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Shark Specialist Program

Students and enthusiasts are welcomed onto this internationally acclaimed shark specialty program. Join our dedicated team and develop skills in shark diving, research, conservation and education.

Shark Specialist Program

Participants learn snorkeling, diving and scientific techniques to collect data that is vital to the management of some of the world’s vulnerable shark species.

As a team member at the Shark Research Unit, you will be the driving force in our education and conservation programs, as well as ensuring the ongoing success of our dedicated shark and ecosystem level research programs. In addition to shark diving and snorkeling with up to five species of sharks, participants will be working in the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area, one of South Africa’s most pristine and important marine biodiversity hotspots.

The Shark Research Unit is a division of the renowned shark diving and adventure company Blue Wilderness. The Shark Research Unit was set up as a distinct division with a core mission of contributing to the health of the marine ecosystems in general and sharks in particular. The unit houses a small but dedicated team consisting of biologists, conservationists and educators.

Daily operations are centered around a dynamic set of short and long term special projects. Each aimed to produce tangible benefits for the Southern African marine ecosystems. Participants who join the research unit will become vital members of the team and drive these daily projects.


The second two weeks of each month involves SCUBA based research dives. To participate in these dives, participants must be open-water SCUBA certified. We recommend that non-certified participants gain certification during the initial two weeks of the program. Book your certification course here

Flexi-booking special

Africa Media is offering a ‘Flexi-booking’ special during the challenges of Covid-19. When booking with Flexi-booking, you are able to secure your spot at a $250 discount and only choose which month you will attend when you are comfortable you can travel safely and securely.

Program Fees




28 day program

Shark Research Expeditions

School Outreach Visits

Conservation Projects




Local travel

Start Dates

1 March

1 April

1 May

1 June

1 July

1 August

1 September

1 October

1 November

Alumni Reviews

Independently verified reviews by Goabroad meaningful travel

Rating of Average of 9.45 on a total of 11 Ratings
Lilly Priest
August 30, 2022
Taking underwater photography has been amazing

It has been the best month learning about underwater photography I have never done anything like this before over the month taking underwater photography has been amazing and I have truly loved it(...)

Felicia Sutjahjo
December 12, 2019
The underwater photography internship is amazing!

Fiona is very knowledgeable, professional and has the patience of an angel. She genuinely wants you to excel as a student and takes your personal level and goals into consideration. I came as an amateur(...)

Kyra Kalageorgi
May 15, 2019
scuba diving isn’t just a sport– it’s a lifestyle

I’ve realized that every time I travel to an unfamiliar location, my perspective of the world warps and changes.  Africa, the Underwater Photography Internship led by Fiona Ayerst with the help of Shalini(...)

Miguel Mercado
May 14, 2019
Underwater photography adventures

Hi, I took my UWP course in Mozambique, the experience is amazing. Theres so much to learn and so much biodiversity to see, that one month is not enough to enjoy that beautiful country. The UWP internship is ok(...)

Rachel Price
May 14, 2019
It was a great experience

My month spent in Mozambique was truly one of the best of my life.

The program was well organised and structured, building from foundational skills to more advanced techniques as the weeks went by. I felt(...)

Jack Austin
August 5, 2018
An experience of a lifetime

Having the opportunity to spend a month in Mozambique, learning the art of Underwater Photography, was well and truly one of the most inspiring experiences I've ever had. Mentored from Fiona Ayerst, a(...)


Find everything you need to know about our underwater videography training internship program is here in the FAQ’s


Discover the underwater adventures and expert tuition that our underwater videography training program includes.


View the video portfolios, sequences and documentaries of our past underwater videography students


The shark speciality program runs from Scottburgh, RSA with diving on the renowned Aliwal Shoal.

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