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Joing this pre-vet internship to work with endangered wildlife in South Africa for a career-propelling and fulfilling experience! This ranch is home to over 90 endangered animal species, from reptiles to large carnivores and everything in between. The ranch’s staff work diligently to care for a number of endangered ambassador animals. In doing so, they have created a platform for conservation through education, to encourage public awareness of the plights of various species as well as environmental issues. This has earned them a WAZA (World Association of Zoos & Aquaria) institutional membership. The Ranch is one of only six institutions in Africa to become a member of this esteemed association.

Click to see additional volunteering projects in South Africa
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Location of the Project:  Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa
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Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  George Airport (GRJ)
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Volunteer Work:  Wildlife Care, Research and Maintenance
Age:  Minimum age of 18
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 3 international interns
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Important Note:  To receive the maximum benefit from your internship, a minimum stay of six weeks is highly recommended.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a luxurious volunteer lodge
Food:  Self-serve breakfast and lunch and dinners are provided on weekdays.
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Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days.
Orientation:  Orientation is provided upon arrival and includes a tour of the area and time for shopping
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, weekend meals, personal expenses
The Western Cape is home to South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations, including Cape Town and the scenic wonder that is Table Mountain. The historically-significant Robben Island is also a part of the Western Cape.

This project is located in the town of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, located at the base of the Swartberg Mountains. In addition to a beautiful view, Oudtshoorn has a fun atmosphere, with its large tourist population and its ostrich farms.
While pre-vet interns will be assisting with basic duties such as feedings, trainings, enrichment and enclosure maintenance, additional tasks can be performed. This internship is flexible and can be shaped to fit each interns’ specific requirements. When applying, please tell your placement coordinator what your university’s specific internship requirements are. All interns will be included in any veterinary work, when available. Each intern will be shadowing one curator.

Some of your daily tasks may include:
  • Preparing food for the animals
  • Feeding animals
  • Enclosure maintenance and cleaning
  • Animal training
  • Partaking in animal enrichment activities
  • Shadowing the curators
  • Assisting in veterinary procedures, when needed
Sample Schedule: Schedules will depend on the hours required by your degree program.
Internet
Internet:  Wifi is available for use at the lodge
Laundry
Laundry:  There is a washing machine, ironing board and iron available for you to use free of charge.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Interns will stay in shared rooms in a luxurious lodge that contains a garden, pool and barbeque area, luxury en suite accommodation, under floor heating in winter, entertainment area, DSTV and Wifi access.
Food:  Basic breakfast ingredients are supplied at the lodge, as well as daily items such as tea, coffee, sugar, herbs & spices, fruit, cereal, milk and bread, spreads, sauces etc. Lunch is provided during your placement from the Ranch restaurant and dinner is prepared for you by the lodge manager, who also runs both lodges. When you are not working (Saturday and Sunday) meals are not included. Please note upon registration if you have allergies or special dietary needs.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Love for animals
There are a  number of restaurants and bars in Oudtshoorn; however, for the more adventurous traveler, a few must-visit sights are listed below:

Cango Caves
Located in Oudtshoorn are the magnificent Cango Caves. These caves were formed from Precambrian limestone and contain paintings and artifacts that date back to the Stone ages. These are the most popular caves in all of South Africa and are certainly worth a visit! 

Rust-en-Vrede Waterfall
For the volunteers who love hiking and experiencing the beauty of nature, a hike to this waterfall should be on the “To-Do” list.

Table Mountain National Park
Also located in the Western Cape is the famous Table Mountain National Park that consists of the iconic rock formation as well as various hiking trails. Indigenous African penguins can also be spotted here. Table Mountain is approximately five hours from Oudtshoorn by car.
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