Mixed Veterinary Experience
Based in Limpopo, South Africa, this veterinary experience covers as many areas of the veterinary field as possible; including work with wildlife, farm animals, equine, and small animals.
Students visit a different location each day to work with vets in the local area; including wildlife veterinarians, non-profit organisations during community work, and local farmers and large animal vets.
A life-changing, hands-on veterinary experience.
The Mixed Veterianry Experience is perfect for both those already studying veterinary medicine, and those wanting to study veterinary medicine in the future, and wanting to gain experience.
This veterinary experience is also perfect for veterinary nurses, veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants, as an exciting career break, CPD hours or just to gain further experience in a country different to their own, where things may be done slightly differently to back home.
The programme is very hands-on, with the majority of veterinary work taking place in the field, as opposed to in a clinical setting. Learning is mostly through hands-on experience and informal lectures before, during and after activities, with some classroom-style lectures.
Students can stay on the programme for between 2 – 12 weeks, with flexible dates throughout the year. We guarantee you will fall in love with South Africa, and its animals, and never want to leave!
This section of the program gives you lots of practice with handling and treating large farm animals, including cattle, pigs, goats and sheep. This will take place in local rural communities, and on commercial farms.
Activities may include:
Artificial Insemination of cattle
Injecting livestock (cattle, sheep, goats)
Learning and partaking in different methods of dipping livestock for parasites
Dosing livestock to treat and prevent endo-parasites
A lectured tour around cattle farms and goat farms
A visit to the abattoir (optional activity – provided for those students needing experience to apply for vet school)
If there is anything specific you need to cover, please let us know, and we will do our best to make sure it is on your programme.
The Mixed Veterinary Experience is field based, with a diverse range of veterinary activities.
Whether you’re bouncing across the bush in the back of an old truck in pursuit of a darted giraffe, or monitoring the vital signs of an immobilised sable, working alongside and African wildlife vet isn’t just work experience, it’s the experience of a lifetime!
This component of the programme will provide participants with hands-on experience working with African wildlife. Limpopo is a prime area for wildlife, with plenty of huge wildlife reserves, meaning that students get to work with some really exciting species. In order to be able to work with the widest range of species during your trip we advise staying for as long as possible!
Most of this work with wildlife consists of the relocation of wildlife from one reserve to another (to prevent inbreeding and over population), although participants may also be involved with treatment of injuries or disease with wildlife from time to time.
Participants take part in the whole process, from going out with the vet to dart animals, positioning and monitoring immobilised wildlife, administering medications, recovery of the animals, and re-releasing them. Students will also learn about the pharmacology and different drugs used for wildlife.
The programme teams up with the ARRC ‘Animal Relief for Rural Communities’ non-profit organisation, to assist with the care of local animals that have no other access to veterinary care. Participants can help to make a big impact on the welfare of animals in the local communities, as well as getting an amazing insight into the culture of the local Shangaan people.
Work in the local townships and rural communities is will include work with dogs, donkeys, horses, cattle, pigs, goats, and sheep.
Participants will learn how to handle these animals safely, how to treat and prevent both ecto-parasites and endo-parasites, learn about the various diseases that are present due to lack of vaccinations, and practice treating wounds and small injuries, and will also play a role in educating owners.
Who Can Take Part?
Vet students can use the programme as extra hands-on experience, as EMS hours (ask your university), or just for their own enjoyment.
These participants may be students in high school, students on a gap year or those in college or university wanting to go on and study veterinary medicine. The programme allows these participants to gain experience that will help them decide if veterinary medicine is for them, will provide a unique experience that will stand out on applications for vet school, and will provide an opportunity for practical experience that may not otherwise be available.
Vet Students, Veterinary Nurses/Technicians + Student Veterinary Nurses/Technicians
The programme allows these participants the chance to practice skills they have already learnt, whilst developing new ones. They may take part in the programme as part of their course and learning, or simply for a new experience in the case of qualified veterinary nurses. Some qualified nurses have also used the programme as CPD hours.
These participants do not have to have a lot of experience in veterinary work and may or may not be interested in veterinary medicine. The focus is more on the exciting and unique opportunity to work with exotic wildlife, experience new things and on helping diseased and malnourished animals in local communities.
EXTRA ACTIVITIES + EXCURSIONS
The following activities and excursions are also included in the cost of the programme:
• Lectures on a wide variety of veterinary topics
• A visit to the local reptile park to learn about health and husbandry of snakes and other species
• Dart-gun practice
• Visits to a school to educate children on how to care for their animals.
• A visit to the Kruger National Park
• Panoramic Route excursion
• Visit to Moholoholo wildlife rehabilitation centre
• African elephant interaction
• Visit to Jessica the hippo
• Day and night game drives
These activities are mainly for weekends and when other work is cancelled.
Participants may, on occasion, also get involved with any sterilization drives in the area, or spend the day at one of the local veterinary clinics to observe surgeries. This is not guaranteed as it depends on what is available at the time.
Accommodation is at various nature inspired camps in the Limpopo area. Which camp is used will depend on how many participants are booked in at time, so further details will be given after booking.
Each camp is very comfortable, with housekeeping services, a laundry service, and wi-fi available.
The camping style is more ‘glamping’ than camping, With A-frame tents that fit full beds inside, and en-suite bathrooms. You will have hot-water showers, a toilet and a basin.
Depending on how busy the programme is there will be 2-5 participants per room.
Wi-fi is available, however please be aware ‘This Is Africa’! This means the connection may at times be weak, and will be slower than you are used to. For basic communication the wi-fi works well, however for downloading, watching movies and video calls it can be a bit hit and miss!
Food is included in the cost of the programme (three meals a day). Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements can be catered for.