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South Africa - Pre-Vet Wildlife Internship
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South Africa - Pre-Vet Wildlife Internship

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Pre-veterinary wildlife internship

I volunteered with GoEco in the pre-veterinary wildlife program in Chintsa, South Africa. I was a bit nervous before heading to South Africa, for my first time out of the country alone. However GoEco prepared me for my trip well in advance, which made for a smooth transition. We were provided with pickup at the airport upon arrival, and transportation to the volunteer house on site. Immediately upon arrival I felt comfortable and had a great connection with both staff and other volunteers. Workdays varied in length, and were always filled with a vast amount of veterinary experience. Whether it was working in a township dipping dogs, or participating in a helicopter capture on a game reserve; each day was unexpected. During my time in South Africa I gained such a wide array of experience that would have never been possible at home. I participated in several game counts, tested cows and sheep for fertility, treated horses and mules in the area of Coffee Bay, and experienced both a net and helicopter capture. The pre-veterinary wildlife program provided a great deal of hands on experience. The program also allowed for time to travel and see other regions in South Africa. From traveling to Coffee Bay to treat horses, and traveling to Cape Town for a weekend off; I saw a great deal of the country in just four weeks. With the help of GoEco and the team of the pre-veterinary wildlife program I gained a once in a lifetime experience, as well as the confidence needed before applying to veterinary school!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The Trip of a Lifetime

The South Africa - Pre-Vet Wildlife Internship was one of the best experiences of my life. I went into the program not really knowing what to expect. They give you as much detail as possible, but since the program is constantly evolving and incorporating new veterinary opportunities, it's hard to say exactly what you'll be doing. This was nerve-wracking for my family and friends, but to me it was thrilling! I arrived in East London and was transported to the volunteer house in Chintsa, South Africa where I would be staying for the next three weeks. Each week and day was different and you honestly never had any idea if the day was going to stay as planned or not. Some days we would go to the East London Zoo and do various enrichment projects for the animals there, other days we would go to the local clinic to watch surgeries or view cases happening there that day, and other days we would spend all day capturing two giraffes. We also had overnight trips to Kei Mouth, Cathcart, and Hogsback where would stay at lodges or homes and work a couple of days in the local townships. While in the townships we would clean out infected wounds, inject animals for internal and external parasites, and dip dogs. One day, we had a man ask us if we could inject his 200 sheep. That was the day I learned how to flip a sheep and it was also the day that I fell in love with sheep. Getting down and dirty with the animals was a thrill, but they also make sure that you go out and experience South Africa and all the beautiful places it has to offer. On my days off, I went zip lining, quad biking, pet a tame giraffe, went to a resort, had nights out on the town, did a wild boat ride, visited the beach that is a 3 minute walk from the house, and so much more. Each and every day was entirely different from before and I wish I could explain them all in immense detail because each of my 21 days there was the best day of my life. I can't say it enough, but this trip changed my life. A part of me will forever remain in Chintsa and wouldn't have it any other way!