Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's

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

What will I get out of the program?

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

Am I eligible?

The 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 the program two weeks prior to gain qualification and practice in SCUBA diving.

What is included and excluded?

Cost includes:

  • 16 dive package (consists of: reef dive, snorkels, aquarium, estuary dives, 3 ocean safaris and 1 estuary trip in Moz)
  • All videography equipment including cameras, housings and lights
  • Practical and theoretical training instruction in underwater videography
  • Meals
  • Dorm or single ($500 supplement) accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Hard and soft SCUBA equipment
  • SCUBA airfills

Costs exclude:

  • Recreational weekend SCUBA diving
  • PADI Open water qualification course
  • Internet fees
  • Laundry service
  • Non-course excursions
  • Extra food and beverages and alcoholic beverages
  • Nitrox
  • Staff tips
  • Early arrival and late departure fees ($40/day)

What is the daily schedule?

As a student and guest, your daily routine will vary between diving and photographing or videographing, being tutored in photography and video techniques and free diving, and processing and editing your photographs. Fiona and her handpicked team 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 30th), with catering and accommodation offered during the dates of the course advertised. All participants must be SCUBA qualified (minimum open water certification) prior to the start of the program.

Where will I stay?

If you are joining us in May, June, July, August or September, then you will stay in Scottburgh, South Africa, at the famed shark diving company – Blue Wilderness. If you are joining us for October or November then our home for the duration of the course will be the dive center at Guinjata Bay. This is a resort located within the Inhambane region of Mozambique.

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. This additional training, board and accommodation costs $1600. 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, meals and accommodation.

Where must I fly to?

Scottburgh – South Africa

Arrange flights in and out of King Shaka Airport – Durban

Guinjata – Mozambique

Arrange flights in and our of Inhambane Airport – Inhambane

My arrival process?

Pick-ups from the airport will be organised for the 1st day of the month and drop-offs on the 30th of the month. Participants arriving or leaving outside this time will be asked to contribute an additional $40 for the airport transfer.

Can I dive recreationally?

Yes, weekend dives can be organised at your own cost.

Must I bring my own video equipment?

In terms of underwater video gear, soft diving gear, and underwater housings, participants can bring their own gear if desired. A minimum standard of video gear required is a DSLR, quality mirrorless system or video camera with two underwater lights. All dive gear and photographic gear is supplied. If you bring your own videography equipment of the standard set out here, a cost break of $250 is offered.

What equipment will I have access to?

All videography and scuba equipment is supplied during the course. This includes:

  • 6 x Underwater video kits consisting of:
    • 1 x Panasonic HVX200 with gates housing
    • 2 x Nikon D70 with Ikilite housings
    • 1 x Canon 5D mk 2 with Sea & Sea housing
    • 1 x Sony RX100 with Gates housing
    • 1 x Sony HDR-CX190 with Marlin Marine housing
  • 6 x sets of underwater torches – orca torch 3000 – 5000 Lum
  • Full scuba kits including a full range of standard wetsuit sizes

Computers: Please bring your own laptop with a minimum of 4gb RAM. It must be pre-loaded with Adobe Premiere Pro OR, if you don’t want to buy that, then any other video professional level editing software that you usually use and know.

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

Due to the number of applications received and limited places (maximum six participants), we unfortunately do not accept all applying participants. 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 is paid within 2 weeks of being accepted into the program as confirmation. The remaining fee must be paid at least 21 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 participants during a program will belong exclusively to the author thereof, i.e. you. All media collected can be used for portfolio and marketing purposes by Africa Media Academy.

Do I require a VISA?

Mozambique:

Yes. For Mozambique we ask that you get a 30 day single entry VISA and you must fly out within that time. Extensions can be done from within Mozambique if required. Cost of a one month VISA is approximately 90USD. If you have further questions then mail us as support@africa-media.org

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 support@africa-media.org

Do I need insurance?

Yes. When you are accepted into this program, you will have to sign liability documents, as well an agreement that you are knowingly partaking in potentially dangerous activities. You will not be covered for accidents, illnesses or loss of equipment, so please do organize your own medical and travel insurances. Chances that you will be injured by a marine predator are very little if you follow the safety guidelines, and do not try anything foolish of which we would not approve. It is important to be covered for SCUBA accidents in case of an emergency where you may require to be airlifted as the closest chamber is in South Africa.

Do I need malaria medication?

Yes, but only for programs hosted in Mozambique and not for South Africa. You may also require yellow fever vaccinations for Mozambique. Check with your local travel clinic as this changes from time to time.

What must I bring on the program? - Packing list

Packing list – For programs in Scottburgh, South Africa

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.
  • Blue Wilderness address – 34 Egerton Road, Freeland Park, South Africa. 

Packing list for programs in Mozambique

Clothing

  • Beach and lounging. Bring what you are comfortable in, but ensure that you have at least one slightly tracksuit type outfit and a good sun hat with a wide brim.
  • You need a few long sleeve and long pants cotton clothing to keep off mosquitoes at night.
  • 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. Social clothing should reflect a casual non-formal style.
  • A swimming costume or two and beach sandals that are easy to slip on as the sand is very hot.
  • 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 locals as they gather food off the rocks and kids playing on the beach
  • 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.
  • Prescription medication and anti-malarials.
  • Passport & photocopy of passport.
  • VISA if you pre-ordered or cash to pay for a VISA. Dollars are fine.
  • Bank cards (inform your bank of your travels).
  • Spare cash, and once again, dollars are fine as we can change it in Mozambique.
  • Phone & cables (you can buy a local SIM for data and data is very cheap in Moz).
  • Good sunglasses.
  • a head torch
  • You will be staying at Motel do Mar, Guinjata Dive Centre, Inhambane.

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.  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. 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 participant 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 application, 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 Academy. This forum will enable you to ask questions and seek out any additional information, meeting and networking with us and other participants. To talk directly with one of our program specialists, then email us at support@africa-media.org

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