What is the Veterinarian Volunteering in South Africa all about?
Participate in a veterinarian volunteering in South Africa at a premier game reserve developing your knowledge of diagnosing and treating wildlife in their natural habitats and the challenges being faced in preservation the future of South Africa’s abundant wildlife. Habitat maintenance and conservation work are extremely important to ensure that wildlife and humans are safe. You will have the opportunity to work on activities focused on a big 5 game reserve, getting involved in a range of primary and secondary (preventative) activities. The Big 5 include: lions, African elephants, Cape Buffalos, rhinos and leopards. The reserve is home to 2000 wild animals on its approximately 6000 hectares site and also has a predator educational and rehabilitation centre, which houses endangered and orphaned predators such as white lions, cheetahs and many more. It’s an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the world’s endangered species in their natural habitats, as well as participating in essential day to day conservation activities as well as widening your knowledge of veterinary practices.
Why choose this Veterinarian Volunteering programme in South Africa?
By participating in this veterinarian volunteering you will spend part of your time on the programme working alongside a qualified vet who spend time working with elephants, reptiles, big cats and other species so that they can return to wild. You will also be helping take care of animals that have been rescued and reside in the sanctuaries that have been established on the reserve.
Role of the Wildlife Conservation volunteer
During your veterinarian volunteering in South Africa you will participate in wildlife and conservation work and spend some of your time shadowing a local vet, as well as other local wildlife experts who have years of experience in the field. Tasks vary depending on the needs of the game reserve, the health of animals and the seasons, and may include:
- Checks on general health of wildlife and darting of animals with antibiotics
- Treatment of wildlife for parasites and wounds found during game capture, if necessary. It is always preferable to allow animals to heal without human intervention where possible and often observation is equally as valuable.
- Treatment of domestic animals based at the reserve such as cows, horses, sheep etc.
- Monitoring of behavioural characteristics of wildlife within and out of the predator camps.
- Application of boosters and vitamin supplements where it is determined they are required
- Autopsy on fresh dead animals found for above mentioned symptoms or parasites (if the opportunity arises on the reserve).
- Monitoring of lion kills found (they are rare)
- We may also include the basic utilisation of the dart gun on a target but only if needed
Volunteers will also be involved in the conservation and habitat maintenance work at the Reserve and these include removal of alien vegetation in and around the reserve, lion tracking and monitoring, school feeding schemes (let us know if you are interested as spaces are limited), wildlife structures, tree planting and landscaping, game drives, predator interaction and caring, fence patrol and game counts. There will be discussions regarding treatment, diagnoses and possible causes of diseases and injuries during your placement. All activities are dependant on the weather. Please note that a game reserve is not the same as a domestic veterinary practice where animals arrive daily in high numbers and the expectation should be of working and engaging in direct vet activities twice per week on average. Important work involves taking steps to engage in preventative treatment of the animals as well as treating them.
What skills do I need to be a Veterinary volunteer?
Volunteers are required to have an interest in wildlife and conservation and will be a good experience for veterinary and animal science students. A full CV/Resume will be requested upon application to assess your suitability for the programme. All volunteers are asked to attend a telephone interview to assess suitability for the placement. It is recommended that you bring your own laptop for documenting your learning as this is an important aspect of the volunteering. You will be asked to produce a presentation for the project at the end of your placement.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To work with an experienced vet
To support efforts to protect the Big 5
Widen your knowledge of veterinarian practices
Where will I work in South Africa?
Located on the eastern seaboard Port Elizabeth can be found on the southern tip of South Africa. The lodge and reserve are approximately 85 km away from this bustling city. This beautiful place situated in the Eastern Cape is home to the village of Sidbury. This was established by British Settlers and was built to support sheep farming communities. Along with the wildlife activities there is plenty to see and do in the area. Port Elizabeth has a beautiful beach and there are plenty of activities to participate in including hiking, bungee jumping, whale watching and watersports.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4+ weeks
- Cost: £2137/$3336 for 4 weeks
£436 / $680 extra for each additional week
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: Grahamstown, South Africa
- Project activities: assisting with conservation activities, observation of predators to assess health, discuss and assist with treatment of domestic and rehabilitating wildlife, monitoring of animal behaviour, blood exams, assisting with treatment of animals where appropriate
- Working hours: 7:00 – 16:30 subject to project needs and weather
- Project availability: All year around
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: Luxury single sex dorms, dining room, lounge outdoor braii (BBQ) and swimming pool (for an extra cost a sharing room can be arranged)
- Food: 3 meals per day-Breakfast, lunch and dinner, soft drinks with meals
- Weekly laundry service (for an additional cost)
- Scheduled airport pick up and drop off from Port Elizabeth
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation, project induction provided
- Support: 24-hour support from on-site coordinator
- Cap and t-shirt
- Weekend transfers and accommodation Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown or Jeffreys Bay (depending on local events)
What is not included
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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