Veterinary internship in Chintsa, South Africa

“Minimum 2 week vet internship, based on Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape. Wild is the word. Worldly and wise is the ethos. ”


Excellent hands on veterinary experience in South Africa | Chinsta | Eastern Cape | Work on game reserves with South African wildlife | Work on farms with livestock | Work in South African rural villages | All meals included | Airport transfers

Description of Veterinary internship in Chintsa, South Africa

Looking for some hands-on veterinary experience, but keen to make a genuine contribution at the same time? This veterinary internship is fantastic for veterinary students and qualified animal experts, allowing you to get some extraordinary work experience whilst making a great contribution to animal welfare in South Africa.

You will be working alongside a local vet caring for a plethora of animals living in the area, from wild animals to farm animals to pets. The project is divided into three main areas, which you will alternate between throughout your stay:

- Working with wildlife such as rhino, buffalo, lions, antelope and zebra in local game reserves
- Working with agricultural livestock such as beef and dairy cattle, sheep and goats, pigs and chickens
- Working in rural villages and townships to help with caring for dogs and cats in a veterinary clinic

The roaming nature of this project means that no day is the same and your timetable is devised based on the need of the animals in the locality. Tasks can include:

- Immobilisation and tranquilisation
- Game capture
- Animal management
- Animal health and nutrition
- Animal behaviour
- Biodiversity preservation
- Veterinary clinic work
- Inoculations

All projects are spent around the coastal town of Chintsa, 40km north of East London. Your base will be in this lovely town, sharing a house with other volunteers just a few minutes from the beach. You will be sharing a room with other participants.

You will receive three simple and nutritious meals per day. Breakfasts are composed of cereals and fruit and lunches are sandwiches. At dinner time you will enjoy a hot home-cooked meal.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrival and orientation day is a Monday. Fly to East London (ELS) for your transfer.
Day 2:Full project orientation and briefings.
Day 3 - 5:Time to get stuck in! You will be working on the project Monday - Friday usually with the weekends free
6 - 7:Weekend! Relax, explore and enjoy!
Day 8 -12:Veterinary internship projects
Day 13-14:Weekend! Relax, explore and enjoy!
Day 15:Head back to the airport or move onwards for further travels

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please enquire for details.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Veterinary internship in Chintsa, South Africa


Our placements are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that the project directly benefits local people and wildlife too.

Many of the tasks that participants will be getting involved in are aimed to improve the welfare of animals across the farms, reserves and clinics. You should expect to see some animals in distress or that have been poorly cared for. Without this project, these animals would not be on the route to recovery, and you can make a genuine difference here. Through this task you will be exposed to South Africa’s animal welfare agencies and you will visit and learn about the challenges faced by organisations such as the SPCA.

Care for the environment
All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.

Our company is an environmentally responsible one that operates recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas,electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid.

Participants are advised to use hand wash gel that does not require water. We also advise, during our pre departure course, to take care with water. In many of our destinations, water is precious and expensive


Meeting local needs
The roaming nature of this project means that game reserve owners, local farmers and local communities all benefit from the presence of the participants. Without this programme many of the animals in the townships would be unwell and weak - this project helps to care for their basic needs so that they can be comfortable and strong. Farm animals are cared for to ensure that lambing and other such activities go well and that the farmers can continue to work on their livelihood. The game reserve owners rely on the vets to sustain the health of the animals in their care.

Helping local communities
Within the grounds of the reserve is a small community, with a school and several other facilities. Participants are encouraged to support it by buying souvenirs from their hand crafted goods. These local workers receive fair prices for their goods and are helped financially by the reserve.

Travelling with respect
Before joining the project you are briefed fully on the reserve, the customs there and how you can respect the locals here. Participants are encouraged to find out more about the history of the location so that they can travel aware.

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