Diving Gap Year

Kickstart your professional dive career right here at Coral Divers, Sodwana Bay.

Start your journey here

Coral Divers Diving Internship

Have you ever considered a diving internship gap year as the road to a career of adventure and new experiences? Travel the world as a scuba diving professional, while making new friends, seeing new places and embarking on the journey of a lifetime!

South Africa’s largest PADI 5 Star Resort & Career Development Centre

We produce experienced instructors who have a complete understanding of the industry. You’ll get all the diving certifications you need. Let us guide you through learning dive centre operations, equipment maintenance and repair; the operation and maintenance of dive boats and compressors (Air & Nitrox). Emergency management, oxygen provision and marine injuries included… Not every aspect is wrapped up in a course, but it all happens here; if you want to be involved then it’s available. The more time you put into  your year with us, the more you’ll get out of it…

Location is key…

Coral Divers is South Africa’s biggest and busiest dive resort and takes you to the epicentre of the industry. Diving 364 days a year in Sodwana Bay, we train more students than anyone else in the country. There is simply no better location to develop your diving career!

Our Diving Internships has 4 intakes per year

Join us in Sodwana Bay for the experience of a lifetime!

Located in Sodwana Bay, inside the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, this area includes the Sodwana Bay Marine Reserve. Diving here is truly world class, with the warm waters of the Indian Ocean providing for fabulous marine sightings. Experience Whale Sharks, Ragged-Tooth Sharks, and Black or White Tip Reef Sharks to name a few. Rays (Manta, Devil and Eagle Rays), turtles, dolphins, Black Marlin and other sailfish as well. Imagine the opportunity to meet a Humpback Whale on scuba! With unlimited diving you’ll probably get the chance to encounter most of these, since our candidates usually log over 400 dives in the year.


You are already a Dive Professional and want to do your PADI Open Water Instructor course with us…

Our Diving Internship is has different phases, so if you are already qualified as a PADI DM or Assistant Instructor, consider taking the next step here in Sodwana Bay. We have 4 x Instructor Exams scheduled through the course of the year, since taking into account sea conditions here, there is no better place in SA! Join us for the DM Experience Phase to log further dives and take advantage of the IDC Prep course. Be well prepared and pass your Instructor Exam with ease. Follow this phase with the PADI IDC and you are on your way… 

Career Phases

Start your dive internship here. Spend a unique 3 months experiencing what it is to live and dive in Sodwana Bay, South Africa. For the first three months, we will take you through your PADI Open Water Course, through to Rescue Diver, along with completing 2 x PADI Specialty courses, with further dive skill development. In total you can expect to log about 60 dives.

Course Overview

Candidates will be split into two teams that alternate between dive training and beach operations:                                             

Beach Duties:

  • Set up the beach
  • Loading boats
  • Transferring equipment
  • Fuelling boats and tractors
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Assisting in the gear room


  • Open Water Diver
  • Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Enriched Air and Deep Diver Speciality
  • Emergency First Response
  • Rescue Diver
  • Reef mapping and Presentations
  • 40+ dives!

This provides an excellent foundation, giving you hands on experience and knowledge of what you can expect in a career in the diving industry.   

Completion of the Introductory Phase will lead into the PADI Dive Master Course.  Mapping projects and fish presentations ensure you already have a good orientation of our reefs, an understanding of the local ecology, and prepare you for public speaking when briefing divers.

2018 Pricing   


Course Price From: R24,500 (depending on intake date)

Course Materials: R8,800

Total From: R33,300 


Becoming a dive professional opens up opportunities into a new career as a PADI Divemaster. Over the month, you will learn what it takes to become a professional, leading recreational divers, and assisting instructors with courses.

The PADI Divemaster Course has extensive theory and practical elements, requiring a strong commitment to independent study and good time management. Organise your time to log even more dives outside of those conducted as part of the course. Throughout the course you will also be assessed on your professional manner and decision-making skills when working with colleagues and guests.

Theory Topics includePractical Assessment

  • Role and Characteristics of a PADI Professional
  • Supervising Qualified or Student Divers
  • PADI Standards
  • Divemaster-led courses
  • Basic theory in marine biology and oceanography
  • Human Biology and Diving
  • Formulate an Emergency Assistance Plan
  • swim and stamina tests – 400m swim, 15min float, 800m snorkel, 100m tow
  • in-water rescue assessment
  • demonstrate basic 18 scuba skills in a professional manner
  • mapping project
  • underwater equipment exchange
  • assist on an entire open water course and continuing education
  • leading certified divers in open water

As they say, practice makes perfect! Upon successful of the PADI Divemaster course, you can go into a three month experience phase, leading dives and continue to contribute to the operation of Coral Divers, while leading dives and assisting with courses. What prospective employers look for is experience and what better place to get that than a 5 Star CDC Center & Gold Palm Resort. Oh, and did we forget to mention it’s also in a National Park, with some of the best diving in the world?


Course Price From: R13,000 

Course Materials: R3,600

PADI Registration: £78.00

Total From: R33,300


As a PADI Divemaster, you will lead dives, conduct Scuba Reviews for out of practice divers, and assist instructors with training dives & courses. Plus, you can pick up another 100+ dives. You are now a PADI professional, so it’s time to take what you have learnt and put it into practice, while attaining real leadership skills and confidence from the knowledge that you can handle responsibility.

  • Lead dives
  • Customer service
  • Assist Instructors with courses
  • Gear Room
  • Assist with beach operations or maintenance when required…

This experience is invaluable, especially in preparing to become a SCUBA Instructor.  Our team will also take you through an extensive course to prepare you for becoming a PADI Instructor.  Candidates will further expand their knowledge in the 5 areas of dive theory – Physics, Physiology, Equipment, Environment, and Decompression Theory.  We will also take you to the pool to ensure your skills and briefings are top notch.  Assessments will track your progress, and also focus your studies.  Our aim is to help you obtain a 100% exam pass rate upon entering the Instructor Development Course (IDC).

Our PADI Course Director & Instructor Trainer will confirm that the caliber of Instructor candidates who have this experience is far above those who have just completed the required training.


3 Month Price: R15,300 (Includes UNLIMITED diving, food, accommodation and Coral Uniform)

Your dive internship has been leading to this point.  It probably started with the dream of a job that you love to head of to every morning.. As a PADI Instructor, the possibilities are endless – whether you end up working worldwide in a PADI dive centre, resort, or liveaboard. 

Prepare yourself to become the best you can be.  The PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) is the heart of the instructor training process.  It’s an 8 day program to develop your classroom, confined and open water teaching abilities. Candidates will gain a complete understanding of PADI’s educational goals and philosophies.  This is all to prepare you for the 2 day Instructor Examination (IE) that follows the IDC.

The IDC is about teaching you how to teach, not about covering what you already know. You will have learnt PADI standards as part of the PADI Divemaster course.  Our in-house preparation program will ensure you understand and are well versed in PADI Standards and Dive Theory.  

8 day IDC Course has classroom and in-water components, including:

  • Presentation skills & techniques
  • In-water teaching skills and techniques
  • Dive theory assessment
  • PADI System of Education
  • PADI Standards and Regulations
  • Emergency First Aid Instructor
  • In-water rescue assessment
  • Instructor-grade skill demonstrations
  • In-water stamina assessment


Course Price From: R17,100 

Course Materials: R10,500

PADI Registration: £832.50

Total From: R27,600 + £832.50

You are now a PADI Instructor – congratulations!  Finish your dive internship getting practical experience teaching a range of PADI courses at South Africa’s busiest Dive Resort.

Candidates that have progressed through our system of training, will be selected to stay on and get practical hands on experience as an instructor. We will start you off team teaching with a more experienced instructor until you are ready to go solo. Most newly qualified instructors stay on for several months, teaching a wide variety of courses from PADI Discover Scuba Diving to Divemaster. Most instructors can gain another 80 plus dives, and over 25 certifications in this time.

Wait, there’s more…

Those that wish to go further, to Staff Instructor, can assist on the next IDC. This will qualify you to teach up to Assistant Instructor, and make you invaluable to Course Directors during an IDC.

We offer a number of extra qualifications to stand you in great stead in your career as a diving instructor. Speak to us about adding in the following to your application:

  • Commercial Dive Boat Skipper’s Licence
  • Compressor Maintenance Certification
  • Mares Equipment Repair Technician

Join Us For A Full Year In Paradise, From Beginner To PADI Instructor!

Full Year Special