Volunteering in South Africa – A Pre-Vet Intern

Posted by: Alexa

In May I spent two weeks on the wild coast in South Africa with the Pre-Vet Wildlife Internship with GoEco. I was able to experience veterinary work for African wildlife, agricultural livestock, and domestic animals. Going during their winter was the icing on top of a fantastic experience!! The weather was beautiful and not too hot or rainy. Additionally, the beach was less than a ten-minute walk from where we stayed.

We often visited the nearby villages to provide treatment and preventative flea and tick care for the townships dogs. There were many puppies that we de-wormed and vaccinated for parvo, distepmer, etc.One day we assisted the program veterinarian at a local farm perform pregnancy tests on cattle. We discussed livestock health and management.

Another day was spent capturing and relocating two young giraffes! We learned about the safe immobilization and tranquilization of animals and game captures. My fellow volunteers and I were ecstatic to work with the state vet Luis Amaral and assist him in multiple game captures, such as this Nyala buck.

During our free time we were given opportunities to visit game reserves and go horseback riding along the beach, which provided breathtaking views! The reserve allowed us to get up close and personal with some of the animals like the elephants and the cheetahs!

The hands-on involvement was unlike any other! It felt great being able to help the local vets and townships. Volunteering in South Africa was by far one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! I am just waiting for the opportunity to return!