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African wildlife veterinary volunteer

Focused on veterinary sciences, receive training and gain skills enabling you to function as a vet or vet nurses in rural South Africa helping iconic and endangered species.


As you work and volunteer with wildlife and a diverse array of procedures, treatments and medicines equally as diverse as the animals themselves.

Health checking, planned inoculations, non-invasive surgeries, micro-chip implants, treating injuries and diseases, blood sampling, breeding and artificial insemination, rehabilitation and aftercare… you’ll work on a variety of projects to build wildlife veterinary skills and ensure these animals are protected.

Become a volunteer
Volunteer information
rhino with calf.JPG
Cheetah being moved in south africa during veterinary volunteering work
African wildlife vet and vet nurse training and projects
Responding to emergency interventions

Working with wildlife on South Africa wildlife reserves is unpredictable and protected animals like rhino oftern injury themselves in territorial conflict or predators from hunting.


Be part of the team that assists and responds to any injuries or sickness, help track, locate and then treat depending on the diagnosis.

This is especially important with endangered species and animals with minimal population numbers.

treating an injured rhino

​What will you be doing?

  • Track and locate wildlife that’s sick or injured

  • Assess, diagnose and administer treatment

  • Assist with any preparation of medicines

  • Provide after care to animals

  • Understand of ecological roles of species

  • Understand conservation history of each species

Medicines and vaccinations

With a large variety of species, procedures, treatments, and diseases go an equally large variety of medicines and pharmaceuticals.


Working in the remote wilderness means each treatment that’s being administered needs to be pre-planned and prepared.

Ensure each procedure goes well through preparing dosages and medicines on a case by case basis.

​What will you be doing?

  • Prepare medicines and pharmaceuticals

  • Understand the scientific effects of drugs on each species anatomy

  • Safety and legalities of handling certain drugs

  • Administer medicines under supervision

preparing medicine for cheetah.JPG
rhino horn sampling.JPG

Preform surgeries and procedures

Ear notching, blood sampling, hysterectomies, abscess removal, DNA sampling, micro-chips and more.


There are a variety of different procedures that you’ll be expected to take part in to ensure animals are healthy have the best chance of survival.

​What will you be doing?

  • Preforming procedures on animals

  • Understand and follow compliance during any operation or treatment

  • Practice skills relating to surgery and after care

  • Challenge yourself and work as a team during critical moments

  • Gain a detailed understand of species biology

Research and study

Diagnosing and monitoring animals

During procedures like game transfers and wildlife translocations as part of breeding projects, or surgeries, monitor and check animals to ensure other injuries or illness are noted and treated.

Practice with diagnosing and treating animals accordingly. In addition, monitor key vitals during and after surgeries to ensure animals health.

What will you be doing?

  • Monitor and observe animals for illness or injury

  • Health check animals

  • Diagnose and plan treatment with illness or injury

  • Monitor animals vitals during and post-surgery

Practice and train with equipment

Build skills and confidence using veterinary and vet nursing equipment. With instruction from vets and conservationists with decades of experience, master key tools and techniques used to administer care and ensure wildlife is healthy.  

From dart guns to certain capture and release tarps and pullies, mobile kits and more, train with everything a wildlife veterinarian relies on.

What you'll be doing

  • Gain skills and confidence with wildlife vet equipment

  • Try new tools and equipment like dart guns or capture nets when moving wildlife

  • Practice soft skills in a monitored setting, from injections to scalpels and more

equipment use.JPG
Handling and behaviour
Vet work

Lectures and debates

Headed by veterinary and conservation specialists we’ll host a variety of sector specialists to give talks and lectures on veterinary sciences, conservation history in South Africa as well as current ecological work and conservation management in the area.

Hear from the experts during lectures and join in debates on subjects like: poaching, hunting, managing wildlife populations, history of conservation and more.

What you'll be doing

  • Meet wildlife and conservation experts and professionals

  • Expose your self to new knowledge in the sector of veterinary science and ecology

  • Take part in debates and discussions

debate and discussions.JPG

Cheetah breeding and rehabilitation centre

Bring your veterinary skills and assist with a cheetah breeding and wildlife rehabilitation centre Hamba Africa partners with. This centre focuses on the breeding of the endangered cheetah as well as rehabilitating sick or injured wildlife animals for a second chance at life.

Work with an assortment of species from iconic big cats like cheetah or lions to other, less known animals like servals, caracals or antelope species.

What you'll be doing

  • Preform routing health checks on animals

  • Assist with any planed medical procedures including vaccination work

  • Help with planned or emergency surgeries

  • Gain understanding of cheetah conservation

  • Assist with rehabilitation work with orphaned or injured wildlife

  • Take part in cheetah breeding projects

cheetah being reintroduce to the wild

Reintroduce animals to wildlife areas

Wildlife conservation in the 21st century relies on mankind to manage and move populations to help with genetic diversity or allowing endangered species access to new habitat.

Get hands on with identifying animals for transfer, anesthetising or corralling them onto moving vehicles, supporting with any health checks, inoculations or permits and release them into their new homes.

What you'll be doing

  • Track and locate animals read to move

  • Assist with capture projects

  • Transfer animals to new habitat

  • Inoculate and complete all medical requirements

  • Get and understand of the legalities of moving animals locally, nationally or internationally

Reintroduction work.PNG

Conservation and ecological projects

Wildlife vets need an awareness and understanding environmental pressures and individual species roles in an ecosystem. Take part in existing ecological management, conservation work or wildlife research projects going on in the area to build that awareness.

Although not directly veterinary sciences skills, understanding surveying skills, research techniques or how to manage habitat to ensure healthy biodiversity are critical elements you’ll want to understand as a wildlife vet or vet nurse.

What you'll be doing

  • Take part in existing projects throughout the area

  • Vegetation surveying

  • Camera trap surveying

  • Population surveying

  • Habitat restoration work

  • Small mammal capture

  • Behavioural research work

Conservation work.JPG
Conservation projects

Exploring the area

The North West of South Africa known as the Waterberg is a unique UNESCO area of critical biodiversity, we want you to explore and get to know South Africa during your time with us.

In addition wildlife experiences you’ll have a chance for days out to discover incredible landscapes.

What you'll be doing

  • Discover the Waterberg region of South Africa

  • Travel and visit incredible areas of natural beauty

  • Have a chance to take part in activities throughout the area

discover south africa.JPG
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