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FAQs

Looking for more information about us and our programs? Checkout some FAQs below.

Deep Blue

Who is Deep Blue?


Deep Blue is an adventure travel organisation based in Sodwana Bay, South Africa. Check out our About Us page to learn more about who we are.




What makes us different to other organisations?


We are a small, local run South African organisation and well... local is always lekker! We are on-site which makes a huge difference, ensuring we are able to interact directly with all volunteers, interns and holiday goers to make sure you get out what you hoped for when joining one of our programs. All our staff, including our owners, are locals of Sodwana and have a vast knowledge of the area, the culture, the best secret spots and the amazing underwater world.




Why join one of our programs?


We provide a truly unique and authentic experienc. Our group of genuine, passionate and down-to-earth beach bum staff are able to provide an experience like no other. We also have three different programs that cater to all your different travel goals. Check out the programs we offer!




Who goes on Deep Blue trips?


This depends on the program of your choice, however, everyone from each program stay at the same camp and will be diving together so you will get to know everyone. We mainly target young adults looking for an adventure outside of the mainstream, city life, who are looking to experience a rustic beach lifestyle for a while. Whether you are looking to start your professional diving career, learn to dive, enhance your diving skills, experience the underwater world, learn more about the ocean, take part in marine research or simply unwind and kick back in a tropical paradise... we've got you covered.




How big are the groups?


We can collectively take up to 20 people at a time and all participats from each program mix with each other throughout their stay. As we are recovering from the effects of the pandemic and travel restrictions, the groups may be smaller, however, we have an awesome team of young adults that will make you feel welcome and like one of the locals. Our town is also filled with other young adults so you are guaranteed to meet other awesome people at the beach or on a night out.




What to expect when traveling to Sodwana Bay?


Sodwana is a small rural town on the east coast of South Africa. This town is very rustic, tropical and rich in cultural providing one of the best authentic places to truly experience South Africa. Check out more information about Sodwana Bay.




How to book with us?


Send us an email at info@deepblueconservation.org or download our application form and send it through to us.





Programs

What is included in the program cost?


Checkout our different program pages to find out what is included in the Volunteer Program, Internship and Holiday Program.




What about the flights?


You will need to book your own flight to the OR Tambo International airpot in Johannesburg, as well as a connecting flight to the closest airport to the camp which is the Richards Bay airport. When booking your flights please confirm times with us via email in order to coordinate the tranfer from the airport.




How do I get from the airport to the camp?


There is a transfer kombi that will arrive at 2 pm at the airport to fetch you on the first Friday of each month, this is included in the project cost for international travellers. The kombi will then take roughly 2 hours to arrive at the camp.




Do you accept South African participants?


We are not too sure why we keep receiving this question... of course we accept fellow South Africans!




I am South African, can I drive my own car to the camp?


Yes you can, there is parking at the camp. And no there is not a discount if you come in your own car (except the airport transfer discount) as we still drive to and from the beach each day and to lead the excursions.




What is your payment policy?


We require a 30% deposit in order to book your spot and the full paymet before the start of the program.




What is your refund policy?


Any time after confirmation of a project, until 29 days before starting date - 15% Within 28 days – 21 days before starting date - 25% Within 14 days – 7 days before starting date - 75% Within 7 days before starting date - 100% There is no refund after starting the project *Percentages are the percentage of the program cost you will be charged for when cancelling your booking.




Can I join the program with a friend, partner or group?


Yes, we offer discounts for groups of 2 or more! Make sure to enquire with us about these discounts.




Can I book a single room?


Yes, however, this is subject to availability. Generally, during busier seasons this will not be possible as we have limited space at our camp or may result in an extra charge.




Are there any requirements to join the programs?


Yes. You must be between 18 and 36 years old to join our programs. As we run diving programs you must be able to swim, you will also need to fill in a PADI Medical Form that will be sent to you when you email us to book. We also require that you are able to speak and understand English as all our courses and lectures are in English.





Program Prep

What documents do I need?


For international travelers, you will need your passport which must be valid for 6 months after the program date as well as your visa. We require you to bring your confirmation of booking form, the PADI Medical Form as well as a Covid Health Declaration Form .




Do I need insurance?


