busiest PADI 5 Star IDC Centre and Dive Resort situated inside the Sodwana Bay National Park and Marine Reserve, part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are also extremely fortunate to have a number of 'Big 5' game reserves within easy access of the park, so you can enjoy Africa's other amazing wildlife as well.

    Coral Divers takes you to the epicentre of the dive industry in South Africa: The internship is split into three phases, offering flexibility based on previous dive experience. With unlimited diving you’ll probably get the chance to encounter the most amazing creatures, as candidates usually log 400+ dives in the year.

    What does it include? Both the Diving Internship and our Gap Year Experience include all your meals and accommodation in our student apartments, as well as PADI dive courses and unlimited diving. 

    PADI Open Water Diver - Learn the basic knowledge and skillls that introduce you to the wonderful underwater world. Duration: 4 days; Content: 5 theory, 5 pool sessions, & final exam; Dives: 4 dives certify you to dive to 18m with a buddy.

    PADI Advanced Open Water Diver - Expand your knowledge and skills to broaden your dive opportunities with 5 subjects (deep and underwater navigation required). Duration: 3 days; Content: 5 knowlege reviews; Dives: 5 dives certify you to dive to 30m with a buddy.

    PADI Emergency First Response with AED - Learn primary and secondary care applicable to all emergencies Duration: 1 day; Content: Theory and practical sessions with a final exam and assessment. The course certifies you to provide CPR, illness & injury care, and provides you familiarity with Automated External Defibrillator systems.

    PADI Rescue Diver - Become a globally aware diver and learn to deal with emergency situations. Duration: 4 days; Content: 5 knowledge reviews with final exam, self rescue review and 10 rescue exercises, prepare emergency assistance plan for dive site; Dives: 2 rescue scenarios over 2 dives

    PADI Underwater Naturalist - Learn about what you see - the organisms as well as the environment and how they relate to each other. Duration: 1 day; Content: 2 knowledge reviews; Dives: 2 dives

    PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy -An important skill for any diver. Improve your buoyancy to increase your enjoyment and help protect the reef. Duration: 1 day; Content: 2 knowledge reviews; Dives: 2 dives

    PADI Deep Diver - Achieve the maximum depth in recreational diving. Learn about the important considerations when diving deep. Duration: 2 days; Content: 2 knowledge reviews; Dives: 4 dives certify you to dive to 40m with a buddy.

    Underwater Navigation - Get to where you need to be by learning the important skills when using a compass and natural formations to navigate the reefs. Duration: 2 days; Content: 2 knowledge reviews Dives: 3 dives

    PADI Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox) - Alter the oxygen content of your breathing air to extend your bottom time or decrease the time between dives. Duration: 1 day; Content: 2 knowledge reviews and skill assessment. Dives: none

    PADI Divemaster - Take the lead and become a dive professional by guiding others on their underwater adventures, assisting the instructor and refresh divers who are out of practice. Duration: 1 month; Content: 9 knowledge reviews and underwater skill development to a pro level, watermanship assessments, and development of presentation skills. Dives: logged as required. 40 logged dives are required to start, and 60 logged dives to certify.

    PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor - Introduce others to the wonder of scuba by taking them for their first breath underwater. Develop other peoples knowledge with continuing education. Duration: 12 day course; Content: Knowledge development, theory exams, practical demonstration skills, development of presentation and teaching skills. Dives: logged as required. 100 logged dives are required to start the Instructor course.


    How do I join? Simply email Debz on marketing@coraldivers.co.za for an application form and with any questions you may have. The internship starting dates available for 2018, are 01 May 2018, 01 Aug 2018 and 01 Nov 2018. For more advanced planing - 01 Feb 2019, 01 May 2019, 01 Aug 2019, 01 Nov 2019. The course price may vary, depending on the certification level you already have. Should you take the full internship, all your PADI materials, accommodation, meals, and training will be R92 900 (around $790) and PADI certification registration required will be £846,50. **Course materials and registration prices are subject to exchange rate.

    Shorter stays on the Gap Year Experience Program are possible and prices are amended accordingly. The Coral Divers Diving Internship was established over 10 years ago and has been training sought-after PADI professionals since 2006. Contact us today!


    • I started my Diving Internship in May 2017. Moving from a major, busy city like Cape Town to a small town I hadn't even heard of, seemed crazy, but it was the best decision I have ever made! Taken completely out of my comfort zone and learning about a completely different industry has broadened my horizons immensely. Although my internship was in Winter, my team mates and I had so much fun, come rain or shine! Driving tractors, positioning the boats, pushing the boats into the water and dragging them back out with the tractors... never mind how fit we all became through lifting cylinders for the clients. The experience as a whole, was fantastic. I've learnt a lot about myself, while living locally in Sodwana Bay at Coral Divers. Anybody leaving school would benefit from this experience, by embracing their sudden independence and making connections worldwide....Never mind the fact that the beach is your office!

      - Nicole Candy - December 3, 2017