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Tanzania Divemaster Internship

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
  • Apply
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PADI Qualification

Get trained up to Advanced Open Water on many of our marine conservation projects.


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Frontier Group Project

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Tanzania's coast is home to some of the most spectacular diving in the world. The crystal clear waters host a wealth of marine habitats and wildlife, making this a perfect location to scuba dive and explore this pristine and magical underwater world.

The PADI Divemaster course is the first rating on the PADI professional ladder and the first qualification that makes you employable as a dive professional in the industry. PADI Divemasters supervise recreational diving activities and act as assistants to PADI Instructors conducting diver training. This internship offers you the perfect opportunity to enhance your current dive experience and enter the world of professional diving.

You will work with dive instructors in real life scenarios with our Mafia Island research staff and volunteers who are working in line with the Mafia Island Marine Park conservation efforts. This project is a combination of learning dive theory in the classroom and confined water, and open water diver training to transform you into a role-model dive professional. You will also contribute to the vital marine research and conservation projects to provide local communities and government bodies with the information they need to sustainably manage this priceless marine ecosystem preserving it for future generations.

Mafia Island is an awesome place to learn to become a Divemaster with great diving and a busy tourist industry.

      

  

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Helping to preserve Tanzanian marine and coastal biodiversity
  • Collect data from some of the world's best dive sites
  • Obtain your Divemaster qualification whilst assisting the project Dive Officer
  • Make lifelong friends and return with incredible stories, photos and memories
  • Extend your experience of tropical marine and coastal zone conservation field work

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • CV required
  • Minimum 3 month placement
  • Relevant academic qualifications
  • Some experience of coastal zone or marine field work

DIVEMASTER REQUIREMENTS

18 years of age

40 dives logged and PADI Rescue Diver qualification. It is possible for novice divers to be an Intern, who can amount dives during their time on the project. This will include completion of Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Emergency First Responder and the Rescue Diver course (extra costs apply).

Physician sign off – medical health check

Camping Beach Emergency Meals Research PADI Qualification Marine Coastal Snorkelling Free Time Beach
FAST FACTS
Location Mafia Island, Tanzania
Activities Scuba diving skills development
Personal watermanship
Dive knowledge development & reviews
Assist in teaching dive courses
Equipment maintenance
Guide trainee divers
Record observations of the feeding habits & behaviour patterns of a range of marine life
Work with local Marine Park staff
Learn marine survey techniques
Marine species identification skills
Dive and snorkel to study coral reef communities
Assist with diving courses, open water, advanced and rescue diver.
Learn how to lead dives including briefings, kit set up and responsibility of the dive group
Basic knowledge of scuba equipment maintenance
Use and maintenance of compressors
Transport Airport pick-up from Dar es Salaam can be arranged at extra cost and first night hostel accommodation in Dar es Salaam can be arranged at extra cost (£40/$60) (optional)
Airport pick up available from Mafia Island Airport 
Transfer to camp from Mafia Island Airport
Accommodation Communal camp

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)
In-country

Airport pick-up in Dar es Salaam and transfer to hostel (extra cost £13/$20)

First night hostel accommodation in Dar es Salaam (extra cost £13/$20)

Transfer to airport for connecting flight to the island (extra cost £13/$20) 

Airport pick up from Mafia Island Airport and transfer to camp (extra cost £4/$6)
Camp accommodation near the beach
3 meals per day provided on project sites, 6 days per week. 2 meals provided on Sunday
Local orientation
Project training
24-hour international HQ back-up
In-country emergency support
FREE use of Frontier project dive equipment, including tanks, compressor, weights
PADI manuals and PICs (PADI Professional Membership Fees not included)
Free park & reserve entrance fees (usually $20 per person per day) & research permits if applicable

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

Mafia Island is about as close as you can get to the quintessential Indian Ocean tropical paradise. The tiny island of about 40,000 is a friendly, laid back place that has long been praised as a diver paradise.

Mafia's luxuriant mangroves, luminous seagrass beds and dazzling coral reefs play host to a multitude of tropical reef fish, thorny and spotted seahorses and four species of graceful and gentle sea turtles. Offshore there are dolphins and rays and the deeper waters are a regular stop off point for migrating humpback whales and giant whale sharks. You can experience all this when you join the Frontier camp on Mafia Island and learn to dive in the crystal clear, immaculate waters of Tanzania's exclusive Marine Park.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Combining the PADI Divemaster Internship with the Frontier Tanzania Marine Conservation Project offers the opportunity to gain in situ knowledge of marine systems and processes and conservation issues and experience of scientific surveying. Trainees receive lectures on the different elements of coral reef communities under the supervision of trained scientists. These lectures incorporate a range of tropical marine biology topics including the benthic make up of reefs, fish and invertebrate identification and a variety of marine methodologies. Once qualified to PADI Advanced Open Water diver, trainees will take part in Frontier’s long term monitoring surveys researching coral reef community health on Mafia Island whilst assisting with training and the skills progression of new volunteers. The skills and experience gained during this course are valuable for trainees wishing to pursue a career in marine science and conservation or professional diving or a combination of the two.

