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This program is open to international volunteers!

Gain hands-on animal care experience unlike anywhere else in the world. Whether you are going on a game capture or taking a lecture on animal health and nutrition, you will be exposed to the immense variety of animals and knowledge that is available in the African environment. Perfect for pre-vet students!

Program Highlights: 
  • Make a genuine contribution to African animals whilst improving your own veterinary knowledge
  • Working hands on with animals in a way unlike anything you can do at home!
  • Explore this stunning area of the country, meeting local people and getting to know a completely different way of life
  • Learn from the knowledgeable local team and spend time with a vet for specialist work
  • Have the opportunity to camp under the stars during reserve trips to be completely immersed in the African wildlife experience

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum Two-Week Commitment): 

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at East London Airport (ESL). You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to the volunteer house in Chintsa. Introduction will take place on the day of arrival and training will be provided throughout the program. 

Sample week - (scheduled on a rotational and demand basis).

Day 1, Tuesday: Participate on tasks such as artificial insemination and iron supplement injections, for pigs or horses (large animal practice)

Day 2, Wednesday: Capture, immobilize and transport wildlife, work with reptiles (exotic animal practice and handling) or horses, pigs, goats, sheep, dogs and cows (large and small animal practice)

Day 3, Thursday: Do pregnancy testing and vitamin supplement injections for beef cattle (large animal practice) or for horses, pigs, goats, sheep, dogs and cows (large and small animal practice)

Day 4, Friday: Participate in lambing and inoculations for sheep(large animal practice) or work in wild animal management – dectamaxing weaker animals for endo and exo parasites with a dart gun. 

Day 5-6, Saturday-Sunday: Your weekends can be as relaxing or as action packed as you want! If you’re looking for some adventure, you can try your hand at quad biking and horse riding, go bungee jumping or visit the local elephant reserve.

Day 7, Monday: Community work at Chintsa East Village (small animal practice)

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday free. Spend your days off soaking in the sun at the Chintsa beach, take a trip to Cape Town or go on an overnight stay at a rural village, to expand on your cultural immersion. Departures are on a Monday.

Check out what our past volunteers had to say!

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Location of the Project:  Chintsa, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks
Arrival Airport:  East London Airport
Volunteer Work:  Wildlife care, animal management and animal welfare
Age:  18-50
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 8 international volunteers
Important Note:  This project is closed from December to March each year.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Bush cottage, farmhouse or lodge
Food:  Three meals per day; two per day are self-catered
Airport Transfers:  Included on arrival and departure
Orientation:  All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival.
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, personal expenses
Chintsa is a small town on the outskirts of the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The Wild Coast is a fascinating part of South Africa, boasting some of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife. In addition, Chintsa's rich culture that stems from its roots as the traditional home to the Xhosa people, give this region a depth and intrigue that most visitors can’t get enough of.
This internship is designed for volunteers to receive maximum exposure working with African wildlife, agricultural livestock, and domesticated animals; however, the amount of time devoted to each is dependent on demand. You will perform daily tasks together with the general staff, and most often in the presence of a qualified veterinary nurse. The project also works with a qualified veterinarian for certain special procedures, such as game captures and medical emergencies.
African Wildlife: At commercial and private game reserves, you will have the opportunity to participate in both lecture-based learning and practical interactions. Activities/lectures may focus on:
  • Animal health and nutrition
  • Animal management
  • Current threats to wildlife, ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Toxic and venomous animals
  • Immobilization and tranquilization of animals
  • Health and safety
  • Game capture (this is usually a seasonal activity)
  • Wildlife rehabilitation 
  • Bush presence during rutting and lambing seasons 
Agricultural Livestock: Volunteers will visit a number of local farms, which typically house animals such as chickens, cattle, goats and pigs. This segment of the internship will focus on the following topics: 
  • Health and safety
  • Animal management
  • Animal health, nutrition and behavior patterns
  • Immobilization, tranquilization and inoculation of animals
  • Ecosystem support and biodiversity preservation
Domestic Animals: In many rural communities and townships throughout South Africa, animal rights are not a high priority and many domestic animals live in very poor conditions and are often abused. You will be able to make a significant impact by learning about and contributing to:
  • Basic animal health and behaviors
  • Immobilization, tranquilization and inoculation of animals
  • Health and safety 
  • Community support services and animal management 
  • Challenges faced by animal welfare agencies
Internet:  There is WiFi available for use at the volunteer house.
Laundry:  Volunteers can do laundry at the volunteer house but must supply your own detergent.
Accommodations:  During your internship, you will stay at the volunteer house in Chintsa located just a few minutes from the beach. Each room houses 2-3 volunteers. Depending on what segment of the internship you are on, your accommodations may vary and can include bush cottages, farmhouses, tented camps and lodges. All accommodations, regardless of the location, will always be safe.
Food:  You will have three simple and nutritious meals per day. Breakfast and lunch are self-catered and dinners will be hot, home cooked meals.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Basic level of English
  • Motivation to work with animals
  • Interest in veterinary science or animal management and welfare
  • Copy of your CV/resume
Chintsa Beach is a beautiful area with plenty of activities for volunteers to engage in. Relaxing on the beach after a challenging week is a great option and just steps away from the volunteer house. Often from the shores dolphins and whales can be spotted. For volunteers interested in water activities, the area offers surfing, kite surfing and canoeing. If you prefer to stick to the land, join a safari trip, hike through the indigenous forests or go bird watching.
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