Take your diving to the next level... Increase your depth limitation and gain more skills as a diver
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Do your Underwater Naturalist Specialty in only 3 days, while staying inside the iSimangaliso Wetland Park - UNESCO World Heritage Site
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Underwater Naturalist Specialty







Jnr Open Water+






Does the underwater world fascinate you? Learn more about this fragile environment with the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty. Increase your understanding of the marine ecosystems, underwater ecology and about the different types of marine life.

Completing this course will help you:

  • Learn how to interact with marine life in a responsible way
  • Learn about the marine ecosystem
  • Lose any wrong ideas and myths you may have heard 
  • Learn about marine life, the relationships between them and their environment

Who is the course for?

The Underwater Naturalist Specialty is a fantastic way for novice and experienced divers alike, to increase your understanding of the ocean. Together with your instructor, you’ll discover new things and be amazed at what you will see on even the most familiar of dive sites.  Understand the relationships between different animals, as well as learning about underwater ecosystems and be able identify the different types of marine life.

What does it involve?

The first dive of this PADI Specialty course can be credited as an Adventure Dive toward your PADI Advanced Diver certification, so it will be credited towards becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver when you hold 5 or more Specialty certifications. 

There are two theory sections with knowledge reviews in the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty course.  Choose between doing the theory online in our Virtual Classroom, or in class here in Sodwana. Discuss the differences between ecosystems, the interactions between marine life and popular myths, including how to interact with marine life. Putting into practice what you have learnt, you’ll explore the different kinds of dive sites found in Sodwana.  

Train With Us

We run our courses on the dates that best suit you. Simply email our bookings office on [email protected] and give them the dates you wish to be here. They will check availability and advise you on the course start date. Why not get a head start and do you theory online? Just mention that you would like to do this, and we will be happy to help.

Please Note:

The course price does not include any of the park fees, or your MPA dive permit (in case you have one already)…

Looking to enroll in the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty?  To qualify, you must:

  • Be 10 years old or more. Under 18’s need a parent or guardian to complete and sign some paperwork.
  • Be certified as a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver or the equivalent.
  • If you answer “yes” to any of the questions on the Medical Questionnaire, you will require a ‘Fit for diving’ statement signed by a doctor and dated no older than 12 months. The doctor signing the form, cannot be the person doing the course.

There are 2 qualifying sea dives, done with your PADI Instructor.  Also included in the course, is your gear hire, PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty manual, certification and 2 nights in one of our Safari Tents. Please remember that you need to bring your own bedding for the tents.  You may upgrade if you wish to a Standard Cabin or Ensuite Cabin. Please see our rate sheet for the upgrade fees (the difference in price between a tent and a cabin…).

Once you’ve done your Padi Underwater Naturalist Specialty, you can go on to doing the other speciality courses we have available. For instance, why not achieve the highest level of recreational diver? You can do this by looking to do a total of 5 specialty courses and qualify as a Master Scuba Diver…

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