Work alongside wildlife Vets in South Africa! If you are looking for hands on experience in the Wildlife Veterinary field that will contribute towards your EMS for Veterinary Science, then look no further than our Vet Eco Safari Experience. The programme is split into both theoretical and practical activities based around Veterinary Science and Conservation in the context of African Wildlife.
The Vet Eco Safari Experience offers you the opportunity to work alongside award winning conservation departments and pioneering veterinary staff on a Big Five Game Reserve in South Africa. Your comfort zones will be pushed and as budding Vet students, you will be faced with unpredictable and unusual practices that are considered the norm to a wildlife vet in South Africa.
Project Type: Wildlife Veterinary Science, Conservation Project, Extra Mural Studies.
Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Pick Up Point: Port Elizabeth Airport.
Duration: 12 Days.
Price: from £1,599.
Start Dates: 2013 – Course 1: 24th June – 5th July | Course 2: 15th July – 26th July (FULL).
Accommodation: Purpose built volunteer accommodation situated on the Game Reserve.
Meals: Three meals per day included, semi participation.
Age Range: 18 Plus.
Shamwari Vet Eco Experience has been formulated to provide you with a hands on, work based learning experience into Wildlife Veterinary practices in South Africa. The project covers both practical and theoretical based learning and will expose you to conservation activities as well as hands on Veterinary procedures and techniques. The objectives of the course are:
- Expose participants to behind the scenes veterinary wildlife practices at Shamwari Game Reserve.
- To gain invaluable experience through exposure to practical and hands on skills in the wildlife veterinary field.
- Experience firsthand insight into Shamwari’s award winning wildlife department in conservation, ecology and wildlife management.
- To educate the principles of Wildlife Veterinary decisions compared to domestic circumstances and the larger conservation ethics that govern these procedures.
- Introduce pharmacology with the emphasis on wildlife drugs.
- Provide an understanding of the drugs and techniques required to incorporate veterinary procedures into wildlife management.
- Introduce disease producing agents and the effects on wildlife species.
- Techniques and methods of wildlife immobilisation whilst limiting stress factors during interventions.
- Immobilisation and darting techniques used for various wildlife species.
As part of the Shamwari Vet Eco Experience you will be introduced to a number of conservation activities and Veterinary Interactions and procedures. It is important as part of your learning experience to understand the fundamentals of conservation that govern decisions made by Wildlife Veterinarians.
Veterinary Activities may Include:
Introduction to Darting Techniques
The various darting techniques used for game capture and immobilisation, learning to handle the various darting systems and target practice.
Darting of Rhino
Accompany the conservation team as they dart and immobilise white rhino to perform ear notching for identification purposes and collection of DNA for research.
Immobilisation of large Carnivore
Work with the veterinary team to immobilise one of the large predator species on the reserve, learn respiratory monitoring and use of drugs.
Translocation of Antelope Species
Techniques used for mass capture and translocation of antelope species.
Passive Game Capture
Practical techniques on passive game capture of various species.
Conduct post mortems with Veterinary staff for research and assessment.
Be the Vet
Here you will be required to put your skills learnt in immobilisation and game capture to the test as you head out on the reserve to manage the team and act as the wildlife vet to manage the procedure.
Any Emergency Veterinary Procedures
As required by the Veterinary team on the reserve.
Conservation Activities May Include:
Game Monitoring: Rhino, Elephants, Predators
With regular monitoring it is possible to identify individuals, compile information about the family structure and determine feeding and special ecology. Data collected is used to assist in the managing decisions for the reserve.
Monitoring of some high profile animals like cheetah and leopard are required using telemetry tracking equipment as result of the neighbouring properties carrying livestock and the elusive nature of some of the species.
Management of Breeding Centre
Management of breeding centre can include anything from veld (open country or grassland) conditions assessment, mapping of breeding area, mapping of alien vegetation, monitoring animal numbers and managing water points.
