Marine Conservation - Volunteer Reviews


Read what our volunteers say about their time volunteering

Find out more about the Marine Conservation project

Alexandra - 2018

How did you find your time volunteering at our Marine Conservation project in South Africa?
"This project was an amazing experience that I will never forget. The dive sites were amazing and everyone there was always supportive, nice and easy to talk to. On our dives we looked for Potato bass, Turtles and Rays to ID and put into a database. Although trying to find the specific name of the turtle or potato bass could take a while it was always interesting to find out who we saw and how long it had been since their last sighting.
I also really enjoyed the lectures that Emilia and Arno gave because we learnt so much about Sodwana Bay, coral reefs and other marine environments; if you had any questions they would always know the answer!

What did you find most rewarding?
Learning so much more about the fish and invertebrates found on coral reefs - especially ones you may not notice until they are pointed out to you.

What did you find most challenging?
Getting back on the boat after the dives!

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
I would recommend staying more than 2 weeks if you are a beginner diver because if you need to get your open water it doesn’t leave much time to do much of the conservation work.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
Because it had the marine project that I think looked the most interesting out of the others that I found.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer?

Lea - 2017

Volunteering at the South Africa marine conservation project was a brilliant experience that will not be soon forgotten. Aside from the breathtaking diving, the volunteer coordinators were absolutely brilliant. The amount of passion they have for marine life is truly inspiring and passion invoking. On top of this, you get to connect with a variety of people who share the same passions as yourself in a stunning setting.

What did you find most rewarding?
Being able to see and learn about a variety of biodiversity that I haven't had the privilege of interacting with until this project.

What did you find most challenging?
Surface intervals!!

Were there any parts of the placement which you would like to see changed?

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
It was a useful and easy website to use with friendly staff to receive and organise the trip

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer?

Liz - 2017

“The Marine Conservation project in South Africa was one of the most exciting, fun and rewarding things I've done. After completing the diving course, volunteers go on a dive a day to one of the many and varied beautiful reefs you can find in Sodwana Bay. The amount of marine life is amazing and your main project is to spot and identify the critically endangered Turtles and Potato Bass, and if you're really lucky, the odd Manta Ray might glide past. The team is so friendly and you will quickly find yourself part of the diving family and will learn a lot about marine conservation through the daily lectures and documentaries. If you're willing to get your hands dirty, live closely with likeminded people in quite basic but close knit accommodation and fall in love with the underwater world then this is for you!

What did you find most rewarding?
Learning about how human activity affects marine life around the world and what sort of things can be done about it. I work in the environmental industry and want to now tailor my career around this sort of work.

What did you find most challenging?
Living with a large number of young people in basic accommodation that was hard to keep clean.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
If you think you might like this project, then I guarantee you will LOVE it and not regret it. I now want to go back to Sodwana Bay every year! Just be prepared to have a lot of downtime and enjoy other people's company with not a lot of entertainment to rely on.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
It looked like a good, we'll run company with good reviews from previous volunteers

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Jule - 2016

“My stay was better than expected and the diving is the best in the world.  The project is really cool and I would love to stay longer.  I suppose I have to come back again.”

Franziska - 2016

“Sodwana Bay is the most beautiful place to dive.  The people are really friendly and make you feel welcome, I don’t want to leave.  I suggest you bring your own underwater camera.”

Christian - 2016

“I liked the different lectures and presentations which convinced me to become a marine biologist.  I also had loads of fun!”

Nina - 2016

“Sodwana Bay is so cool and I love the diving, I don’t ever want to leave!”

Anika - 2016

“I really love the atmosphere in Sodwana, everything and everybody is chilled and laid back.  I made some awesome friends here.  I had the best time ever!”

Find out more about the Marine Conservation project


  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal