Travel to South Africa for a unique opportunity on a truly diverse veterinary programme!
Work with African wildlife, domestic animals needing help, and a wide range of large animals.
No previous veterinary experience required.
Looking for an exciting, animal focused adventure?
Join us in the Eastern Cape of South Africa for an unforgettable and life changing experience.
The Wild Inside Adventures Pre-Veterinary Programme is open to anyone who loves working with animals, and would like an exciting and educational experience in one of the world's most beautiful countries.
Whether you are wanting more experience before applying to vet school, are already in vet school, are a student or qualified veterinary nurse or vet tech, or you simply just love being around animals, this experience may be for you.
The programme combines a mixture of work with African wildlife on game reserves, working with livestock at farms, charity work with a wide range of domestic species within local townships and rural communities, and experience within a commercial veterinary clinic.
Join a diverse pre-veterinary project for a hands-on, educational and fun experience!
Watch the video below of past student Sibel's experience on the programme....
The pre-veterinary programme is extremely diverse, with a wide range of activities, made up of four main components:
Click the above links for more information on each section. Participants on the project experience South Africa's vast array of life through both practical and theoretical lessons.
The hands-on approach of the programme offers participants the invaluable opportunity to gain experience within the veterinary medicine field, work with a wide range of species, and help communities with no access to veterinary care.
Participants experience the 'real' South Africa: discovering new cultures, travelling around the Eastern Cape, and working within townships, rural communities, game reserves and farms in the area.
Who Should Apply?
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.
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.
Learn about wildlife pharmacology.
Practice monitoring immobilised wildlife and checking vitals.
Administer medications to wildlife.
Take part in game counts and species identification.
Learn about and assist with parasite control.
Practice safe handling and transportation of a range of wildlife species.
This part of the programme includes game captures, an experience unique to Southern Africa! Work as part of a game capture team alongside a vet as wildlife is located, immobilised, transported, relocated and released, or as they receive veterinary treatment.
There is no better adrenaline rush than running through the bush on a game capture, racing against time to keep the animal safe and comfortable!
Most of the wildlife work involves antelope species, with blesbok, nyala and impala being common in the area. Species participants may also work with are zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and other species of antelope such as eland, springbok and hartebeest.
Some of our lucky students will also have the opportunity to be involved with buffalo, lion and rhino!
Participants staying for longer periods are more likely to encounter a wider range of species during the wildlife aspect of the project.
This section of the programme gives participants the chance to work with a range of livestock species at local commercial farms, including pigs, sheep and cattle.
This experience can be invaluable to those wanting to work with large animals in the future, with lots of practice handling and treating large farm animals.
Injecting, dipping and providing other preventative healthcare to a range of livestock species.
Artificial insemination of cattle and pigs.
Learning about common diseases in livestock, and learning about illnesses and diseases specific to South Africa.
Treating and preventing endo + ecto-parasites in livestock.
Hoof trimming - sheep and goats.
Safe handling and husbandry of large animals.
Lectured tours around dairy and pig farms.
Assisting and learning about herd health.
Pregnancy testing cattle and sheep via manual palpation and ultrasound scans.
Lambing at local sheep farms.
Treating minor injuries.
This part of the programme really allows participants to make a difference in South Africa, as well as getting an amazing insight into the culture of the local Xhosa people.
Participants will visit townships in the area, treating and helping domestic animals that would otherwise receive no veterinary treatment. Visits to rural communities involve treating livestock in a similar situation.
Participants will learn how to handle domestic animals safely, how to treat and prevent both ecto-parasites and endo-parasites, practice treating wounds, and will also play a role in educating the community.
A range of species is covered, from dipping dogs to treating cattle, goats and sheep.
Spay drives are also included in this section of the programme when available.
Usually followed by a group of inquisitive local Xhosa children, participants will be thrown right into the centre of Xhosa communities, and make a massive impact on the health of the canine population, as well as other animals.
'Dipping' dogs to prevent and treat mange. Volunteers learn about the parasites that cause mange, how to recognise it, and practice handling nervous dogs unused to much human contact.
