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Updated: Mar 14

If you are a follower of Worldwide Vets you have probably seen our new THRIVE course offered as a CE/CPD option for veterinary professionals. The slogan for this course reads "Continuing education, just not as you know it​"- if you're anything like me you're probably sitting there thinking well what makes this CE option any different to others on offer?

Sit back, relax and let us explain to you just what makes this course so unique! Here's the run down, the inside scoop.... anything you may be wondering about this new offering.

What better way to show you this than to take you through the course as if you are living it yourself? Buckle up kids.... our journey begins in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe- one of the most iconic sites in Africa!

As you step off the plane the humidity of the African air hits you, greeting you and welcoming you with a warm embrace to the country of Zimbabwe. A member from the lodge is waiting as you step through the international arrival doors and you are ushered along into the vehicle to be taken to the lodge. The twenty minute drive is filled with livestock at the side of the road, African women balancing their wares on the top of their heads, thick bush and so much more to take in! At the lodge after a quick safety briefing and welcome talk you are ushered to your room to settle in before lunch.

The lunch table is filled with veterinary professionals from all around the world chatting away about their lives back home and their hopes for the trip... the excitement is evident... (so is the jet lag!) but everyone is rearing to go and too scared to miss out on anything! After lunch we head out on the safari vehicles to our sundowners spot. On the way you encounter your first wildlife sightings and Africa begins to come to life before your eyes. Families of baboon coming down to the river to drink, warthogs running across the vlei with their tails pointing heavenwards like antennae trying to catch a signal, proud waterbuck grazing, impala scattered across the planes. As you cross the riverbed you encounter a herd of buffalo cooling off from the afternoon heat. A giraffe blocks the road towering above the game vehicle before taking off into the bush. Elephant droppings litter the road, elephant elephant! Directly behind the game vehicle! Finally we arrive at our sundowners spot. The bush suddenly drops away at the edge of the gorge, the rushing water from the waterfall upstream flows below - a truly magnificent setting to bond with fellow colleagues as the sun sets over the African horizon.

(Above are photographs from our first afternoon from the first two Thrive sessions)

The bark of baboons and distant trumpeting of elephants marks the beginning of a new day. After a quick coffee we all load up into the lodge vehicle to be taken to the boating harbor. A double decked boat awaits us at the jetty site- one floor with a beautiful breakfast spread laid out for us and above a comfortable set up of sofas and small coffee tables. We set off down the Zambezi river. The sky alive with bird-life, hippos pepper the Zambezi river-their ears wiggling above the surface of the water and catching the rays of sunlight. After sitting down for a wonderful breakfast floating down the mighty Zambezi you settle in for the morning lectures. Could you ask for a better backdrop when diving into the first topics on personal development?

Lunch is then at the lodge and with the morning boat ride having set the tone for the day the afternoon session is focused on mental health and well being within the veterinary profession. The lecture space is set within nature once again- the plooms of spray from the waterfall are visible on the horizon, wildlife wander around- a pleasant surprise of warthog or bush buck (small antelope) are welcome visitors around the lecture space during talks. Lectures continue in this space through the next day - of course with short breaks to hop in the swimming pool and cool off, a quick lookout at the watering hole for wildlife coming down to drink, and even a sneaky cocktail to ward off the heat!

At 4pm we all load up in the game vehicles and off we go to Chamabondo National Park! Once again Africa sets the scene, the thick bush opens up into wide rolling vleis, the acacia trees marking the boundary of the vlei like an amphitheatre setting the stage for the Zimbabwean wildlife to make their appearance. Zebra, giraffe, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, and kudu make are the first sightings. A huge elephant bull wanders through the vlei- bathing himself in dust, a flick of his trunk and he is bathed in a halo of dust catching the light. Magic!

As the afternoon gets cooler and the sun starts to cast a golden hue across the plains, we alight from the vehicles to enjoy a cold drink under the cool of a huge acacia. A herd of buffalo enjoy an afternoon drink at the waterhole directly in front of us. Suddenly- thundering hoof-beats- dust billowing from the earth like smoke- two buffalo approaching the watering hole at speed with something in their wake- 3 figures barely visible in the dust. They break through the dust barrier and the forms are more clear- 3 wild dog on the hunt! Goosebumps, chills, you know this is a once in a lifetime moment! (This actually happened on our December 2023 course!)

A bonfire is burning at the lodge when you return. You gather round it with the rest of the delegates to share stories of your day before settling in for a safari dinner.

6am and it's time to go! Today's mission- one of the 7 wonders of the world. Mosi oa tunya- the smoke that thunders- the mighty Victoria Falls. The spray from the falls lightly dusts your face with moisture - a cool reprieve from the heat already beginning to set in for the day. The shear force of the waterfall catches your breath- what a sight to behold! The feeling of standing before such natural power and beauty is indescribable- photographs and videos do not do it justice! A humbling experience is a good start in describing this.

After being absolutely drenched in the rainforest a warm coffee/ tea with a beautiful continental spread for a breakfast is a welcomed treat at the Lookout Cafe. Once warm and full you continue on with lectures for the rest of the morning. The lecture room setting is on the side of the gorge-cliff faces and rushing white water below set the scene.

11am rolls along and here you are standing on the edge of the gorge about to jump. It's canopy tour time! Talk about facing your fears and pushing your limits! Your stomach drops as you feel the earth leave the soles of your feet-panic- breathe- calm. Once you get over the initial rush of adrenaline you take the time to look around- WOW! What a view! As you approach the end of the last zipline your feelings of "please let this be over" have changed to "oh no, that was the last one". An odd sense of accomplishment washes over you and you're glad that you did it! You took the leap!

