Volunteering in South Africa – Gaining Experience and Confidence

Posted by: Ashley

I volunteered with GoEco in the Pre-Vet Wildlife Internship in Chintsa, South Africa. I was a bit nervous before heading to South Africa, for it was 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!