Volunteering at Born Free Foundation
It is the mission of both the Born Free Foundation and Shamwari Game Reserve to promote the conservation of species and the protection of habitat while maintaining a humane and compassionate approach to the welfare of animals and therefore it is their goal to create an awareness of the horrific way in which wildlife is exploited in captivity around the world. An opportunity will be given on a weekly basis for individuals to volunteer at the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary.
Volunteering at Animal Rehabilitation Centre
Shamwari Animal Rehabilitation Centre was set up to aid in rehabilitating injured animals found on the reserve and surrounding community. The aim is to give the animal short term care and release it back into the environment. The centre boasts avian, small and large stock boma (enclosure) areas which house the various species which may find their way to Shamwari.
Possible Talks and Presentations:
- Introduction to Wildlife Conservation in SA.
- Rehabilitation of wildlife.
- Anaesthetics drugs in wildlife.
- Tranquilizers used in wildlife.
- Elephant management.
- Selected wildlife diseases.
- Intensive vs Free roaming wildlife.
- Wildlife Monitoring.
- Understanding the principles of Eco Systems.
- Animal Population Dynamics.
- Capture Techniques and relocation of wildlife.
- Use of Boma’s.
- Stress Factors in handling and containment.
- Animal husbandry.
- Veterinarian’s role in conservation.
- Conservation of flagship species of Africa.
- Biomes of the Eastern Cape.
- Wildlife tracks and signs.
- Basic wildlife conservation, ecology and management principles.
- Facilities and drugs to reduce stress.
- Darting techniques.
- Animal welfare in relation to capture and containment.
- Hand rearing of orphaned animals.
- Anti-poaching methods.
A full 12 day itinerary has been compiled to cover all of the above areas in the time provided however it is important to understand, and appreciate, that working with wildlife is unpredictable and circumstances can often change very quickly. Although your course is based on a structured itinerary, these activities may change depending on the needs and requirements of the Shamwari Veterinary team during your time on the reserve.
Whilst conducting your Shamwari Vet Eco Experience you will be accommodated at the purpose built student centre is situated in close proximity to the main reserve on one of the management properties of the conservation department. General game including zebra and kudu can be found along with buffalo on the property.
The centre boasts twin rooms with ensuite shower and toilet facilities with a communal safe and storage in each room. There is also a number of communal facilities including a lecture theatre, swimming pool, canteen, storage fridge, lounge and entertainment area, television and DVD access, computer and internet access.
Three meals are provided on a daily basis. Meals will either be served at the facility itself or taken as a pre-packed serving, depending on planned or as result of unscheduled activities.
Laundry services are provided once a week.
Shamwari Game Reserve is located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and interesting regions on planet Earth. The Eastern Cape’s biodiversity is unmatched in Southern-Africa.
For the sunseekers, the Wild Coast and the Sunshine Coast has some of the world’s best beaches. For exquisite beaches try Bushman’s River Mouth or Kenton-on-Sea. The Sunshine Coast is also very well known for its surfing waves.
Jeffreys Bay is an area with some of the country’s wildest coastline, which is backed by some of Africa’s most spectacular sub-tropical rainforest. Famous for its “supertubes”, probably South Africa’s longest and most consistently good wave, This affluent area is charged with a friendly and relaxed surfing vibe.. Near Cape S. Francis is Seal Point and it is, one of the best places to take surfing photos, is near Cape St. Francis.
The area is an ideal base to explore the wonders of South Africa because of an array of attractions and you can choose to do this during or after your experience.
12 Days – £1,599
£200 deposit to secure placement at time of booking, final balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.
- Pre departure support and documentation.
- Programme fee and contribution.
- Return Transfers from Port Elizabeth Airport.
- Accommodation for duration of stay.
- Housekeeping costs.
- All transportation on project.
- 24 hour in country support.
- Laundry service once weekly.
- 3 meals per day, any additional snacks are to be provided by the learner.
- Access to tea, coffee and juice.
- Study Manual.
- Training, Theoretical lectures and practical training.
- Travel Insurance.
- Any vaccinations as recommended by your GP.
- Internet access.
- Soft drinks and snacks.
- Any visas required.
- Any additional activities outside of project itinerary.
CALL : +44(0)207 193 7819