Learn to Scuba Dive or Continue your Education!

learn to scuba dive

By visiting this page you have taken the very first step in learning to Scuba Dive or progressing to the next step in continuing your scuba dive education or career – Congratulations!!

Contact us to book your next Dive Course
PADI Scuba Dive Courses Umkomaas KwaZulu-Natal

Before booking any PADI course with Aliwal Dive Centre, please download the PADI Medical Questionnaire form, complete and send back to us or fill in and submit the online form. If you answer yes to any of the questions you will need to provide us with a medical certificate stating that you are fit to dive.

All divers diving in a Marine Protected Area (of which Aliwal Shoal is one) are required to carry a dive permit with them on the boat at all times. These permits can be purchased from any Post Office or emergency permits at the Dive Centre on arrival.

  • 10 + 11 years dive with PADI professional or parent or guardian – 12m open water
  • 12 + 13 + 14 dive with adult certified diver – 21m if advanced
  • 15 + = adult
  • Subject to exchange rate.

Get Introduced


Who should try this experience?

So you want to see what all the fuss is about without committing to a course? Testing the waters as such?

Then a Discover Scuba Diver course (DSD) is a must for you.

On this one day course we will teach you the basic theory, throw you in our 4m deep heated pool with the instructor to show you the basic skills, and then take you out to the Aliwal Shoal for a real dive!

The instructor will be there with you every step of the way, so you can fully enjoy this exhilarating introduction into the world of underwater bubble blowing!!

Get Certified


People all over the world have taken to the waters below; why not take the first step in living a life less ordinary and experience unparalleled adventure beneath the waves, this is where it starts! The PADI Open water Diver course is the world’s most popular and widely recognized scuba course. Scuba diving has allowed millions of people to see how large and powerful the world below actually is, and with today’s equipment and proper education almost anyone can learn to dive!

Take your first breath underwater with us here at Aliwal Dive Centre and enjoy a lifetime of exploration an excitement!

This course is recognised all over the World, and as you have completed a PADI course, dive centres worldwide will know the skills you have been taught and will be able to offer you the most suitable recreational dives.

Many people worry that they don’t have the time to learn or think that the studying is too difficult – don’t worry, this 4 day course has been carefully structured to take you through the necessary steps at your own pace. Even though there is a little theory study to do, rest assured it is only a simple amount that you need to know at this stage.

You will be provided with a Crew Pack which contains a Manual which you will continue to consult throughout your diving life, a log book which is essential for recording important and fun information about every dive you do. The final item in your Open Water Crew pack is a dive table which you will learn to use to ensure that you plan all of your dives safely.

Your qualifying open water dives will always be done in the ocean so that experience of sea diving conditions can be experienced with the security of an Instructor as your dive buddy.

At the end of this course, which can be done over 4 consecutive days, or two weekends if that is what your schedule will permit, you will be certified to dive, with a qualified dive buddy up to a depth of 18 metres anywhere in the World which has similar conditions to Aliwal Shoal. We have no scheduled dates for our dive courses here at Aliwal Dive School, we start when you are ready – so go on and book now!

Who should take this course?

If you’ve always wanted to take scuba diving lessons, experience unparalleled adventure and see the world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. Get your scuba diving certification with the PADI Open Water Diver course – the world’s most popular and widely recognized scuba course.

To enroll in a PADI Open Water Diver course (or Junior Open Water Diver course), you must be 10 years old or older. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with scuba diving is required.

What will you learn?

The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of three main phases:

  • Knowledge Development online independent study or in our fully equipped training room) to understand basic principles of scuba diving
  • Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills – we have a 4m deep heated pool on site – lucky you!
  • Open Water Dives to the world renowned Aliwal Shoal to use your skills and explore!


Find out more information on the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) website.


Find out more information on the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) website.


Find out more information on the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) website.

Improve Your Skills


Now that you have taken the plunge and entered the new and exciting world of diving, why not take your diving to new depths with the PADI Advanced Diver Course, designed to expand your skills and continue your education. Through this course your instructor will help build your confidence underwater and expand your scuba skills through different Adventure Dives. You try out different specialties while gaining experience under the supervision of one of our PADI Instructors. And you can start right after earning your PADI Open Water Diver certification!

*Get credit: Each Adventure Dive may credit toward the first dive of the corresponding PADI Specialty Diver Course. If you’ve already taken a specialty diver course, ask your instructor if you’ve earned credit for an Adventure Dive.

When can I start?

PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers who are at least 12 years old are ready to step up and enroll in an Advanced Open Water Diver course with us. Young divers may only participate in certain Adventures Dives – check with your PADI Instructor. If you’re already an Adventure Diver, you only need to complete two more Adventure Dives to earn the Advanced Open Water Diver certification!

What will I learn?

As you gain experience you will find a kind of diving that excites you most! We’ll help you plan your personal learning path with your instructor by choosing from an exciting variety of Adventure Dives. You’ll start with a deep dive and underwater navigation, the core dives for this program, In additional you choose adventure dives from an exciting list, choices will vary along with your interests perhaps you’re into underwater photography, or want to perfect your buoyancy, or up you game with fish identification whilst exploring wrecks! It’s up to you! Let the adventures begin, we want to share them with you!

Choose from these adventure dives:

Deep / Underwater Navigator | Peak Performance Buoyancy | Boat | Drift | Wreck | Search & Recovery | Fish I.D.

Become a Padi Pro


A must for everyone, diver and non diver alike.A widely recognised course, which teaches CPR skills and first aid.

This is a compulsory element of the Rescue Diver Course.

The PADI rescue diver program has been described as one of the most challenging and highly rewarding experiences! Designed to prepare you to help prevent, and if necessary manage diver emergencies major or minor with a variety of techniques all whilst building your confidence as a diver in a fun and challenging way.

PADI (Junior) Adventure Divers who are at least 12 years old and have completed the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive may enrol in a Rescue Diver course. Remember you also need to have Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months. If you don’t, no problem! You can complete this training with us during the Rescue Diver course. Your instructor may also offer the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider specialty diver course at the same time.

What will I learn?

The PADI Rescue Diver course prepares you to deal with dive emergencies, minor and major, using a variety of techniques. Through knowledge development and rescue exercises, you learn what to look for and how to respond. During rescue scenarios, you put into practice your knowledge and skills.

Topics include:

  • Self rescue
  • Recognizing and managing stress in other divers
  • Emergency management and equipment
  • Rescuing panicked divers
  • Rescuing unresponsive divers

Whether you’re diving professionally or for fun, once you have made the decision to scuba dive you will soon find nothing gives you greater joy! By taking the PADI Divemaster course with us we’ll help you do what you love to do as a career and join the ranks of the industry’s most respected dive professionals! With your PADI Divemaster certification, this is where the beach becomes your office. Surround yourself with sunshine, adventure, and vibrant people and do what you love for a living!

The PADI Divemaster course is your first level of professional training. Working closely with one of our PADI Instructors, you’ll fine-tune your dive skills, like perfecting the effortless hover, and refine your rescue skills so you anticipate and easily solve common problems. You’ll gain dive knowledge, management and supervision abilities so you become a role model to divers everywhere./

As a PADI Divemaster, you’ll lead others as you supervise scuba diving activities and assist with diver training. Whether you want to work at a faraway dive destination or close to home at a local dive shop, the adventure of a lifetime awaits you. PADI Divemasters are respected dive professionals who are aligned with the largest and most respected dive organization in the world – PADI.

PADI Rescue Divers who are at least 18 years old may enroll in the PADI Divemaster course. You also need to have:

  • Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months.
  • A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months.
  • At least 20 logged dives to begin the course and 60 dives to earn certification.

Note that qualifying certifications from other diver training organization may apply – ask your PADI Instructor.

What will I learn?

The PADI Divemaster course teaches you to be a leader and take charge of dive activities. Through knowledge development sessions, water skills exercises and workshops, and hands-on practical assessment, you develop the skills to organize and direct a variety of scuba diving activities. This course can be completed at your own pace. Depending on your schedule and the season, it can span over a few weeks or even up to a year.

We prefer if you do your Divemaster studies on an internship basis. This means that for the time that you do your courses with us, you become one of the staff and we involve you in the day to day running of our dive centre. The idea behind this is so that you get the maximum amount of exposure to the industry and see the inner workings of a dive shop first hand. In this way, your skills can be of real value to any dive shop that might make use of your services in the future.

Topics and practical workshops include:

  • The role and characteristics of the PADI Divemaster
  • Supervising dive activities and assisting with student divers
  • Diver safety and risk management
  • Divemaster conducted programs and specialized skills
  • Business of diving and your career
  • Awareness of the dive environment
  • Mapping an open water site
  • Conducting dive briefings
  • Organizing a search and recovery project and a deep dive
  • Conducting a scuba review and skin diver course
  • Assisting with Discover Scuba Diving and leading Discover Local Diving programs

Your instructor may also offer the PADI Deep Diver and Search and Recovery Diver specialty diver courses along with your divemaster training to help you meet all requirements and to broaden your abilities.

What equipment and materials will I need?

A full set of diving equipment including the following:/

  • Timing device
  • Depth gauge (or dive computer)
  • Compass
  • Knife or Dive Tool
  • At least one audible emergency surface signalling device (whistle, air horn etc)

The following study materials:/

  • PADI Divemaster manual
  • RDP (all 3 versions plus instruction booklets)
  • Encyclopaedia of Recreational Diving
  • Diving Knowledge Workbook
  • Divemaster Slates
  • Instructor Guides for programmes PADI Divemasters may conduct (Discover Scuba Diving, Discover Snorkelling/Skin Diving, Scuba Review/Discover Local Diving


Are you ready to join the ranks of the dedicated professionals who teach the world’s most progressive and popular scuba diver education programs? Then continue your journey exploring the underwater realm whilst doing your PADI Instructor Development Course with Aliwal Dive Centre.

The PADI Instructor Development Course is your final stepping stone on the road to becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. During this program candidates learn to successfully use and adapt the PADI system of diver education, supported by the wide variety of PADI educational materials to suit individual student needs and ensure success and enjoyment. As a PADI Open Water Scuba Dive Instructor you are able to conduct a wide variety of PADI courses ranging from PADI Discover Scuba Diving to PADI Dive Master.

The Instructor Development Course (IDC) is made up of two parts – the Assistant Instructor (AI) course and the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) program. Most dive professionals complete the entire IDC and go on to attend an Instructor Examination (IE), which is the final step to earn a PADI Instructor certification.

Successfully completing just the AI course results in a PADI Assistant Instructor qualification. When an AI is ready to progress, attending an OWSI program allows entry into an IE to earn a full PADI Instructor rating.

Dive professionals who hold an instructor rating with another diver training organization may be eligible to enrol directly in the OWSI program. This recognizes prior instructor training and provides a path to become a PADI Instructor.

A PADI Divemaster who has been a certified diver for six months may enrol in the PADI Instructor Development Course. You also need:

  • At least 60 logged dives and 100 dives to attend an IE.
  • Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months.
  • A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months

You also need to be an Emergency First Response Instructor, but you can earn this rating during your instructor training.

What will I learn?

The IDC teaches you to conduct all PADI core courses. You’ll be able to organize and present information, conduct skill development sessions and control open water dives. Basically, you become a better public speaker and get really good at demonstrating skills while watching out for student diver safety. Key topics include:

  • PADI Standards and Procedures for courses you can teach with in water workshops
  • Learning, Instruction and the PADI System
  • Risk Management and Diver Safety
  • The Business of Diving and your role as an instructor
  • Marketing Diving and Sales Counselling

If you like people, have a passion for scuba diving and want an extraordinary life – become a PADI Instructor. You earn a PADI Instructor rating through hard work and commitment, but you’re rewarded with a job that lets you share incredible underwater adventures with others – transforming their lives for the better and enriching yours! We can help you get there!

What equipment & materials do I need?

In order to be correctly equipped for the course you must have the following:

  • Timing Device
  • Depth Gauge / Computer
  • Compass
  • Knife/Divers Tool
  • Slate
  • Dive Table
  • Emergency Signalling Device (whistle, flare, delayed smb)
  • PADI Instructor Manual
  • Instructor Candidate Workbook
  • Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Instructor Outline
  • Diving Knowledge Workbook
  • Encyclopedia Of Recreational Diving
  • Project Aware Specialty Programme Instructor Outline
  • AWARE – Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Instructor Outline
  • PADI Open Water Diver Manual
  • RDP – Table, Wheel & ERDP and instructions for use booklets
  • Open Water Diver Quizzes & Exam Booklets
  • PADI Adventures in Diving Manual
  • PADI Rescue Diver Manual
  • Rescue Diver Final Exams Booklet
  • PADI Divemaster Manual
  • Divemaster Final Exams Booklet
  • Aquatic Cue Cards – Confined Water & Open Water, Adventures in Diving,
    Rescue Diver, Divemaster and Discover Scuba Diving
  • Confined Water Lesson Preparation Slate
  • Open Water Training Dive Lesson Planning Slate

How much preparation must I do?

The better prepared each student is, the more they will benefit from the course.

You will need to have completed all 16 IDC knowledge reviews. Revising your Divemaster Exams is a good way to refresh your diving theory knowledge. We recommend that you work with the Encyclopaedia of Diving and the Diving Knowledge Workbook.

It is also essential that you have practiced the 20 dive skills from your Divemaster course so that you are comfortable with them and are able to perform them to demonstration quality. If you feel that your skills are a little ‘rusty’ – don’t worry – see below for details of our 2 day Prep.

What will I do on the course and how long will it take?

The Instructor Development Course comprises of 3 sections:

  • Assistant Instructor Course.
  • Open Water Scuba Instructor Course (OWSI).
  • Finally candidates sit the Instructor Exam (IE). This is run by a PADI Examiner over a 2 day period.

Our aim at Aliwal Dive Centre is to produce EXCELLENT Instructors who are able to compete for jobs in an ever increasingly competitive market. You will develop your diving and teaching knowledge through self study, quizzes, exams and lectures. There will be a review of your confined and open water skills along with workshops, rescue assessments and candidate presentations.

2 day IDC Prep

If your demonstration skills and DM theory are a bit rusty, then your worries are over. We offer a 2 day course dedicated to bringing those skills back up to scratch. Remember this is an Instructor Development Course, practising Divemaster skills is not on the timetable. Call us for details of this invaluable course.

Where will I stay & eat?

Our IDC course is in partnership with Coral Divers located in Sodawana Bay. We will be based here for the full duration of the course – 16 nights in safari tent accommodation with breakfast & dinner included.

Once you have become an Instructor, improve your career opportunities even further by becoming a Master Scuba Diver Trainer. This allows you to teach all the specialties!!