The Cape RADD headquarters are situated in cozy Simon’s Town, False Bay; nestled in an area of spectacular beauty that features stunning beaches, incredible marine life, and a mountainous backdrop – just 40 km from Cape Town’s city centre. Our headquarters are 50 m from Cape Town’s most sheltered dive site, Long Beach, perfect for diver training and equipment testing. The coast of South Africa is a well-known hot spot for marine diversity, boasting numerous shark, cetacean, seal and fish species, as well as kelp forests, natural reef systems and artificial habitats in the form of shipwrecks. The biodiversity of the region can be attributed to the oceanographic conditions and habitats created by the meeting of two major ocean currents, the cold Benguela current which travels down the West coast and the warm Agulhas or Mozambique current from the East coast. This location gives us access to both the Atlantic and Indian side of the Cape Peninsula and offers a fantastic variety of habitats and species to observe, study and conserve.

A sevengill cow shark swims through the kelp forest.

False Bay is one of the most varied and diverse areas in the world for marine life and plays host to an abundance of species large and small, from an eclectic array of colourful nudibranchs, sponges and sea anemonies to mega-fauna species including the humpback whale, seven gill sharks and of course the iconic white shark. The False Bay area offers superb dive sites and a mixture of marine habitats from rocky reef, soft corals and wreck diving to kelp forests and off shore blue water diving.

As a Cape RADD student you will enroll in a fascinating and hugely rewarding programme that will give you a hands on experience and valuable contribution to the marine research projects taking place at Cape RADD. The field training and diver development programme gives you an opportunity to be involved with valuable research projects, collecting valuable data and gaining knowledge and understanding of the techniques, methods and challenges experienced in the field whilst working alongside field biologists and dive experts. Throughout this course you will also complete theoretical workshops on subjects relating to your practical training.

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This programme is perfect for students and graduates with a biology or conservation interest looking to gain extra knowledge and field experience in their area of interest to gain new skills and show some real life experience on their CV. This is also the ideal course for dive professionals, newly trained dive masters or dive instructors who would like to add more knowledge, dive skills and scientific insight to their dive experience allowing to give so much more to their dive clients in the future. However, we welcome all levels of experience and backgrounds from keen conservationists or SCUBA divers who want to gain a deeper understanding of the marine environment to biologists looking to gain knowledge and field experience to pursue a career in their chosen scientific field.

Internship students attend a lecture on biodiversity

It’s not all work, as well as your field biologist training and participating in scientific diving collecting data for conservation research projects, you will have the chance to explore and experience the beautiful city of Cape Town and its surroundings, being only 40 km from the city centre, you can climb Table Mountain, check out the incredible beaches and nature hikes on the western coast of the city, or just relax at the waterfront marina at one of the many restaurants and bars. At the weekends there will be the opportunity to go further afield; maybe take a safari trip to a local game reserve, go on a world famous wine tasting experience in one of the wine regions or visit Robben Island to reflect on African history in the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years. There is so much to do and see in Cape Town.

Divers counting quadrats

The Cape RADD training programme is a fantastic life experience, enhances career development and supplies students with great knowledge and skills which can be applied in a broad spectrum of careers.