Veterinary Care of African Wildlife

Join this unique veterinary program in South Africa that provides an opportunity for practicing veterinarians, veterinary nurses and veterinary technicians to experience and participate in wildlife management and health issues of free ranging African wildlife. It also forms the basis of understanding the spread and management of wildlife diseases. The program is well suited for continuous education and professional development, providing an opportunity to experience different aspects of veterinary science.

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards RACE committee has reviewed and approved the program, meeting the Standards adopted by the AAVSB. This program (1015-22747) is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer 20.00 CE Credits to any Veterinarian; and/or Veterinary Technician.

Set Departure Dates (2017):

  • 19 Feb. – 5 March
  • 7 – 21 May
  • 27 Aug. – 9 Sept.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival at the Johannesburg International Airport (O.R. Tambo) you will be welcomed by a staff member and transferred to the Ostrich Manor on a private nature reserve. A walk on the beautiful reserve grounds is recommended for stretching the legs after the flight, and following a sundowner beverage we will be ready for a welcome dinner. We will have an informal orientation talk at the campfire and share information about the program for the next couple of days.
Accommodation: Lodge

Day 2: Conservation and Population Control Lecture & Onderstepoort Genetics Lab

After breakfast the day starts with two lectures by your program director and former director of the Center for Wildlife Management at the University of Pretoria, Dr. Wouter van Hoven. These will address the role of veterinarians in rhinoceros and wildlife management/conservation, as well as their role in the population control and management of elephant populations. (2 CE credits)

We then depart for the Onderstepoort College of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria, where we will be met by Dr. Richard Burroughs, Director of the Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies. He will welcome us and lead a short tour of the facilities before lunch. After lunch he will present a talk on Priorities in and the handling of clinical wildlife veterinary cases, whereafter we will visit the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory where we will be received by Dr. Cindy Harper, Manager and Head of the laboratory. She will present a talk on maintaining wildlife genetics integrity and the functioning of the Wildlife Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, followed by a tour of the facility. (2 CE credits)
Accommodation: The Ostrich Manor – Lodge

Day 3: Wildlife Embryo Laboratory

Today we meet Dr. Morné de la Rey, a veterinary surgeon and wildlife embryo transfer specialist. Dr. de la Rey produced the first Sable Antelope calves by means of Fixed Time Artificial Insemination with frozen thawed semen, and five years ago produced the first Sable Antelope calves born by means of embryo transfers in the world. In 2013, he produced the first pregnancies in the world in Cape buffalo by means of embryo transfers. In the early morning we will first dart a white rhino and then participate in semen collection. Dr. de la Rey will take us on a demonstration tour of his wildlife embryo laboratories and also present us with a Lecture on the wildlife conservation value of successful in vitro fertilization and embryo transfers. (All activities and lecture total 5 hours/3 CE credits)
Accommodation: The Ostrich Manor – Lodge

Day 4: Drive to the Kruger National Park

After breakfast we travel to Skukuza Camp in Kruger National Park. We will be travelling through some beautiful scenery and our guide will explain features as we reach them. We should arrive in the early afternoon, check in and have enough time for a leisurely drive for wildlife viewing before dark.
Accommodation: Bungalows – Skukuza Rest Camp

Day 5: Ecology Lecture & Kruger National Park

In the morning we rise early and travel through the southern part of the park to visit well-known Ralf Kalwa, a veteran Kruger ecologist who has an intimate understanding of this majestic five-million-acre park. In his informal way he will first explain the management of wildlife and particularly the overpopulation of elephant in Kruger National Park and thereafter the management of vegetation ecology to the benefit of wildlife health in Kruger National Park.

After lunch we will leisurely drive back to base while viewing the many wildlife species with ample opportunity for photography. After dinner a night drive will be available for those not too tired. Spot lights will be used to see the nocturnal species.
Accommodation: Bungalows – Skukuza Rest Camp

Day 6: Kruger Park Scientific Services

Today we visit the department of Wildlife Veterinary Services in Kruger National Park, at park headquarters in Skukuza. The head of the department will present a talk on the scope of their work in running Wildlife Veterinary Services in the Kruger Park. Because of the nature of their work, anyone can be called out at any time and we could be assisting with any cases that do come in during the day. Depending on activities of the day a second talk is scheduled on Disease control and eradication. (2 CE credits)
Accommodation: Bungalows – Skukuza Rest Camp

