Veterinary Internship, Zimbabwe

Conservation Travel Africa  »  Veterinary Internship, Zimbabwe

Veterinary Internship, Zimbabwe

from £500
Countries: Zimbabwe
Gain practical veterinary experience whilst volunteering at a family-run wildlife sanctuary in Zimbabwe. You will also work in the outreach clinic and help with rounds in the vet practice.

Veterinary Internship, Zimbabwe

Join a small team of dedicated vets and conservationists at this incredibly rewarding, family-run animal rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary in rural Zimbabwe.

Vet interns will work alongside the trustees of the centre and live and work at the sanctuary, which offers a safe haven to a wide variety of African wildlife plus farm animals, birds, and lots of dogs and cats! Animals at the sanctuary have been rescued from all over Zimbabwe either by the dedicated team or through their network of conservationists. From lions to serval cats, donkeys to owls, their beloved animal family will live the lives they deserve whilst in the sanctuary’s care.

This project is perfect if you are a pre-vet student, studying vet science or animal care, or you are a professional animal care worker and you would like to get some wildlife healthcare experience and live close to all sorts of crazy animals!

What sort of things will I be doing?

Veterinary experience

Vet interns are able to join the veterinary practice in Harare one day per week where you can observe clinic, get involved in general health checks, assist in minor surgical procedures and help with the animals who are staying at the practice.

In addition, all vet interns will get involved in the project's weekly outreach clinic, where animals are brought to the sanctuary from the rural community for health checks, de-worming, dipping, vaccinations, spaying and wound checking. Every animal who comes to the clinic also gets a free meal, so you could be dealing with literally hundreds of dogs a week! You will assist in the pre-surgery care of any dogs (or other animals) who are kept at the Sanctuary prior to going to Harare for operations. 

The programme is also perfect for small groups of vet students or animal science professionals who are travelling together and want to either improve their practical skills or share their knowledge. For group bookings the project will run a bespoke project which will aim to include areas of interest to the students as well as activities of benefit to the sanctuary and local area.

This could include:

- A mass sterilisation campaign for rural dogs where students can do the pre-op preparation, monitor anaesthetics and do post operative care. There are usually very interesting cases during these campaigns .
- Visits to the local villages to check on dogs once they are home, which is a very interesting cultural experience, as well as providing veterinary aftercare
- Ambulatory vet work on local farms
- Observations within the veterinary practice (rotation)
- Rescue and transfer of orphaned, abused or abandoned animals from around the region

Work in the wildlife sanctuary (veterinary)

Sanctuary work will include wildlife care and rehabilitation of the animals at the sanctuary, and assistance with any wildlife veterinary work which arises. There is a diversity of animals which are treated by the sanctuary and the vet, so vet volunteers will get great hands-on experience of all types of wildlife, both indigenous and exotic. 

Wildlife sanctuary work (non-vet)

Your general duties around the sanctuary when the vet work is complete, could include:

Small animal care:

- Prepare meals for animals in the mornings and evenings - this might be dry food and fruit for monkeys or you might need to go our and collect browse for the bush babies
- Feed the reptiles and check on their enclosures
- Clean out enclosures and cages and refill water bowls
- Clean wounds and tend to injured animals
- Sit with older and sick animals, monitor their health and behaviour and reassure them with your presence.
- Help settle newly rescued animals into their rehabilitation enclosures which are in the garden of the volunteer house
- Bottle feed small orphans and keep them warm (this is often a nighttime duty as well as you babysit tired monkeys!)

Habitat enrichment

- Build activity centres for primates to enable them to run, jump and climb
- Make toys for the primates to stimulate foraging

Wildlife conservation activities

- Patrol the boundary of the farm and check for snares - on foot and on horseback
- Enjoy hiking through the park or relaxing with the older animals with a book
- Get to know local people and experience a new way of life
- Help with conservation lessons when local school children come to visit

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Apply now by clicking the button below and filling out the application form on Conservation Travel Africa should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.


Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £500

Programme highlights

- Join a family-run team in their daily care of a wide variety of large and small animals
- Join veterinary staff in rural vet clinics and outreach services
- Observe practice in a busy veterinary surgery and assist in minor operations and animal exams
- Help with animals rescued from domestic situations including pet monkeys and tortoises
- Work on enrichment projects to keep the animals happy and healthy
- Hand-rear orphaned babies
- Help release smaller animals around the property
- Work on bird rescue and rehabilitation
- Undertake essential maintenance and building around the sanctuary

What's included

- Programme fee - financing which goes back into the programme your are involved with; this includes funding for equipment, supplies, vehicles and foodstuffs etc
- Transfers to and from Harare International Airport to the project on a Monday
- Full board and lodging for the duration of your programme including laundry (exc. any snacks, alcoholic or fizzy drinks from the bar)
- Three meals per day
- Wireless internet (small weekly charge)
- Full 24 hour support and training from your sanctuary staff during your stay
- All programme-related transport and equipment required to do your work

Do I need experience?

This programme is suitable for pre-vet and vet students and veterinary or animal care professionals. A rabies vaccination is required prior to your arrival on the project.

How old do I need to be?

Interns on the vet programme must be over 18.

Do I need a visa?

Most nationalities can get a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival into Zimbabwe. However, please check with your local Zimbabwean embassy BEFORE you travel!

What will the weather be like?

During the Zimbabwean summer (September - April) temperatures at the project will average 27-29°c. A light waterproof jacket and a fleece or jumper is essential for sudden downpours! Average lows are around 15-20°c. During winter (May - mid-August) daytime temperatures average 24-26°c with no rainfall at all. Temperatures during the night and in the mornings and evenings can get down to 7-10°c (and it has been known to frost!) so volunteers are advised to bring lots of layers including fleeces and a warm hat for early mornings with a wide-brimmed hat or cap and loose light clothing for daytime.

When can I come?

The project has flexible arrival dates and is closed from mid December - mid January.

About Conservation Travel Africa

Conservation Travel Africa was established to help restore Africa’s wilderness areas, working with existing organisations and conservationists to achieve long term goals through conservation, education and wildlife research. These projects need volunteers to support their work and we pride ourselves on providing meaningful and responsible volunteer programmes which are beneficial, necessary and, most of all, fun!

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