Marine Conservation Program in South Africa

Conduct research dives along the Western Cape of South Africa and help develop methods to better protect marine life

This is your chance to gain valuable experience in marine conservation whilst contributing to important marine research projects helping to protect our oceans.

This organization is a marine research center committed to furthering knowledge of our oceans whilst promoting awareness of marine conservation and sustainable practices. They run a range of programs measuring and monitoring marine biodiversity and human impact on ocean environments. An instrumental part of their work is their citizen science programs which they use as a means of mass data collection and broadening the scope of their community outreach.

You’ll play a big role in assisting biologists and research assistants on underwater research dives and processing the data collected on these surveys. Your main duties however will be contributing towards their citizen science programs. This will include instructing participants, guiding dives and snorkeling trips, as well as corroborating the data collected with ongoing research projects.


This organization is a marine research center based in the idyllic Simon’s town situated along False Bay, South Africa. At the meeting point of two major ocean currents from the west and east, the Benguela and Agulhas currents, this well-known hotspot for biodiversity is a significant site for marine science research boasting a variety of shark, cetacean, seal and fish species. The organization runs a range of research programs aimed to better understand marine environments, then develop and promote more effective methods of their conservation.

This organization has a special focus on citizen science, utilizing public engagement as a means of mass data collection whilst widening outreach for conservation awareness. They also actively collaborate with local initiatives, NGOs, and government agencies in a range of research programs and conservation projects. On top of this, they are committed to training early-career scientists in marine research methods so as to empower the next generation of ocean conservationists.


The ideal candidate for this program is passionate about marine conservation, familiar with scientific research and data processing, and comfortable communicating with and leading small groups on research dives. Your daily tasks will include assisting with boat-based, land-based, and underwater research, training citizen science participants, deploying and retrieving research equipment, and inputting data collected on dives into databases.

What you’ll do
  • Assisting biologists and research assistants on underwater research dives
  • Processing data collected from marine surveys
  • Snorkel surveys of endemic fish and sharks
  • Kelp forest sampling
  • Microplastic sampling field work
  • Deploying and retrieving research equipment such as drop cameras and transect tapes
  • Helping to coordinate and facilitate citizen science activities
  • Instructing and training citizen science participants
  • Helping with the upkeep and organization of diving equipment and boats
  • Content creation for blogs, social media, and other online channels
  • No academic or professional background required
  • Passion for marine conservation
  • Willingness to learn about marine science research
  • Physical fitness for snorkeling, diving experience is a bonus. If you want to (further) develop your diving skills, please contact us for additional information about a diving course.
  • Confident verbal communication skills


You’ll be situated in the quaint town of Simon’s Town in False Bay, South Africa. This small suburb on the outskirts of the greater Cape town area is nestled in a stunningly beautiful area boasting exquisite beaches, incredible marine life, and mountainous surroundings. Based on a peninsula that splits the Atlantic and Indian ocean the area sees a spectacularly diverse range of marine life with a multitude of shark, cetacean, seal and fish species, as well as kelp forests and natural reef systems. Here you’ll find an exciting array of marine environments to explore and study during your internship.

Accommodation is arranged on a case-by-case basis with interns staying in local rental properties within walking distance from the research center. At the center, you’ll have access to study spaces, diving equipment, and a well-stocked bar. In your downtime you can enjoy a choice of delightful restaurants and bars in the area, embark on hikes around the attractive surroundings, or make the short trip to one of the most thrilling cities in the world, Cape Town.


The program starts every first Monday of the month between February and November. So  you cannot start this internship in December or January.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

2 Weeks USD 1,600
3 Weeks USD 2,000
4 Weeks USD 2,600
5 Weeks USD 3,200
6 Weeks USD 3,500

What you are paying for:
  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day
  • Shared accommodation in Simon’s Town
  • Transport between your accommodation and the headquarters
  • All diving and equipment hire
  • Supervision and support during your internship
  • Regular check-ins and feedback from your supervisor
  • Marine protected area permits
  • Access to workshops with a focus on career development
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Flights to Cape Town
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for scuba diving and repatriation
  • Meals, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
Simon’s Town, South Africa
Marine Conservation NGO
Community outreach, Data collection, Surveys, Reporting
2-6 Weeks
From USD 1,600
  • Gain international experience in a marine conservation context
  • Develop a strong understanding of marine science and ecology
  • Familiarize yourself with boat-based and land-based field research methods
  • Work as part of a dedicated experience team of marine scientists
  • Travel to a stunning location within visiting distance of Cape Town
2 WEEKS USD 1,600
4 WEEKS USD 2,600
6 WEEKS USD 3,500

See Detailed Rates



If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us


We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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