Egypt Equine Vet Volunteer
Veterinary nursing and medicine students, as well as qualified vets looking to expand their equine knowledge and gain medical skills can support our busy workload and help provide much needed treatment to sick, exhausted, injured, and abused horses in Cairo. If you are not a vet student, nurse student or graduate, but have extensive previous equine experience, we would still love to host you, as we need all levels of support and help for the horses. You can join as a non-clinical volunteer and help care for the equines.
Work alongside a dedicated team of equine vets and nurses
Help care horses, mules, donkeys, and the occasional camel
Gain clinical experience in a wide range of cases with hands on practical training
Assist with emergency, reactive, and preventative medicine
Live at the edge of the desert close to ancient Abo Sir pyramids
Experienced riders can join optional desert horse rides in your free time
Discover Egyptian culture and customs from a local perspective
Horses are an important part of Egyptian culture. Most of the animals we treat are working animals who pull heavy loads for farmers, vendors, and builders, working long hours under difficult and stressful conditions. We also sometimes treat badly abused and neglected horses working in the tourism industry, offering rides into the desert and around the pyramids.
Sadly, equine welfare in Egypt often leaves a lot to be desired. Owners rely on their horses to make money in a country struggling with high poverty rates. The desert environment means there is no grass for grazing and the price of feed results in many equines being underfed and overworked to the point of exhaustion. A lack of education means many horses reach us in the late stages of illness and with injuries more progressed than seen in many other countries. Archaic practices still occur including "firing", burning the skin on horse's legs which is wrongly believed to heal tendon injuries.
Our clinic is a safe haven for all horses and donkeys. The peaceful grounds provide free help to any horse and owner wanting support and assistance. No animal is turned away and where possible all equines are admitted for round the clock care and feeding, to increase their strength and condition. We employ 2-3 local veterinarians at any given time and encourage volunteers to be very hands on and learn from our team, getting as much practical experience as possible. The more helping hands we have, the more attention we can give to our patients. This project is a wonderful opportunity to dive into the heart of Egyptian culture as a member of the community, whilst giving something back to animals in need. You will live on site at the clinic and enjoy one day off per week to explore the gems of Egypt during your stay.
Volunteers on this project will see a wide variety of clinical cases, some of which may be quite shocking if you have never worked in a developing country before, or one where equines are heavily burdened with work. All volunteers will witness and learn from a huge variety of cases and get hands on assisting the vets with all aspects of medicine, care and community education. You will be doing twice daily inpatient clinical examinations, monitoring critical cases and medicating. You will carry out all work under the direct guidance of our vets, and in line with your level of competence and comfort. Cases you see may include:
Exhaustion and emaciation
Heavy internal parasite burdens
Mange, mites and ringworm
Midge and fly borne infectious diseases
Hoof neglect and farriery treatment
Road traffic accidents
It is not uncommon for one or two horses to be euthanised per day at the clinic, due to arriving with fatal injuries. We expect all volunteers to be understanding of euthanasia on humane grounds.
Our gates are open every day for animals in need, so working hours are 7 days per week 8.00 am-5.00pm. Occasional emergency cases may come in later than that for which your assistance may be required. You can take one day off per week, in coordination with your colleagues and supervisor.
Volunteers live on site at the clinic, so it is just a few meters walk from your front door to the horses staying on site. We have a clean and smart flat, with two single bedrooms, (1 bed per room) and a shared bathroom. There is a communal living area with sofas to rest and relax with fellow volunteers. There are fans and a/c’s in the bedrooms and all bedding is provided. Please be aware, power and water cuts are not infrequent, in the clinic and accommodation. There is no Wifi at the project, so we advise volunteers to buy a local SIM card on arrival, load it with data and use that to remain connected during your stay.
Meals are not included in your project fee. Volunteers can buy basic food from the local shops or make a trip to the nearest supermarket (about 30 minutes away) and cater for themselves during their stay. The shared kitchen has the utilities you will need to prepare meals for yourself. We maintain a vegetarian facility, so volunteers are kindly asked not to bring meat onto the premises. It is also possible to order a limited range of takeaway foods. Where we live is certainly not a hub of activity, but volunteers love the peace of rural township living and spend their evenings watching movies, reading books, or playing games together.
The clinic is in a quiet and rural area on the South side of Cairo, about 40 minutes from the main city and the famous Pyramids of Giza that date back over 2,500 years. You will be just around the corner from several other beautiful and older pyramids too. In your free time you can visit these iconic landmarks viewing them from the desert landscape and even entering inside the Pyramids of Giza, following a guide and stooping low to traverse the narrow passageways, and visiting the beautiful stone sphinx. The world class Cairo Museum will wow you with ancient relics, mummification jars, solid gold decoration, preserved mummies, and ancient tools and pottery. Nile river cruises and Cairo’s cosmopolitan bars and restaurants ensure you will never go without something to explore.
Before or after your stay with us you can independently arrange trips further afield to places like Luxor to visit the mighty temple Karnak, or the Valley of the Kings, an intricate maze of tombs out in the desert with vividly coloured wall paintings and carved hieroglyphics. This includes the tomb of the famous Tutankhamun. There is also the beach town of Hurghada where you can snorkel or dive in the Red Sea, renowned for world class marine life including dolphins and stingrays.
2 weeks: £750
3 weeks: £950
4 weeks: £1050
Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:
Pre-departure planning and assistance
Pick up and drop off to the airport
Support at the volunteer accommodation by on site staff. Someone is always available in case of emergency.
OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:
Medical and travel insurance
Flights to your destination
Volunteers fly in and out of Cairo Airport and can start every Sunday or Monday of the year. There is some flexibility with the start dates of this project so please ask us if you are looking at a different start date. Your flight needs to land before 3pm and depart after 9am.
Want to join us in Egypt helping equines in desperate need of care and treatment? If you think you can assist this project, please click the "apply now" button and we will be in touch with you shortly.