You'll find your team to be a fun, dynamic mix of ages and experiences with members who all share a passion about travelling in developing countries and conserving nature. Your staff will be a friendly and welcoming group who are highly experienced in their research field and many of whom will have been Frontier volunteers at an earlier stage in their career.

For further information about Frontier marine conservation work see the publications section of this website.

As a PADI Divemaster you will be qualified to do the following;

  • Act as certified instructional assistant to PADI Instructors
  • Supervise participants in PADI experience programmes for uncertified divers
  • Generally supervise both training and non training related diving activities by planning, organising and directing dives
  • Enroll in PADI Instructor level training

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

We can arrange an airport pick up for you at Dar es Salaam Airport and a local private driver will escort you to a local hostel where you can spend your first night relaxing and recovering from your journey, these costs are extra and you can pay our representative £40/$60 directly. The following day you will return to the airport in time for your internal flight on the eight seater light aircraft to Mafia Island. Please ensure you book your flight well in advance. Once on Mafia Island you will be met by Frontier staff or at the airport on Mafia and transferred by vehicle to the marine conservation project camp site at Utende. We can provide you with detailed instructions on how to reach the Mafia Island camp if travelling independently.

It is possible to reach Mafia Island by ferry but sailing times can be very unpredictable. If you choose not to fly you will need to travel via the port town of Nyamasati, 90 km south of Dar, from where you will travel by ferry, approximately a 6 hour trip, to the town of Kilindoni on the western side of Mafia Island. Once on the island you will be met bya member of the Frontier marine field staff at the small harbour town of Kilindoni.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Check out our Camp Tour video! 

Camp life is very simple, unsophisticated and fun. You will be staying in communal bandas, huts made from makuti (woven palm leaves), poles and mud, and sleeping on beds constructed from wooden poles, your "shower" will be a jug or a bucket of water and you cook over a charcoal stove, so prepare for the basic, unencumbered lifestyle! On occasions you may stay in a "satellite camp", usually a mosquito net pitched on a beach.

As well as the diving and marine conservation work you may help with the community outreach and environmental awareness work in the local villages, scientific data entry and daily camp maintenance, taking turns to cook, tidy and clean the camp, rinse dive kit, prime hurricane lamps, collect water andhelp with a wide variety of other essential camp duties.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Camp food is simple and nutritious and consists largely of rice, vegetables and beans all of which are purchased locally in order to help support the local economy. Luxuries such as chocolate, biscuits, peanut butter and drinking chocolate can be purchased in Kilindoni but tend to be very expensive, so make sure you stock up before heading to the field!  Part of your role on camp will be to help with the cooking, so get your cookbooks out now and start practising! Also, with luck you'll be invited to local parties and festivals – a great way to integrate with the local communities in the nearby villages and absorb the local culture. 

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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Frontier-Tanzania camp is fun and in your spare time you'll have opportunities to swim and snorkel, play football against the unbeatable local side or try out beach volleyball. Alternatively you may enjoy a traditional Saturday night themed camp party, play poker, chess or backgammon or join in a camp quiz night. After a long hard day of diving you may prefer to relax with a drink and sway in the camp hammock, or sit and chat to your new friends, under a sky lit up by millions of stars.

Modern conveniences

Mafia Island

  • Boat rental
  • Fishing
  • Hostels / hotels
  • Internet available at local bars
  • Post office
  • Souvenir shops
  • Traditional markets
  • Western style restaurants

Kilindoni - 20-30 minute Tuk Tuk ride away at own cost

  • Grocery Stores
  • Medical clinic
  • Phone shops
  • Traditional markets

Dar es Salaam - 45 minute flight at own cost

  • 24 hour supermarkets
  • Banks / ATMs: National Microfinance Bank, Standard Chartered, Barclays, National Bank of Commerce, Stanbic
  • Bars / clubs
  • Bureau de Change
  • Cinema
  • Dentist
  • Department store
  • Hairdresser
  • Hospital
  • Hostels / hotels
  • International Embassies and Consulates
  • Internet cafes
  • Local style restaurants
  • Mobile phone shops
  • Pay phones
  • Pharmacy
  • Traditional markets
  • Western style restaurants
  • Western Union

COSTS

12 weeks £ 2,795

DEPARTURE DATES

First and Third Monday of every month.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt
  • UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)

In-countryCamp accommodation near the beach

  • Airport pick-up in Dar es Salaam and transfer to hostel (extra cost £13/$20)
  • First night hostel accommodation in Dar es Salaam (extra cost £13/$20)
  • Transfer to airport for connecting flight to the island (extra cost £13/$20) 
  • Airport pick up from Mafia Island Airport and transfer to camp (extra cost £4/$6)
  • Camp accommodation near the beach
  • 3 meals per day provided on project sites, 6 days per week. 2 meals provided on Sunday
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • FREE use of Frontier project dive equipment, including tanks, weights, compressor
  • 24-hour in-country & international HQ emergency support & back-up
  • PADI manuals and PICs (PADI Professional Membership Fees not included)
  • Free park & reserve entrance fees (usually $20 per person per day) & research permits if applicable

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Dar es Salaam (DAR)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisors will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.