A delectable lunch is waiting for you back at the Lookout Cafe before you head back to camp to finish off the afternoon of lectures.

It's another early morning start -and today you have a very special appointment with some very large guests. The property you're staying at is home to rescued elephants that are on their way to building their own herds to hopefully being released back into the wild. Today is your day to meet them, learn about their history as well as the conservation efforts taking place surrounding these magnificent creatures.

The rest of the day is spent in lectures at the lodge until late into the afternoon. By this time you're wondering how the week is moving so quickly. The enneagram is next- a personality typing test to help you better understand the most effective ways to work as an individual as well as to work with others. The day is filled with discussion, practical activities to map out these ideas and how to apply them in your day to day.

At 3:30 you head out on your final game drive of the week. The Zambezi National park- African bush on one side and the river on the other- the most beautiful and ever-changing landscape to explore. The rush of the week is starting to take its toll- self-reflection and taking in so many new ideas and topics can be an exhausting task but so very rewarding. The game drive is a welcomed calm to end the day and re-centre.

The final day has arrived! Time to wrap up everything that has been learned, reflect on it, and learn to apply it in your day to day! That is what today's lectures are focused on- you spend the day doing activities based on these concepts, discussions led by the lecturers, and short talks. At the end of the day, gathered around the pool, with a refreshing drink in hand we take a moment to sit together- bringing it home, reflecting on all we have learnt this week, sitting in comfortable silence for internal thoughts to process.

That evening we head to a very special boma dinner. Dinner is set by candlelight, lanterns line the makeshift walls, and a sky full of stars sets the scene. Together we share a meal of Zimbabwean cuisine, tribal dancers harmonise beautifully, serenading the group. A true celebration and farewell. The night is filled with laughter, dancing, good food and good conversation- what a way to end an incredible week!

Well there you have it- a run through of Thrive- We believe that the atmosphere created through the setting and activities on this course are perfect for tackling subjects such as mental health and self development. Numbers on the course are limited to allow for personal connections to be made and meaningful and intentional learning to take place- as opposed to a stuffy lecture room crammed with hundreds of delegates. The lectures are specially designed and geared towards veterinary professionals and our aim is to create a safe space within the industry for these difficult topics to be addressed.

To book your slot for 2025 visit THRIVE Worldwide Vets

Below are a few testimonials from previous THRIVE delegates:

"Multitasking, just like any self-respecting veterinarian, I initially signed up for the THRIVE experience for the sole purpose of supporting Worldwide Vets, a young but already impressive organization improving animal health internationally, from the frontlines in Ukraine to the most remote areas in India, Thailand and South Africa. I have to admit that I did not do much research regarding the offered CE and would have been absolutely happy to “just” experience the tremendous wildlife and culture in Zimbabwe.

Not only did THRIVE organize an amazing cultural experience (safari drives with highly knowledgeable guides, village visits, zip lining, phenomenal food and sunset cocktail hours in the bush overlooking vistas and wildlife) but provided the highest level of quality and value in continued education.   This THRIVE course specifically concentrated on mental health in the veterinary profession and provided research-based tools to improve work-life balance, manage staff, and help clients navigate stressful times.  An absolutely invaluable must for, I believe, any professional.

I will be, without a doubt, participating with Worldwide Vets’ well-organized, high-quality experiences again and can only strongly recommend it to any of my fellow professionals."

-Tanja C. Wittrock, DVM (Michigan USA)

"Thrive Wellness CPD in Zimbabwe provided an incredible experience that left a lasting impact. One of the highlights was the opportunity to connect with veterinarians from around the globe who share a deep commitment to personal growth and professional development. It was truly inspiring to witness the dedication these individuals have towards bettering themselves and making a positive impact in the veterinary field. Moreover, the setting itself was nothing short of breathtaking. Surrounded by the stunning beauty of Zimbabwe, it created the perfect backdrop for moments of introspection, connecting with nature, and reflecting on the profound intersection of life, nature, and our work. This experience was a true privilege, reminding us of the importance of personal well-being and the profound influence it has on our veterinary practice."

-Lawren Babek, DVM (Hong Kong)

"I attended the Thrive course in Zimbabwe in February 24.  It is difficult to put into words this amazing experience.   

Elephants, zebras, warthogs and giraffes, beautiful accommodation, a fantastic hospitality team and lovely food. 

Lectures in unbelievable locations like on the Zambezi river with hippos or overlooking Victoria falls with fish eagles ! 

Opportunities to challenge yourself with activities like zip lining... local culture, game drives, feeding elephants and genuinely lovely people everywhere we went.  Social activities like cocktails in stunning locations, swimming in the beautiful pools during lunch breaks and a traditional Boma dinner to name but a few ! Making connections for life !

Add all those things to some very well delivered CPD that was informative, practical and for me allowed me to develop and reflect on my management style.  I could share experiences and learn from others in an open and safe learning environment discussing topics I feel are essential to the future of the veterinary profession. 

This has to be how CPD should be done !"

-Helen Trory, DVM (UK)

"I cannot put into words the transformative experience that was Thrive 2024. From the setting to the presentations to the friendships made, I brought back invaluable information that has improved my practice and my daily life. My personal favorite was the enneagram work. Seeing my entire personality, flaws and all, on a piece of paper was a bit daunting at first, but working with Christine was so incredibly illuminating. Learning how to work with other personality types within my own skill set and learning to bring out the positives in others has already improved my practice in a measurable way. The setting of the conference was truly magical, with lectures taking place while watching hippos and elephants in the Zambezi, creating an almost surreal backdrop for learning. It was an experience I will never forget and cannot wait to repeat."

-Kyle Grusling, DVM (Michigan, USA)


Looking to help us abroad?

Veterinary students volunteering with wildlife zebra in Africa
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