Vets Go Wild
from £2659 GBP
Vets Go Wild
Duration: from 16 Days
Countries: South AfricaTake part in Vets Go Wild – as seen on ITV’s Safari Vet School! If you are looking for a hands-on Africa vet experience and need to fulfill a portion of your Extra Mural Study (EMS) requirements, Vets Go Wild have the perfect animal care courses for you, featuring the opportunity to work with vets in South Africa.
Our 16-day Vet Go Wild module is aimed at students undertaking veterinary and wildlife based programmes at university, providing training in the care of animals at Amakhala Game Reserve and The Addo Elephant National Park both located in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Animals that you are likely to be working hands on with include Rhino, African Buffalo, Big Cats, Cheetah, Giraffe and more.
The objective of the Vets Go Wild courses on the programme are to conduct theoretical and practical training focusing on the role of veterinary science in the context of African wildlife conservation & utilisation. This means your animal care training will combine the disciplines of Veterinary Science, Wildlife Management and Conservation Field Training.
The Vets Go Wild programme was established over 6 years ago and we are currently on our 6th year of hosting veterinary students from across the UK and further afield. The programme is facilitated by Dr William Fowlds.
Our animal care courses for Veterinary Students operate at the following wildlife reserves:
Amakhala Private Game Reserve
Amakhala consists of 6500 hectares (15,600 acres) of wildlife reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Vet Students will enjoy this scenically beautiful area of green, wide-open plains, lined with acacia-savannah. It is home to wide variety of animals including elephants and giraffes, which you may get to treat as part of your animal care training.
Addo National Elephant Park
A mere 30 minutes drive from Amakhala is The Addo National Elephant Park. The 120,000 hectare (260,000 acres) conservation area is famous for its elephants but is fast becoming recognised as one of the most ecologically diverse national parks in the world. There are over 400 elephants here which ourVets Go Wild courses may tend to during your two-week experience.
The Vets Go Wild programme also deals with marine animal care; training students by letting them assist the South Africa vets at the Bayworld Oceanarium, located in Port Elizabeth, an hours drive from Amakhala.
Due to the busy nature of our animal courses free time is minimal. The evenings are spent at leisure and course participants are welcomed to enjoy the tranquillity of the Lodges communal areas.
As well as incorporating Addo, Shamwari and Amakhala, where the Africa Vet courses operate, The Eastern Cape is justifiably famous for a number of other game reserves. The great herds of Knysna Forest elephants were almost totally eradicated at the turn of this century but have recovered miraculously in recent years.
Addo National Park and the Mountain Zebra Park saw almost exactly the same thing happen to the rare mountain zebra. Shot to the brink of extinction in the 1930s, this rare species struggled to come back. Today, there are over 200 in the park thanks to conservation efforts and animal courses similar to ours. Mountain Zebra Park is about 2 and half hours from Amakhala just outside Cradock in the Little Karoo.
Student Africa vets will stay in our camp, situated in one of the protected areas that make up Amakhala Game Reserve. The camp is a traditional lodge, which boasts comfortable rooms, en-suite shower facilities, a private swimming pool, and separate dining and bar areas.
The lodge consists of separate units set into the surrounding vegetation:
Social area - lounge & bar, balcony looking over the protected area, outdoor barbeque facilities, fireside area.
Accommodation units sleeping up to six with en-suite bath or shower, toilet and basin.
Dining and kitchen unit.
Swimming pool area.
Office and lecture facility for the Vets Go Wild animal care training, which backs onto one of the accommodation unitsDue to practical arrangements surrounding animals, the course content and order may vary.
Arrivals and transfers to Amakhala Game Reserve
Orientation of Camp & its facilities
Africa Vet Course overview
Guided game drive
Day 2 - Amakhala
Morning game walk
Lectures: Basic wildlife conservation principles for Africa Vets
Introduction to practical conservation management.
Re-introductions and sustainable utilisation.
Afternoon game drive
Day 3 - Amakhala
Lectures: Relationships between animals & habitat management.
An overview of the Africa Vet role in conservation.
Equipment & drugs relevant to veterinary wildlife.
Practical on darting and darting practise.
Evening into night drive
Day 4 - Amakhala & Surrounding Reserves
Practical demonstration from an African vet of capture techniques used in antelope
Overview of reserve management structures and principles in other conservation areas.
Transfer to Camp
Day 5 - Amakhala & Surrounding Reserves
Visit to the born free centre.
Talk on role of the foundation in the rescue and care of African wildlife
Tour around the Vets Go Wild centre and facilities.
Discussion on health & welfare issues associated with captive conditions.
Game Drive focused on predator management in the wild.
Transfer to Camp
Day 6 - Amakhala & Surrounding Reserves
Game drive on Amakhala
Focus on specific species & management issues.
Mega herbivore and predator issues in management.
Transfer to Camp
Day 7 - Amakhala
Game drive & practical darting procedure.
Lectures: Africa veterinary pharmacology and case study examples
Basic capture techniques
Technology in conservation.
Practical diurnal telemetry tracking on Amakhala
Day 8 - Addo National Elephant Park
Transfer to Addo
Overview of park management and policies
Different approaches of national parks compared to private game reserves.
Visit to animal holding bomas and discussion
Transfer to Camp
Day 9 - Amakhala
Early morning canoeing/river cruise on Bushmans River
Lectures: Diseases relevant to African wildlife
The role of parasites & disease in nature.
The monitoring and control of disease
Vaccination procedures for Africa vets or disease testing practical
Day 10 - Amakhala
Lectures: Protected area systems & economics.
Alternative ways to utilize wildlife.
Biodiversity issues and extinction processes.
Night drive: telemetry on nocturnal species
Day 11 - Marine & coastal management
Transfer to Port Elizabeth
Visit to Port Elizabeth Oceanarium
Practical blood sampling and dissection of marine mammals
Marine excursion into Algoa Bay and Addo marine reserve.
Day 12 - Surrounding reserves
A comparative look at different conservation models and ecosystems.
Exercise in adaptive management plans for predators.
Practical excursion involving procedures on challenging wildlife species
Day 13 - Amakhala
Relocation and holding of animals
Stress factors in handling and containment
Drugs and facilities Africa vets use to reduce stress
Pathology of stress related mortalities
Day 14 - Amakhala & surrounds
Socio-economic issues to consider in conservation of African ecosystems.
Participation in Africa veterinary wildlife called outs to take place at random times during the course
Day 15 - Amakhala
Summary and key issue analysis
Game drive on AGR for field discussion
Appropriate capture techniques
Drug combinations and dosages
Vets Go Wild Course written examination
Sundowners on Amakhala
Vets Go Wild Course farewell dinner.
Departures & transfers to Port Elizabeth
We are a fully bonded agent through IATA; in conjunction with South Africa Airways we can offer some fantastic rates on international airfare.
Your return transfer and pick up from airport, all accommodation for the duration of your placement, all meals and placement activities are included
All the time
This placement would suit:
Veterinary medicine students looking to fulfil their clinical Extra Mural Studies and get fantastic exposure to veterinary practices on a ‘Big Five’ game reserve.
Do you accept non UK citizens?
Do you accept applicants with disabilities?
remaining places on the following dates:
08/08/2013 - 23/08/2013 EMS
16/05/2013 - 31/05/2013 EMS
10/02/2014 - 07/03/2014 Elective
accommodation, food, kit, airport pickup
Worldwide Experience offers volunteers a unique conservation opportunity to work on some of Southern Africa’s premier private game reserves or leading marine ocean research projects. A conservation placement is the ultimate life changing experience gives you the chance to give something back and make a difference to the natural environment.