Cape Town Vet Project

South Africa

This project is open to anyone with a love of animals  and a passion for helping with their rescue, rehabilitation and  treatment. Join our dynamic team to make a real difference to pets and  strays in beautiful Cape Town. The shelter houses approximately 300  animals at any given time and the on-site vets serve animals from  surrounding disadvantaged townships, with both static and a mobile  clinics.


  • Gain valuable experience in veterinary care and animal welfare.

  • Take a hands-on role in the kennels.

  • Rehabilitate animals to enable them to be adopted into a loving home.

  • Observe or assist with surgeries and clinic treatments alongside the resident vet.

  • Assist with crucial pre and post operative care for cats and dogs.

  • Live like a true South African by exploring the many game reserves, mountains, restaurants, live music events and world-class beaches.

Join  our team to help pets in poverty stricken areas of Cape Town who turn to  the clinic for charitable veterinary treatment and health advice. You  will deal with the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of animals that  are lost, abandoned, abused and neglected. Volunteers make a sustainable  impact to people and pets in disadvantaged townships as they work  between two or three clinic locations depending on where needs your help  the most during your stay. This allows you to see an amazing variety of  cases and benefit from working alongside fun and welcoming teams who  strive, against the odds, to improve the lives of animals in South  Africa.

This  project is perfect for volunteers who want to make a real impact  improving the lives of animals and who are passionate about welfare  animal rights. You do not need any prior experience, just a desire to  help and get stuck in with all aspects of the work. There are a lot of  opportunities to those interested in and pursuing careers in animal  rescue, veterinary and nursing. The shelters are pro-life and animals  are only euthanized on the advice of a veterinarian, when they are  incurably ill, with no hope of recovery.


All  volunteers work side by side with staff who have passion and commitment  to the animals in their care. We ask you to remember you will be joining  a busy working charity, where animals always come first. You will be  expected to assist with all aspects of clinic care, management,  community education, kennels and medicine. Here, no one, including the  head vet and clinical director, are above getting down on their knees to  scrub a kennel or pick up a poo! We ask you adopt the same attitude in  your work. Vet students in clinical years of vet school will be able to  assist with surgery during their stay, however this is not a surgery  training course, so you should not expect your days to be solely based  around this.

Those with no prior experience will carry  out the below jobs. If you are interested, you would love to get you  helping with the nursing and veterinary related jobs listed further down  this page, although we appreciate not everyone wishes to do so.

  • Feed dogs and cats

  • Grooming animals in the rescue centre

  • Giving TLC to strays

  • Help teach the local community about welfare and animal rights

  • Walk dogs, socialise them and play with them

  • Learn to do basic medical checks, like temperature and heart rate

  • Help give medications like tablets

  • Learn to help the vet/nurse team with tasks like restraining dogs and cats for injections

Those with nursing, pre-vet or animal care experience will assist with the above tasks as well as those outlined below:

  • Carry out routine health checks and assist with medicating patients

  • Triage animals coming to the hospital

  • Calculate drug doses

  • Vaccinating pets with the animal-health team

  • Help with pre and post op preparation and patient care

  • Bandaging and wound dressings

  • Help pack and sterilise surgical kits and prepare for surgery (catheter placement, intubating)

  • Develop nursing skills like anaesthetic monitoring and monitoring pain in post surgical patients

Vets and Vet Students will assist with the tasks above as well as those outlined below:

  • Vaccination

  • Sterilisations (spay and castrate)

  • Soft tissue surgery (e.g. lump removals)

  • Fracture management

  • Consultations

  • Wound care and closure

  • Diagnostics- blood, smear and crush samples

  • Dealing with tick borne diseases


You will be staying in a fully-furnished  town house situated in Muizenberg, a 5 minute walk away from the beach.  This area is one of the major tourism attractions in Cape Town and a  surfer’s paradise. The area is filled with vibey bars, cafes, and  amazing restaurants, and you’ll be based just opposite a major grocery  store for you to do extra shopping should you need. It is the perfect  base from which to explore this incredible city.

The volunteer accommodation is a cosy,  safe home shared by volunteers and staff. There is a central lounge and  dining area, a living room with some comfortable couches for socializing  and relaxing, preparing for your next day or chatting with fellow  volunteers. There is a spacious backyard for pulling up a deck chair and  relaxing in the sun or to enjoy a South African Braai (BBQ). Volunteers  often tell us that the best part of this project is how connected they  feel to the staff and other volunteers and this comes from the vibrant  social itinerary the project coordinator put together for you, and the  social evenings and weekends that volunteers enjoy together.

Bedrooms sleep 6 to 8 and are bright, airy and have plenty of space for storing your bags and clothes. Bedding  and towels are provided. Your laundry can be washed at just 80 rand a  load (£4) and wifi costs just 50 rand (£2) per week from the house’s  connection. You can also easily buy a local sim card and a data bundle  to be roaming when you are out and about.

You will be provided with 3 meals a day  during your stay and we can cater to most dietary requirements so just  ask us when booking. Breakfast is eaten in the house before you head to  the clinic, lunch is taken with you as a packed lunch, then dinner is  eaten back at the house. Breakfast is a ‘help-yourself’ affair, and the  other meals are cooked for you. We often all go out together once a week  for a nice meal at one of the world class restaurants in Cape Town,  then drinks in town.



The volunteer house and two clinics you work with are  are based in Cape Town, at the southern tip of South Africa. A bustling, historical and cosmopolitan place renowned as a top tourist destination in it's own right, there is something for everyone in Cape Town.


Framed between oceans and mountains, Cape Town is surrounded by incredible natural beauty, with Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, being a highlight.

Volunteers always make the most of their free time, and you can go shark cage diving, climb table mountain, swim with seals, take wine tours, horse ride, or explore the museums and historical sites of the city.


Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! 

  • Pre departure assistance with planning and flights from one  of our destination specialists

  • Transfers to and from the airport on arrival and departure

  • Induction and training on the project

  • Accommodation in a lovely area of the city

  • 3 meals a day

  • 24 hour project coordinator


Not included in your fee:

  • Personal health insurance

  • Flights to and from project

  • Visas, (free to many nationalities

  • Wifi  (50 rand per week in the volunteer house)

  • Laundry (80 rand a load)

2 weeks     £ 935

3 weeks     £ 1,210

4 weeks     £ 1,485

5 weeks     £ 1,760

6 weeks     £ 2,035

7 weeks     £ 2,310

8 weeks     £ 2,585

9 weeks     £2,860

10 weeks   £3,135

11 weeks   £3.410

12 weeks   £3,685


2020 dates

13 and 27 January | 10 and 24 February | 9 and 23 March | 6 and 20 April | 4 and 18 May | 1, 15 and 29 June  |  6, 13, 20, and 27 July | 3, 10,17, 24 and 31 August | 7 and 21 September | 5 and 19 October | 2,16 and 30 November.

Want to hear more? Leave your info and we’ll get back to you.

Image by Maurits Bausenhart
Project Photos