Wildlife Veterinary Internship
Are you passionate about animals and their care? If you’re considering a career in Veterinary Science, or are already in training and in need of some hands-on, practical experience, we’ve got the most amazing opportunity for you. Our Veterinary Internship Programme gives interns a chance to experience hands-on veterinary work and get in-depth insight into animal management in an African game reserve setting.
Living your passion, working with animals in the awesome African bush - you’re going to have the best internship experience you could dream of.
Learning about the treatment and management of African wildlife
Rearing orphaned wild animals.
Working alongside trained professionals in this fascinating speciality.
Experiencing life in the African bush.
At a Glance
Project duration: 2 weeks
Location of project: Eastern Cape, South Africa
Airport to fly into: Port Elizabeth (PLZ)
Accommodation: In one of two comfortable houses in single sex dorms.
Activities: Wildlife management, rearing orphaned animals, game counts, game capture, conservation management and more.
Getting to the project: You’ll be living on the project.
Working hours: 07.30 to 16.30 Monday to Friday
Accommodation: Shared dormitory room in volunteer house, same sex rooms
You need to organize: Flights, insurance, visas
The veterinary science internship on this amazing five star game reserve allows you to really understand the intricacies of a vet specializing in African wildlife. You’ll be working on everything from the Big 5 to the littlest animals at the bottom of the food chain, all living freely in their natural environment and encountering the hazards that come with it!
Working hand in hand with the professional vets on the reserve, you’ll gain hands-on experience caring for these with these animals and also learn about animal management and prevention of disease and injuries.
Rearing of orphaned animals
Wildlife structure enrichment
And much more.
Day 1 (Monday) – hello and welcome!
Arrive into Port Elizabeth Airport (airport code PLZ) where you will you will be met by a project team member and taken to a nearby lodge to wait till the schedule shuttle leaves for the reserve. If you aren’t able to arrange a flight to get there before 4.15pm, we recommend you fly in a day early. We can arrange an early airport pick-up for you including one night’s accommodation at an extra cost.
Day 2 (Tuesday) – induction and start work!
There’s so much we want to teach you so it’s best to get started straight away. After a good breakfast, you’ll recieve an induction and introduction to the project and its animals. Orientation will take you through what you can expect from your project, all about South Africa and dos and don’ts. You’ll be introduced to the experienced experts who’ll be guiding you through your training and they’ll let you know what will be expected of you – and what you can expect to learn. It’s also a great opportunity to ask any burning questions you’ve got.
Day 3 to 5 (Wednesday to Friday) –let’s get learning!
Working hand in hand with the specialists on the job, you’ll learn all about the animals they work with, their daily activities and the conservation projects they’re involved with. You’ll soon find yourself completely immersed in their amazing world of animal rehabilitation, conservation and animal monitoring and caring.
Day 6 - 7 (Saturday and Sunday) – it’s the weekend!
On your free days, you can relax and chill at the pool or escape to the beach and other great destinations. Learn to surf in Jeffrey’s Bay (about an hour away) where the waves are world-class. Visit the city of Port Elizabeth around 45 minutes away or visit Addo Elephant Park or other private game reserves if you feel like some more animals.
Included is your return transport from the reserve and the nights’ accommodation for the Saturday night. All activities and meals will be for your own account.
Following weeks – keep it up!
You’ll learn more and more about the project and the wonderful animals and birds who live there. You’ll get to know the work that is part of your future career, and probably learn a lot about yourself. It will be an internship experience that very few people in the world will ever enjoy.
Last day – goodbye, we’ll miss you!
Having said goodbye and packed your bags, it’s off to the airport. You’ll take a shuttle bus or taxi to Port Elizabeth Airport - please budget around 450 South African Rand. Please book your flight home to depart from Port Elizabeth Airport (PLZ).
Based on this beautiful Eastern Cape game reserve, you’ll spend two fascinating weeks working with the local wildlife including big cats, elephant, antelope, giraffe and countless bird and small mammal species, and enjoying lectures and hands-on conservation management tasks.
You are likely to find yourself taking part in exciting African wildlife captures, observing how the team dart, sedate, inoculate and examine animals. You’ll spend most days assisting the vets with animal care and rehabilitation in the clinic as well as heading out on emergency calls when necessary.
Work hours are usually from 07.30 to 16.30, Monday to Friday. You’ll need to wear comfortable clothes in neutral colours such as beige, khaki, brown and olive green, and comfortable shoes such as hiking boots.
Minimum qualifications and experience required to take part in this internship:
Grade 12 certificate
CV, including certification of any completed courses
About the Project
Spanning more than 6000 pristine hectares of African bush, this reserve offers its guests a five star safari but is also focused on conservation and animal management. They run a predator education and rehabilitation centre which is home to many different species of orphaned, abused or endangered animals and an elephant sanctuary.
While you're here
There are two comfortable houses on offer. Both have single sex dorm sleeping arrangements. Bathrooms have hot, running water, showers and regular flush loos. There’s also a lounge area, kitchen area, library area fireplace and entertainment facilities. You’ll be only a short distance from the shops and beach. Nearby you’ll find a swimming pool,
tennis courts and cricket field.
Your meals are all provided and you’ll never go hungry!
Breakfasts usually consist of cereals, bread, butter, jam, tea, coffee and cheese, but
sometimes there are eggs, sausages or baked beans, and sometimes a combination
of the above.
For lunch and dinner there’s a wide variety ranging from burgers, chicken and
chips, vegetarian dishes, potato casserole and so on.
