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Cheetah vet volunteering work in South Africa

African wildlife veterinary volunteer

Train to South Africa’s worldclass standard, kick start a career and support conservation!

Placement summary
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Who should join us?
Studying or qualified vets and vet nurses. Anyone looking to start a career in South Africa as a wildlife veterinarian or those wanting to gain new skills, techniques and methodologies while volunteering with animals as part of on going conservation projects.

Location: Thabazimbi, North West South Africa.

Duration: 3 weeks.


Group sizes: 3 - 6 plus trainers.

moving buffalo on reserve

This placement is for studying or qualified vets or vet nurses only!

We've modelled this placement on areas of weakness in the European veterinary syllabus, we've selected and included the skill & training your missing to register and work in South Africa's veterinary sector.

The Projects
  • Responding to emergency animal interventions

  • Preparing and administering medicines or vaccinations

  • Preforming surgeries, procedures and treatments

  • Monitoring respiration and vitals during procedures

  • Health checking, diagnosing and treating wildlife

  • Equipment practice and training

  • Lectures and debates

  • Cheetah breeding and rehabilitation centre volunteering

  • Learning animal behaviour to support veterinary work

  • Transferring and reintroducing animals to wildlife areas

  • De-horning, DNA sampling, blood samples, microchipping and more

  • Conservation and ecological management projects

  • Game drives and tours to discover South Africa

Visit the Projects page to find out how you'll be helping. For other useful information check out our FAQs.

people by lion snipped_edited.jpg
Lion opperation while on vet safari in South Africa

Wildlife vet volunteer role and duties

Veterinary work in rural South Africa

Working with wildlife in game reserves and natural areas are different to the sterile and clinical practices you might be used too. Volunteer with a variety of animals from the iconic like rhino, buffalo or cheetah to less know species of antelope and small species.

Led by wildlife veterinarians with decades of experience, travel the area and deliver planned medical procedures or respond to emergencies with endangered species. When not in field, you’ll take part in lectures, debates and further training to build your skills.

Monday to Saturday

Serve a large radius of wildlife and protected areas. Working in field means you’ll have to leave your accommodation early morning to get to the often remote locations to first track and find your patients before you can start any treatment.

As a team and headed by the local veterinarians, you’ll prepare and administer and medicines, complete procedures, monitor and provide after care on animals.

Sundays and free time

Free time you can spend at the centre or discuss as a group and choose to try some of the many activities in the area.

When do we operate?
Make a deposit

All planned trips are available on our date and rates page, or contact us and we'll get back to you.

With flexible payment plans, secure your place from as little as £50!

3 Weeks

What's included?

We have taken care of all the details so you can focus on the adventure of a lifetime!

The placement includes:

  • Airport transfers to and from the reserve

  • Accommodation during your stay

  • Transportation and guides/tour leaders for all confirmed excursions and group activities

  • Food and drink (excludes any personal extras)

  • Entry to sites

  • All itinerary/activity equipment is provided

  • Lectures and debates

  • Support registering as a vet in South Africa

  • Meet and greet event in the UK

  • Fellow volunteer contact list, to be sent out prior to departure

  • 24-hour emergency onsite support

  • 100% financial security with your booking

What's not included?

Please note, we do not book, manage or coordinate the following:

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Visa and Immigration requirements

  • Vaccinations and health screening/checks

  • Personal travel insurance

  • Optional activities (any that you book during your stay)


In order to join us on one of our packages you'll need to:

  • Be above 18

  • Studying or qualified in the vet sector

  • Have valid travel insurance

  • Have booked return flights

  • Organise the relevant travel and immigration documents

  • Undergo any relevant medical checks and vaccinations

These are your personal responsibility. Proof that all requirements are met must be sent ahead of your arrival.

preparing medicine for vet volunteer work in south africa
cheetah being reintroduce to the wild
Highlights you can expect
World class training and practical experience
Protect and work with African wildlife

Based on international veterinary syllabises and South Africa’s registry standard. Take part in practical training and gain skills designed to complement and complete your techniques and confidence, support your abilities as a vet or veterinary nurse to develop your career at home or across Southern Africa.

Work with a diverse array of animals each with their own specialised considerations and requirements when it comes to administering care or during procedures. It will be as exciting as it is educational as the lead veterinarians and conservationists help guide you when working with these special creatures.

Daily veterinary activities and projects
Multiple techniques, skills and methodologies

Wildlife work is never done!


Planned vaccinations, transporting and moving animals for genetic diversity management, responding to emergency injuries or even supporting ongoing conservation projects and wildlife research in the area… each day you’ll be in field learning and working to ensure conservation and wildlife care happens.

You’ll be exposed to and take part varied skills, techniques and methodologies. Blood testing, skin sampling for DNA records, micro-chipping, injuries from punctures to infections, diseases prevention and treatment even rehabilitation and breeding work. To some this will be entirely new, but these new procedures will help enable you to succeed during your later career.

Travel and volunteer across South Africa
Optional days and extra activities

Based in the North West of South Africa, your placement and conservation program will take you to a variety of wildlife reserves, game farms and wildlife rehabilitation centres. Get a chance to visit a areas of outstanding natural beauty in rural Africa as you meet and work along side wildlife and wildlife professionals alike.

We want you to get to know South Africa, we’ve included activities such as exploring Marakele national park and nearby reserves for game drives and bush walks but we also want to give you a few days and the freedom to choose. We’ll help you decided alone or as a group what you want to do, from cultural tours to horse riding or even specific meeting conservation projects in the area.  

Cheetah mother and cub on safari
Driving through the bush in vehicle.
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