Veterinary internship in South Africa

“Minimum two week vet internship working on a game reserve with some of the world’s most magnificent creatures, wild and rehabilitated. Stay on site in shared accommodation. All meals included. ”


Veterinary experience with South Africa’s wild animals | Big Five | South African game reserve | Hands on basic care | Participating in veterinary rounds | High quality learning experience | Weekends free to explore in and around nearby Port Elizabeth

Description of Veterinary internship in South Africa

Get into the heart of Africa and shadow a vet on a South Africa internship working with some of the continent’s most renowned mammals on a lush game reserve. Get to grips with hands-on basic care and checking on the health and well being of the animals, including the African Big 5. If you are looking to gain veterinary experience or put your skills into practice, this internship is a great way to acquire immersion and a deep knowledge base.

In addition to the veterinary rounds, you will also be opened up to other areas of conservation and animal management. There are a great number of areas in which wildlife experts and vets are needed on the reserve. The internship covers domestic and wild animals that have been rescued and are being rehabilitated, as well as wild animals from the reserve which have sustained injury or become unwell. The tasks at hand all depend on the specific cases at the time, however you can expect to work on a diverse variety of cases.

You will be taught how to check the animals for any sign of discomfort, how to identify when an animal is sick, and how to work closely with these animals without causing distress.

Accommodation and food
The accommodation is newly built and has a distinctly African feel about it, full of vibrant colours and comfortable seating areas. You will be sharing a room with other participants in the thoughtfully constructed dormitory-style rooms with large lounges and outdoor areas to relax.

We provide you with three delicious meals a day, so you don’t even need to worry about cooking. The food is varied, with an African/ Asian feel to it.

Day-by-day experiences

Monday:Arrive in Port Elizabeth by 3pm for your transfer to the reserve
Weekdays:Become fully immersed in the veterinary internship out and about on the reserve
Weekends:Weekends are spent at your leisure, either up at the reserve or at a lodge in Port Elizabeth
Monday:Departure day. Return to the airport for a flight home.

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

Departure information

Trips run anytime throughout the year

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Veterinary internship in 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.

The reserve places conservation at the top of its agenda. Through the help of participants, the reserve is made a good place to be for the wildlife within it. Participants are taught to care for the animals, to treat them with respect and to make sure that they act appropriately around them at all times.

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.

Promoting sustainability
We are aiming to become single-use plastic free on this project. Steps have already been made to replace plastic drinks bottle with glass bottles, providing drinking water from reuseable water drums and initiate a recycling programme for any unavoidable single use plastic.

The reserve is becoming very advanced on water harvesting and recycling, using more solar energy (the aim is to become fully reliant on solar energy) and composting kitchen waste.

The reserve aims to plant 10,000 native tree species each year.


Meeting local needs
The park also plays an important role in protecting the local economy. The ‘big five’ wild animals are a key source of tourist income for South Africa and protection of these species is vital for some rural areas, who rely on responsible tourism to sustain them. Through helping at the reserve, you will be helping to meet an important local need. You will also contribute directly to the area’s economy, creating jobs for domestic staff at the reserve and by eating locally-sourced food provided by local cooks.You will not be taking jobs away from local people.The organisation employs as many local staff as it can afford, but relies on participants to support them.

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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