Please note this is an Alcohol Free reserve - however you will be able to drink on weekends offsite
Facilities and the area
Laundry services are available on a Tuesday or Thursday at a nominal fee.
This is not a malaria area but it is advisable to bring insect repellent and a mosquito net to
Free wifi is available although bush internet can be erratic.
Bedding is provided but bring a sleeping bag for away weekends and extra warmth.
Bring along a towel
There are public telephones available for use at the reserve. Telephone cards can be obtained from the local shop. There is also Mobile phone signal.
On weekends you will be able to go visit the surrounding areas and towns such Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth to experience the golden beaches, beautiful Garden Route, world class surfing and other game reserves. Or you can stay and relax by the pool at the reserve.
Advice & Safety
Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay and someone will always be available in case of emergency.
What you get
We're always available to offer support and guidance before, during and after your trip.
Thorough project briefing materials
Once you’ve booked you'll receive a full pack of all the information you need for the project. It contains general information about volunteering, your specific project and South Africa as well as advice on safety, visas and inoculations.
Don’t worry about arriving in a new country on your own. We’ll be there to welcome you and take you to your accommodation.
Soon after you arrive you’ll attend a thorough orientation with our team. It covers everything you need to know about your next few days, dos and don’ts and your safety. You can ask any questions and find out more about the fun stuff to do around Cape Town and South Africa.
Accommodation and meals
Accommodation is included with all projects and meals are included with some. We only use locally-owned and operated accommodation so that part of your placement fee is filtering back into the local economy. Most projects offer homestay, guesthouse or shared volunteer houses as standard accommodation, but some offer the chance to upgrade to a more comfortable living standard.
24/7 emergency support
We’re always on hand in case of an emergency.
After you've booked
- You will receive a welcome email confirming your booking
- You’ll receive a full project pack with all the info you need
- You’ll be asked for any extra info if we need it – such as doctor’s notes for medical conditions, or maybe a CV on some projects
- You’ll need to pay if you haven’t paid already (at least 90 days before travelling)
Then the fun starts! Next you should:
- Book your flights
- Arrange suitable travel insurance
- Get a visa for your trip if it's needed
- Visit a nurse or travel clinic for advice on inoculations and malaria prevention
- Start packing and come and join us!
*Remember to keep our contact details in a safe place in your hand luggage in case you need to contact us during your travels.
About South Africa
South Africans are patriotic and passionate about their country. And it’s not despite the country’s famously troubled history – it’s because of it! The people of this democratic country are so proud of how far they have come from the dark days of Apartheid and it makes us grateful for the diversity of cultures and languages that make up our amazing rainbow nation.
South Africa is a country of diversity in so many ways. It’s not a big country but travelling across the length and breadth of it, you’ll encounter an incredible range of climates and landscapes. There’s beautiful Cape Town, with its Mediterranean feel, pristine white beaches, sparkling oceans and magnificent Table Mountain providing the craggy backdrop for every setting. Travel east along the Garden Route with its picture-postcard coastal villages and you’ll eventually reach Durban and surrounds, a tropical area where the sun shines almost every day, the sea is warm and the surfing is fantastic! Then there’s the rugged Drakensberg mountain range, a place of rich Zulu heritage, spectacular views and jagged sweeps of peaks. Further north you’ll hit South Africa’s famous ‘veld’ or bush where you’ll find Africa’s big five and many thousands of other species of animals, hiding out in landscapes that are lit at sunset by the most vivid orange, pinks and purples.
There are so many things to see and do here that you’ll need years. But if your time is limited, here’s our top five must-dos:
You can’t come to Africa and not experience the amazing animals, the wild and beautiful African bush and the chorus of an African dawn. Kruger National Park is the most popular choice but there are a host of other parks in the northern parts of South Africa and the Free State as well as KwaZulu-Natal, offering a range of options from the most luxurious accommodation with chefs at your service to DIY game viewing and camping.
Adventure is the name of the game in this crazy country and if it’s outdoors and adrenalin-inducing, you’ll find it here. From the highest bungee jump and highest commercial abseiling in the world to shark cage diving, downhill mountain biking, trail running, walking safaris, big wave surfing and multi-day hiking, there’s something for ever thrill seeker.
South Africa has thousands of miles of glorious coastline, with Blue Flag beaches and hidden gems dotted along its length. There’s beaches for the glamorous, where you can go to see and be seen, beaches perfect for families, beaches for walking, beaches for swimming and beaches for watersports. There’s probably beaches which have never been trodden by a tourist before. Go on, we dare you to find it!
Nightlife, restaurants and entertainment
No holiday would be complete without a few good nights out and South Africa knows how to entertain. With so many cultures making up our population, there’s loads of delicious food on offer full of every fresh ingredient you could think of. There are pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes to suit every taste. South Africa is famous for its wonderful wines and there’s a craft beer revolution happening right here. Pack your dancing shoes!
A taste of township and culture
South Africa has a rich, tumultuous history dotted with dismal lows and incredible highs – and full of astounding stories from amazing people. It’s what makes South Africa the colourful place it is. Museums of every shape and size document the various aspects of our human and natural history, arts and culture – you’ll find them all over the country. Or why not take a township tour and experience the true heart of South African culture? If you’re visiting Cape Town, come to Kommetjie and visit Masiphumelele with the Township Sisters, our special Volunteer and Explore partners, and help support the sustainable development of this vibrant township.