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Safari Vet Internship

South Africa

This is a 12 day programme for vets, nurses and students of veterinary and nursing degrees, designed to give practical and hands on training. It is RACE accredited for 40 hours. You will learn a wide range of wildlife veterinary medicine concepts and practical skills. A combination of real life cases and lectures from experts in the field will give you the best learning opportunity to progress your career or studies in a group of up to 12 participants. 

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS


  • Spend 12 days working closely with a welcoming team of wildlife veterinary professionals


  • Live, breathe and work in the African bush


  • Travel around the country treating and saving wildlife


  • Make a genuine impact helping to conserve endangered animals


  • Learn from dynamic lectures, fitted around the clinical work


  • Work with species such as rhino, elephant, leopard, lions and antelope


  • Stay in everything from 5* lodges to rustic camp sites

Project video

The highly sought after course is led by experts in their field, and is aimed at everyone from vet and nurse students wanting to sample the industry, to exotic or wildlife vets who want to develop their skills further. Attendees can be aged 18 to 50 and as a course delegate you will gain an understanding of wild animal veterinary medicine and the challenges and joys faced when working in Africa. Your time with us will enable you to actively contribute to the protection of endangered wildlife on a global scale.


Amid exciting wildlife work, you will cover a range of applied lectures and teaching modules, to ensure you go home with a huge wealth of knowledge to take your career forward. Lectures are given both in 'lecture room' settings, and out in the field whilst the clinical work is occurring. The course is capped at 12 deligates to ensure the best learning experience. Each lesson you cover is exciting, forward thinking and relevant to conservation and wildlife medicine. Your classroom may be under a shady tree, in a game capture boma or even under a proper roof! 


  • Module 1: Wildlife veterinary medicine

  • Module 2: Conservation & wild animal behaviour

  • Module 3: Human – Wildlife conflict

Module 1: Wildlife veterinary medicine
During this module you will learn about the day to day requirements, procedures and challenges faced in the wildlife industry. You will be equipped with knowledge to develop your clinical skills, including the drugs that you will see used, ‘best practice’ methods for procedures and how to manage and recognise infectious diseases.


Module 2: Conservation & wild animal behaviour
In this module you will learn about how to use your own skills to assist with the decline in wild species. South Africa is a world leader in the protection and maintenance of biodiversity of their natural heritage, and you will learn the steps required for habitat control, conflict management, medical care and the resulting protection of animals that can occur.


MODULE 3 Human – Wildlife conflict
You will be introduced to how conservation can improve local and international lives, and what that can mean for the wildlife in Africa for generations to come.

During the course, you will have a chance to work with a range of exciting and iconic species. We make no guarantees that you will meet all of these animals face to face, but students in previous years have carried out the following work:

 

  • Lion- Health testing, disease screening, translocation and pregnancy diagnosis.

  • Primates: baboons, vervet monkeys, lemurs. Sedating for blood tests, health checks and surgery.

  • Antelope– Net captures are carried out to move large numbers of antelope. This involves a helicopter driving the animals in to a large net trap, then your team hand catching and carrying them to the trucks for transportation.

  • Wildebeest and Zebra– Join the helicopter pilot as he drives animals in to the boma from the air and the ground team prepare the animals for travel. This may include tranquilising and covering sharp horns!

  • Giraffe– Blood and faecal sampling for reserve management. Post mortem investigations.

  • Elephant—Tuberculosis blood testing, translocation, foot/toe nail treatments.

  • Buffalo—Tuberculosis blood testing and capture.



Project Photos

ACCOMMODATION

 

Our accommodation will be dictated by the  places we are working and will range from 5* lodges with verandas and  great views across the savannah, to rustic camp sites with drop toilets  and showers that are open to the evening stars, and much in between!


We do not promise any accommodation type during your stay so ask you to come with an open mind and enjoy what the  game reserves offer us, their vets. There will always be drinkable tap  water, bedding provided, and ample amounts of tasty food for you as we  cater your 3 meals a day. We can cater for most dietary requirements so  please highlight these to us on booking. In  the evenings you will be surrounded by wildlife, enjoy evening  gatherings, nice food and chats about day-time adventures with the team  and your course mates.


Delegates will be able to pay most  accommodations to do their laundry, or some people prefer to bring a  small bottle of travel wash and do most of it themselves. Clothes dry  very fast in our nice warm sunny daytimes. For staying in touch with  people at home, you can unlock your home sim card for use abroad or buy a  local sim card and purchase a data bundle for using the internet. Many  of the places we go get phone and 3G signal, but it is possible some  accommodation or areas of the bush will have no signal. Some lodges will  also have WIFI that you can log in to for free or for a small fee paid  direct to the lodge.

LOCATION


Delegates fly in to Johannesburg airport and meet their course mates on arrival. Ahead of you will lie an exciting fortnight of wildlife work as you gain insight into the veterinary industry and get hands on with real wildlife cases.


During the fortnight you and your team will be nomadic, moving from game reserve to game reserve, treating a wide variety of species. The great advantage of being mobile is that you gain maximum exposure to different procedures, plus you get to see how a variety of animals are managed. On top of this you will enjoy seeing a range of beautiful game reserves. Half way though the course you will fly down to the south Coast of South Africa to a town called George, where you will continue your clinical work until the course ends. This allows deligates the widest variety of work experience possible and to work with our numerous vets in numerous locations. 


South Africa is split in to 9 provinces, and you will work across 3 of them: Gauteng, Limpopo, and Western Cape. Each province has its own unique ecosystems, scenery and cuisine, as you will learn during your stay with us.

PROJECT COST



2024: £2,885


2025: £2,885  



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


• Pre departure assistance with planning and flights from one of our destination specialists
• Transfers to and from Johannesburg airport
• A veterinary manager on the ground 24/7
• All entry in to national parks and reserves
• Ground transportation related to the project
• 3 meals a day
• Safari drives during the project
• Shared accommodation
• Course Merchandising: Cap, Shirt, notebook, pen, USB.
• Certificate of attendance


OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:



• Flights to/from South Africa
• Internal flights to George (if required)
• Personal medical insurance
• Visa for South Africa (free to many nationalities)

START DATES


This project runs on set dates each year.



2024 dates


  • 1st - 12th July FULL 

  • 1st - 12th August FULL

  • 18th - 29th August FULL


2025 dates


  • 26 June - 7 July 

  • 12th - 24th July

  • 1st - 12th August

  • 18th -29th August


Deligates must arrange their flights into and out of Johannesburg International airport. We will meet you there and transport you to the 1st accommodation. We ask you to book a flight arriving in before 10 am. 


During the course we will fly from Johannesburg to George and back again to allow for the additional work in that area. Often our time in George is at the end of the course and as such you may wish to stay and explore Cape Town afterwards, or stay in African to continue your adventure. 

Volunteer feedback

Amélie Rombouts

August 2023

"It was something that made me question what I want to do next in my career! This experience was extraordinary in different ways. Not only did I do more hand-on things I could’ve Imagined, also I learnt so much about conservation and so on!"

Emory Faison

July 2023

"I had the best time. It was truly a singular experience and affirmed for me my own desires to do vet work with Africa’s magnificent wildlife upon my graduation. It was also the first time I got to put my newly minted degree in Wildlife Conservation to use and see my dreams of conservation and vet work become one. I would recommend this experience to all vets and to anyone who wants to better our planet through conservation."

WHAT NEXT?

 

If the idea of joining our team treating, rescuing and working with wildlife sparks your interest, just click the "apply now" button, fill in our form, and we will be in touch with you right away.

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