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FAQ's

Everything you need to know about joining the underwater photography program with Africa Media 

What will I get out of the program?

The underwater photography and video program is aimed at assisting in the development of students who are interested advancing their underwater photographic and video ability to a professional level whilst enjoying some of the most incredible SCUBA diving that Africa has to offer. Interns will be able to walk away with a professional level portfolio that will showcase their ability to photograph and film the marine world.

Am I eligible?

This course is open to all qualified SCUBA divers and those wanting to learn. For non-qualified divers, you must gain a minimum open-water dive qualification prior to arrival. Alternatively, you can arrive on program two weeks prior to gain qualification and practice in SCUBA diving.

What is included and excluded?

Cost includes:

  • 18 dive (SCUBA and snorkel) package
  • Practical and theoretical training instruction in underwater photography
  • Free-diving training
  • Food and soft drinks ( juice )/ water for your stay
  • Dorm Accommodation. (upgrade to single accommodation)
  • Airport transfers
  • Hard and soft SCUBA equipment
  • SCUBA airfills
  • Internet

 

Costs exclude:

  • Recreational weekend SCUBA diving
  • PADI Open water qualification course: $1000 – $1600 (includes accommodation, catering and certification)
  • Laundry service
  • Non-course excursions
  • Extra food and beverages and alcoholic beverages
  • Nitrox
  • Staff Tips
  • Private accommodation
  • Additional days board ($40/day)
What is the daily schedule?

As a student and guest your daily routine will vary between diving and photographing, being tutored in photography techniques and free diving, and processing and editing your photographs. The Africa Media instructors are passionate about conservation and any projects that are available to work on practically, we will certainly be doing so.

How long can I stay?

The program runs for a month in duration (from the 1st to the 28th), with catering and accommodation offered during the dates of the course advertised. Students requiring training in SCUBA should schedule to arrive at least two weeks before their photo program commences so that they can receive SCUBA training and some diving experience. Students arrival before the 1st or departing after the 28th will be charged R400/day for food and accommodation.

Where will I stay?

You will stay in Scottburgh, South Africa at the Shark Centre of the famed shark diving company – Blue Wilderness, and diving within Aliwal Shoal, Marine Protected Area.

I am not SCUBA certified. Can I still come?

This program requires that you are SCUBA qualified and have some experience SCUBA diving. If you are not yet qualified, you can join the program and arrive 2 weeks prior to the beginning to get qualified and participate in 10 recreational dives for experience. If unable to attend for two additional weeks, we can consider a 1 week training package for $1000 that includes PADI open water, 5 recreational dives, board and accommodation. Book your SCUBA certification time here.

Where must I fly to?

Scottburgh – South Africa

Arrange flights in and out of King Shaka Airport – Durban

My arrival process?

Pickups from the Airport will be organised for the 1st day of the month and dropoffs on the 28th of the month. Interns arriving or leaving outside this time could be asked to arrange transport between the Airport and our host at their own cost.

Can I dive recreationally?

Yes, weekend (or rest days) dives can be organised at your own cost.

Must I bring my own photographic equipment?

In terms of underwater photographic gear, soft diving gear, and underwater housings, participants can bring their own gear if desired. A minimum standard of photographic gear required is a DSLR or quality mirrorless system with two strobes. You would also be required to have a wide angle and a macro lens and the relevant ports. All dive gear and photographic gear is supplied.

What equipment will I have access to?

All photographic, editing, and scuba equipment is supplied during the course this includes

  • 8 x Underwater DSLR photographic kits with strobes
  • 2 x Prosumer type cameras with housings and a strobe
  • Go Pros
  • Full scuba kits including a full range of wetsuit sizes.
  • Rubber Duck RIB or dive boat

Camera’s – we use both Canon and Nikon cameras but you are welcome to bring your own gear.

Computers: Please bring your own laptop. It must be pre-loaded with Adobe Lightroom 6  or CC as we use this extensively on course.

Can I cancel a booking or change dates once booked onto program?

Due to the number of applications received and limited places, we unfortunately do not accept all applying interns. Therefore, we do not welcome cancellations or date changes after the final confirmation has been sent to us. Please, make sure that the dates you indicate in your application form suit your own schedule/budget before applying.