Yes. International travelers need to have a comprehensive medical and travel insurance (including emergency evacuation) before arrival at the camp. A copy of the policy will be required upon arrival. The medical facilities around northern KwaZulu Natal are remote and basic and unable to deal with serious trauma or illness. The nearest decompression chamber in the event of decompression sickness is 200 km away in Richards Bay. This is why emergency evacuation is required. Travelers need to have dive insurance as well, this can be organised through DAN South Africa (Dive Action Network).




What should I pack?


Shorts and t-shirts. Warmer clothes for evenings and early mornings. Rain jacket. Cap / hat and sunglasses. Swimming costume. Beach and bathroom towel. Wetsuit (5mm in summer months and 7mm in winter months). Soft dive gear (as gear rental may be expensive it is best to at least bring your own mask and fins). It is suggested that interns bring their own dive computer. Open and closed shoes. Mosquito spray and sunscreen. Flash light. Personal medication (the nearest pharmacy is a 2-hour drive from the camp). USB (to take some amazing photos and videos home with you). Stationery (for volunteers and interns). Games, books, series, electronic devices etc. for rainy days. Waterproof camera / Go Pro if you have.




Is Sodwana Bay in a malaria area?


Sodwana Bay is a low risk malaria area. Medication to prevent malaria can be taken, but is not essential. You can contact your local doctor to find out about malaria tablets that will not affect you negatively whilst diving. Mosquito sprays are, however often the best preventative method.




Do I need sea sickness tablets?


Sea sickness tablets are optional but will make the boat rides to the dive sights more comfortable, especially for the first week and if you are usually affected by motion sickness.




How much spending money do I need?


This is really dependant on your lifestyle, we've listed some common prices of items below so you can get a rough idea of what you may spend a week. We would suggest budgeting anywhere between R200 and R1000 a day. If you are looking to do some extra activities and excursions while you are with us find out the prices by emailing us. Pizza: R120 Burger meal: R95 Beach kiosk meal: R70 Beer: R25 Cocktail: R60 Cold drink: R12 Water: R10 Chocolate: R15 Packet of chips: R20





On the Program

What accommodation can I expect?


You will be staying in single or shared wooden cabins. The camp is a rustic beach-style camp situated in the heart of the Sodwana Bay town. There is a communal kitchen, bathrooms and a fire area. The camp is a 5 minute walk from the town where you can enjoy a pool, restaurants, a cafe and shops, the camp is also a 10 minute drive from the beach. Checkout any of our program pages to get a taste for the accommodation.




Is there WIFI at the camp?


No, but there are a few hotspots available in town.




Do I get meals while on the program?


Every Saturday morning you will be taken to the neighbouring town of Mbazwana to buy food for the week, this is covered in the project cost. This budget does not cover luxuries such as sweets and snacks etc. Each day you are then able to prepare food with the other travelers in the shared kitchen which is a great way to socialise and try out different recipes together.




Does the daily schedule ever change?


Yes, diving is very dependent on ocean and weather conditions. We decide the activities for the next day the evening before, if we have to skip any dives or excursions they will be made up another day.




How much free time do I get?


This is very dependent on the day and the program you have chosen. Generally there will be free time from about 3 pm each day and the full day on Sunday. This time can be filled by relaxing, getting to know each other, exploring the town, going to restaurants, bars or the beach or the different excursions or activities. Interns may need to use this time to work on skills, studying, learning or gaining experience at the dive centre. Volunteers also need to complete database and lectures each day.




What are some of the activities I can do in the area?


Sodwana Bay has so many incredible activities to keep you busy during your stay. We've listed a few on our About Us page.





Covid

Are your programs running?


Yes, we are open!




What safety measures have you put in place?


The camp and facilities will be sanitised. Dive gear is sanitised before and after use, the boats are also cleaned and sanitised before and after each launch. You will need to wear a mask at certain times during the program. Deep Blue has the right to remove you from the program if you get sick while on the program. You will also need to sign a Covid Health Declaration before starting the program. There will be an orientation to the program when you arrive during which we will discuss all the safety measures. We also require that you bring your own sanitiser and mask.




What is your plan of action if someone is sick?


This person will be isolated immediately and removed from the program. We will access the situation from there with the possibility of the program shutting down for 2 weeks.




Do I need to be tested before the trip?


South Africans do not need to be tested, however, you will need to sign the Health Declaration Form. Interational travelers need to do a Covid test within 72 hours before their flight to South Africa as per new regulations put in place by our government.




If I get sick, do I get a refund?


Unfortunately, we are not able to offer refunds to travelers once they have begun their trip.