Scheduled Dates for 2019
VW01: 26 May – 16 June
VW02: 9 – 30 June
VW03: 23 June – 14 July
VW04: 30 June – 21 July
VW05: 7 – 28 July
VW06: 21 July – 11 August
VW07: 28 July – 18 August
VW08: 1 – 22 December
Join us for an experience of a lifetime on this field study program in South Africa:
About the Program
The veterinary program offers an exciting, hands-on, in-depth and educational experience, taking students behind-the-scenes in the wildlife field in Southern Africa. The expeditions are in the form of a camping safari and lodging, and the duration is around 3 weeks. Students interact with rangers, veterinarians and researchers working in the field, giving them an insight into life, successes and problems associated with conservation in Africa today. Participants also meet and learn from pioneers in game capture and those actively involved in the field of wildlife veterinary science on a day-to-day basis. It includes a Capture and Care course where students participate in actual game capture operations.
This program has been offered for international students since 1999 and is aimed at students in pre-vet, vet tech, veterinary science, biology, animal science, wildlife conservation as well as students interested in wildlife veterinary in general.
Day 1: Arrival
Students arrive and are welcomed at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, by EcoLife guides and representatives. You are transferred to a lodge close to the airport for the night.
Day 2: North West University
We drive out to the campus of the North West University in the town of Potchefstroom. Here we attend a lecture workshop on a variety of wildlife conservation subjects. We return to the guest lodge in Johannesburg late afternoon.
Day 3: Veterinary Volunteering
We meet up with a group of veterinary volunteering staff from two different veterinary outreach clinics. We have the chance to offer our assistance with the care and treatment of domestic animals within rural areas of Pretoria or Johannesburg for a day. We will spend the nights at a lodge in the area.
Day 4: Drive to the Kruger National Park
After an early breakfast, we check out of the lodge and start our journey east to the Kruger National Park. We arrive late afternoon and set up camp within one of the Southern rest camps of the Park. Park facilities include public telephones, a bank, a shop, restaurants and a laundry.
Day 5 & 6: Kruger National Park
The biodiversity of this world renowed wilderness area is spectacular. It is the ideal area for observing and studying most of the wildlife species Southern Africa has to offer. We will spend the morning visiting with a local ecologist to learn more about ecology, park management and wildlife poaching.
Days 7 – 10: Wildlife Diseases & Pathology
We travel a short distance to a rustic bush camp close to the Kruger National Park border where we spend four days participating and learning about wildlife diseases, diagnostics, pathology and bush laboratory techniques and post-mortem analysis. We will also participate in any unforeseen call outs. On the fourth day we visit a rural village and provide basic veterinary services to their livestock.
Accommodation: Tented camp
Days 11 – 14: Wildlife Rehabilitation & Breeding
We visit some wildlife rehabilitation and breeding projects within close proximity of the town of Hoedspruit. One of the projects includes a reptile park.
Days 15 – 20: Hands-on Game Capture
The successful capture, handling and translocation of wildlife all form important parts of the wildlife veterinarian’s program. The next 4 days are dedicated to observing and learning about and participating in actual game capture operations under the guidance of a wildlife veterinarian.
Day 21: Graduation
We will, subject to the weather, also personally experience a mock darting exercise from a helicopter in flight. The region in which the game capture will take place will differ from group to group. We meet in the evening to enjoy our farewell dinner and take part in the graduation ceremony.
Day 22: Departure
We depart for Johannesburg and the group will be dropped off at the OR Tambo International Airport at about 2:00pm. Note: Most flights to the USA, Europe and Australia depart in the early evening.
Application Process and Payments