We request that a non-refundable deposit  of $750 ( for the full month course ) is paid at time of booking as confirmation. The remaining fee must be paid at least 30 days prior to your arrival. We also ask, however, if you could let us know of any changes or cancellations in your plans as soon as you are aware of these, so that we are able to welcome another applicant.

Who owns the photos/video I collect?

All media (photographs, video etc.) collected by interns during an internship will belong exclusively to the author thereof. i.e you. All media collected can be used for portfolio and marketing purposes by Africa Media. Interns will be required to sign contracts on arrival at the program to this effect.

Do I require a VISA?

South Africa:

Most nationalities gain a free three month visitors VISA on arrival to South Africa. However a few nationalities (e.g. India, China) require that VISA’s are pre-arranged prior to arrival in South Africa. Please check with the nearest South African embassy on the status for your nationality. If you have further questions then mail us on info@africa-media.org

Do I need insurance?

Yes. When you book into this program, you agree to our liability, copyright documents, as well an agreement that you are knowingly partaking in potentially dangerous activities. You will not be covered for accidents or illnesses, so ensure you have your own medical and health insurances. You may apply for a normal travel insurance policy. Chances that you will be injured by a marine predator are very slim if you follow the safety guidelines, and do not try anything foolish of which we would not approve. However, you will be working on a boat in conditions which can, on occasions, be less than comfortable. Accidents may occur, so it is important to be covered in case of an emergency or accident. Be sure to have an insurance cover for your entire stay in southern Africa. SCUBA divers, also need to be insured by the Divers Alert Network (DAN)

Do I need malaria medication?

No – Not for South Africa.

What must I bring with me?

Packing list 

Clothing

  • Beach and lounging – Bring what you are comfortable in, but ensure that you have at least one warm tracksuit type outfit, a good sun hat with a wide brim and a warm hat/beanie. Gloves can be helpful for early mornings. The tracksuit or similar is for lounging around in during the evenings, which will get colder than the day.
  • Please bring a beach towel and a minimum of one bath towel, but preferably two. Please bring one towel to work with your camera on.
  • Social clothes – Scottburgh is a small town so social clothing should reflect a casual non-formal style.
  • A swimming costume or two.
  • Your own wetsuit and mask is always more comfortable and could be more hygienic, but not a necessity as gear hire is incl. in the course price

 Electronic gear

  • Minimum of 1TB storage hard drive.
  • Laptop.
  • your own camera if you want to do any land based photos. We often have fun with star trails and the moon and some students like to photograph at the game reserves in the area
  • a GoPro if you have one ( not necessary to buy but bring if you have )

You are actually welcome to bring any personal videography or photographic equipment, however, this is totally optional as all underwater equipment that you will need is supplied. 

Editing programs

  • Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Adobe Lightroom CC ( classic )

Miscellaneous 

  • Toiletries &  strong sunscreen (there are also plenty of shops to purchase from).
  • Prescription medication.
  • Passport & photocopy of passport.
  • Bank cards (inform your bank of your travels).
  • Spare cash.
  • Phone & cables.
  • Sunglasses.
  • House address – 34 Egerton Road, Freeland Park, South Africa. 
How much extra money should I bring?

The info provided in the costs section should give you a good foundation from which to work this out. If you need to do a SCUBA course then bring at least $400 to cater for this up to an advanced level – plus extra for off-course dives if you wish. It is probable that you may wish to do a weekend trip or two, and many activities are available on such trips including diving with sharks for example. We recommend you have around $100 extra per weekend trip you wish to go on. Please note you do not have to go on ANY of these extra trips. This is simply for your information should you wish to. Please do not bring dollars to spend if possible, rather exchange and bring Rands or pre-arrange with us (info@africa-media.org) that rands are bought up for you and exchanged. Please bring $100 for tips. We do not insist that you tip but if you are happy with the service our partners have given you then it is customary to tip the staff. At the end of each month your course director will take a ‘tip’ payment from each intern and this will be pooled and divided fairly between the staff- who we promise will be looking after you very well!

How do I get more information?

On acceptance of your formal booking, you will be asked (if you are not already) to be registered on Facebook (www.facebook.com). You will then be invited to join a communication group run by Africa Media. This forum will enable you to ask questions and seek out any additional information, meeting and networking with us and other participants. You can also email us on info@africa-media.org

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