Administering preventative healthcare such as de-worming, and giving basic veterinary treatment to dogs, cows, horses, sheep and goats in local poor communities where these animals would usually have usually have no access to veterinary care.
Learning and practicing how to administer various forms of parasite control to a range of species.
Providing basic wound care and first aid.
Experience traditional life in both rural communities and townships.
Volunteer at sterilisation drives with dogs and horses, assisting the vets with peri-operative care before, during and after surgery.
Hoof trimming goats and sheep.
This part of the programme takes place at a local mixed practice clinic.
The clinic was converted from an old dairy shed by past participants, and was then taken over by a team of two local vets and opened as a private practice; 'Wild Coast Vet'.
Participants shadow the team of two experienced vets through a typical working day at the clinic in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
There is never a dull day at the clinic and participants have the chance to assist with and observe anything from routine sterilisations, to snake bites, leg amputations, caeserean-sections and fractured legs!
Participants develop many skills at the clinic and there is always something new to learn. On quiet days students are also involved with collecting dogs from local townships to be sterilized, as part of community outreach work.
Assisting with anaesthetic monitoring.
Learning about common diseases and illnesses in a range of different species.
Clinical examinations on patients, including temperature, pulse and respiration.
Peri-opertive care of patients, including recovery after surgery.
Assisting and observing during consultations.
Lab work - including looking at blood smears and performing faecal analysis.
Lectures form vets or nurses on a range of clinical subjects.
Other activities may be included on the programme.
As veterinary work in South Africa is largely dependant on the weather, regular activities may occasionally be cancelled and we have a few other activities to keep participants busy on rainy days.
Providing enrichment and improving welfare of the animals at East London Zoo.
Visiting the local reptile park to learn about different species of reptiles, husbandry, handling and care of these animals.
Dart Gun Practice:
Practice safely using a dart gun and test your aim using targets!
Lectures may be theory or practical based and cover a wide range of subjects; including capture pharmacology, endo and ecto-parasites, bandaging practice, common diseases, case studies, poaching, stitching practicals and animal welfare.
Accommodation is based in the stunning village of Cintsa East, near East London, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The Wild Coast is aptly named for it's beautiful, untouched coastline.
While staying is this idyllic beach village, participants live at Buccaneers Backpackers . Buccaneers is comfortable, clean, and absolutely beautiful! Participants have access to the beach and lagoon, a pool area, volleyball courts, yoga, kayaks and surfing lessons.
To view Buccaneers Backpackers follow this link: https://cintsa.com/
Wi-fi is provided, as well as a laundry service at around $4 - $5 per bag of laundry.
Participants can expect to share a room with 2 - 8 other people.
For some aspects of the programme there are overnight stays in other areas, including working farms, game reserves and with local families.
Cintsa is a safe area and so participants are free to come and go as they please, and take part in local life. There are a few bars, restaurants, and a stunning beach all within walk-able distance.
Participants often fall in love with the village and quickly become part of the small community.
All food is provided as part of the programme fee. This includes three meals a day.
Breakfast and dinner consist of homemade, wholesome food, prepared by the team of kitchen staff. Participants have free access to a kitchenette in order to make their own lunch, with lunch normally being a packed lunch as participants take part in their activities for the day.
Participants are expected to purchase their own personal snacks such as chocolate and sweets.
Vegetarians, vegan and other dietary requirements can be catered for.
Weekends are time off to do as you please. There is plenty to do in the area and many activities that participants can take part in.
Weekend activities are at extra cost and are not included in the programme fee.
Programme staff are happy to help you arrange weekend activities and transportation to activities is available for an extra fee.
Weekend activities can be booked once you are in South Africa.
Activities Available Include:
Interaction with Abby the tame giraffe
A weekend stay at Inkwenkwezi private game reserve
'Wet + Wild' boat ride
Horse-riding on the beach
If you are a keen horse rider, we can also book a two day weekend ride for you in Kei Mouth.
The ride includes a waterfall picnic ride, as well as exploring the cliffs, forest and beach in Kei Mouth!
This excursion needs to be pre-booked so please email us for details.