Mixed Veterinary Experience
I don’t have a lot of animal or veterinary experience, can I still take part on the programme?
No experience is required- the programme accepts people from all backgrounds; including vet students, pre-vet undergraduates, students on a gap year, vet nurses, vet techs, stundet nurses and techs, high school students, or anyone who just loves animals! This programme is designed to give participants a hands-on veterinary experience that they might not get in their home country, whether it be to build up a CV, to decide if veterinary medicine is the right path, or just to experience the wildlife of Africa while helping animals in need.
What does the fee include?
The programme fee includes accommodation, all food (three meals per day), transfers to and from Eastgate airport, Hoedspruit, all programme activities, the excursions listed, and transportation while on the project.
How do I get to the programme?
A staff member will be waiting for you when you arrive at Eastgate airport. They will provide a transfer to your accommodation.
When is the best time of year to attend?
The programme runs the same all year round, so there is no real best time to take part. Many people decide based on the weather, as some people enjoy hot weather and some people do not.
What is the best length of time to join the programme for?
You can stay from a minimum time of two weeks. As a general rule, the longer you can stay the more you will get out of the programme; all of the work is dependent on what is available at the time, so the longer you stay the more varied your experience will be.
What is the accommodation like?
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.
How many people sleep in a room?
This depends on how busy the programme is, but expect 2-5 people in one room.
What animals might I work with?
This varies from week to week. Expect to work in rural communities with dogs, cats, donkey, goats and cattle once or twice a week. Farm work may include cattle, pigs and sheep. Wildlife work may consist of antelope species such as impala, blesbok, nyala, sable, kudu and eland, and you may also work with zebra, giraffe, buffalo and rhino. The wildlife aspect of the programme very much depends on what species of animals need moving or treating at the time.
When do we work, and how long for?
Like most work with animals this largely depends on the activities available that day. The programme generally runs from Monday - Friday. Hours vary a lot so be prepared for anything! When you are not working, you will be taken on excursions or extra activities, such as game drives, visiting a local wildlife rehabilitation center, and visiting elephants.
What will I be doing?
This programme offers hands-on experience with small animals, farm animals, and wildlife. The goal of the program is to provide veterinary care to animals that would otherwise have none, as well as to provide students with hands-on veterinary experience.
The wildlife element is mainly game capture - the immobilization and transportation of wild game, usually during relocation. Occasionally, an animal will be darted to check or treat an injury. Participants help to monitor vitals, inject medication, and physically transport the animal.
Work with farm animals is focused on showing students exactly what it means to be a vet. Farm work may include basic handling and husbandry, artificial insemination of pigs and cows, injecting, dipping and dosing large animals, pregnancy testing, sponging sheep and lambing.
The small animal component is also the community work section of the program- the goal being to create a healthier and more comfortable population of animals in the local villages by providing basic care. There is a big focus on preventative measures against fleas, ticks and mange as these are big problems. The team also does their best to treat wounds and illness.
Will there be internet?
Wi-fi will be available at the accommodation, however 'This Is Africa' and we cannot always guarantee the wi-fi working smoothly!
Can I do laundry while on the project?
Yes you can, there is a laundry service at the accommodation.
Do I need any vaccinations or anti-malarial medication?
Regarding vaccinations prior to travelling. you will need to ask your doctor as this varies depending on where you are travelling from, and what vaccinations you have had in the past. We strongly recommend you get any vaccinations advised by your doctor. Due to working closely we animals we also strongly recommend a full course of rabies vaccinations.
What should I pack?
See below for a suggested packing list.
Suggested Packing List
You should pack the following for all weather conditions:
•Sweaters/jumpers and a jacket (that can get dirty)
•Work shoes (boots or sneakers that can get dirty)
• Work tops (tank tops or t-shirts that can get dirty)
•Work pants (shorts and long pants that can get dirty)
•A few weekend day outfits (for weekend activities)
• Warm night clothes
• Camera and charger
• Backpack or small bag
• South African/International power plug converter/adapter
Books, hard drive with movies/series
• Insect Repellent
Notepad/diary and pen