Day 7: Drive to the Balule Game Reserve

After breakfast we will travel through the park in a northerly direction, viewing the great variety of wildlife and the varying biomes of Kruger National Park in the northern districts. We later settle in at the Bush Wildlife Disease Laboratory in the Balule District of Greater Kruger Park. Your host at this remote camp is Cornell Vermaak (B. Tech, M. Tech, Tropical Parasitology (Duke University) Wildlife Disease Ecologist and Veterinary Microbiology graduate from Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria). You will be greeted by his array of friendly camp wildlife, such as the meerkats and a wildebeest.

In the evening we will be learn about the rehabilitation of animals. Because of the remote location, comfortable tent accommodation will be provided. The area is also very good for bird watching along the Elephant River. And you may hear lions roaring at night from the safety of your tent!
Accommodation: Permanently erected tents

Day 8 & 9: Field Pathology Laboratory & Wildlife Diseases Workshop

Talks, demonstrations, participation and learning about the veterinary side of wildlife management. We start with the red line and enzootic area management, followed by diseases shared by livestock and wildlife and zoonosis in the region and applied wildlife parasitology.

Thereafter you have the opportunity to participate in  wildlife post mortem and necropsy procedures, taking place in the bush, and upon return samples will be used in demonstrations and participation in bush laboratory procedures. (Lectures and activities total 5 CE credits.)
Accommodation: Permanently erected tents

Day 10: Veterinary Outreach Program – Farm Animals

We depart early and travel to a rural African community cattle coral outside of the public protected areas. We are guests of the chief and are here to participate in the diagnostics, treatment and management of cattle as a social responsibility. In the afternoon we drive to the Moholoholo Nature Reserve, where we check in to the Moholoholo Lodge.
Accommodation: Chalets

Day 11: Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Tour & Game Capture Lectures

Today we will visit the nearby Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre, well known for its conservation of species and the rehabilitation of injured or poisoned wildlife, as well as its successful breeding programs. Here you will get up close to a variety of wildlife species.

We will stop for lunch and some souvenir shopping in Hoedspruit, then return to the Moholoholo Lodge. After lunch we start with our introductory lecture on wildlife capture techniques with Mr Andre Pienaar, a senior veterinary technician with 20 years of big game capture experience.
Accommodation: Chalets

Day 12 & 13: Game Capture & Care Operations

The next two days will involve discussions, demonstrations and hands-on participation in actual game capture operations of various wildlife species for purposes of relocation, tagging, diagnostics, vaccination and disease or injury treatment. This will be done by Mr Andre Pienaar and his veterinarian assistant. No animals will be captured for demonstration purposes; all activities are part of daily call-outs. (All game capture activities and lectures total 6 CE credits.) Each program participant will have the opportunity to fly individually in a helicopter for a flight and firing a tranquilizing dart at a moving target (non-animal). We return to the Moholoholo Lodge in the afternoon and get into the swing for a farewell bush dinner and graduation ceremony.
Accommodation: Chalets – Moholoholo Lodge

Day 14: Departure

After breakfast your guide will return the group to the airport in time for your flight home.

Note: the program itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances

Booking Form

Prices:

  • US$4,900 per person sharing accommodation
  • US$5,400 per person in single accommodation

Price Includes:

  • Airport transfers as stated
  • Accommodation for the duration of the program
  • Transportation for the duration of the program
  • Permits and entry fees
  • Three meals per day

Price Excludes:

  • International air travel to and from South Africa
  • Visa costs – if applicable
  • Optional additional activities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Vaccinations – optional (rabies vaccinations are not required)

Booking Process and Payments

  • There is no specific booking date. However, the earlier you book the better your chance of booking a trip that suits your time schedule.
  • To book, complete the booking form online, or mail it to the office of Eko Tracks.
  • Once we have received your booking form, you will be pre-booked and be sent a confirmation and the payment details.
  • A 25% deposit must be sent directly to the office in South Africa to secure your booking. Note: Money can be transferred (wired) overseas through a bank.
  • The office of Eko Tracks will send you a tour dossier with information about the passport, flight schedules, vaccinations, packing list and safety tips to assist you in preparing for the trip.
  • The outstanding amount is payable 2 months prior to the commencement of the program.