Pre-Vet Project

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Pre-Vet Project

The course is designed for individuals looking to explore or enter the professional field of veterinary science, animal welfare or animal management. Categorised into three distinct learning areas, the project provides a theoretical and hands-on approach to learning. Achieving objectives requires you to experience and interact with wildlife in a game reserve, livestock within a farm and domestic animals within a South African rural village.

Participants on the program will spend around one-third of their time in wildlife environments. Through lecture-based learning and practical interactions you will be exposed to the following: 

  • Five freedoms of animals
  • Health & safety
  • Immobilisation and tranquilisation of animals
  • Game capture*
  • Animal management
  • Threats to wildlife
  • Toxic and venomous animals
  • Animal health and nutrition
  • Exotic pet & health care 

*Every effort is made for you to experience at least two game captures, but as this is seasonal and demand-driven, the project cannot guarantee this activity of the success of this activity. 

Large animals (Such as agricultural livestock) – You will visit a range of livestock farms and rural areas where the work focuses on large animals. Through lecture-based learning and practical interactions you will be exposed to the following: 

  • Health & Safety
  • Basic animal health & animal behaviour
  • Immobilisation
  • Tranquilisation & inoculation of animals
  • Animal management
  • Animal health and nutrition 

Small animals (Such as domestic animals) – participants will go on visits to rural villages and township settlements. You will participate in the newly established Veterinary Clinic in Chintsa to undertake hands-on work with a broad range of small animals. These animals are very often classified as vulnerable and live in extremely difficult circumstances. As a result, they are a high priority for our work. Through information sharing, lecture-based learning and practical interactions you will be exposed to the following: 

  • General disease in small animals 
  • Handling small animals
  • Safety and use of veterinary equipment & over counter medicines
  • Wound care 
  • Community support services & understanding animal management in South Africa

Details about the project

What's included

Upon arrival you will be collected from the airport and driven to your accommodation for the start of your project. 


24 hour support and supervision 


Room share with other volunteers

Food & Beverages

Three meals a day, coffee & tea included

Details about the project

Pre-Vet Project details

  • Arrival Day: Monday 
  • Time: Recommended arrival time is 11:30am 
  • Airport: East London Airport 
  • Departure Day: Monday 
  • Departure time: Your flight can depart anytime on Monday 
  • Min Age: 18 
  • Max Age: N/A – Good physical and mental health 

NOTE: We can also collect you at any Hotel or place of accommodation on your arrival day, should it be within close radius of the City centre or Airport. This project is closed from the 10th of December to the 10th of January.

The project design provides a broad and comprehensive understanding of animals in the African context and exposure is from the large to the small, from the bush to the home and from the chronic to the cared for. You will be expected to participate in all aspects of the project which requires mobility and responsiveness where needed. As a result some participants may feel unsettled, although every effort is made to attend to your comforts and needs. In the past the project has worked with rats, mice, elephant, rhino, dogs, cats, buffalo, lion, bulls, cows, giraffe, goats, sheep, chickens, raptors, antelope, tortoises, snakes, monkeys and many other domestic, agricultural and wildlife species.  

The majority of the practical experiences are with domestic and agricultural animals as wildlife, by their very nature, obviously require less human intervention, are unpredictable, dangerous and expensive. Although the project will deliver a healthy wildlife component, it is important to not be of the impression that this is the majority of your working and learning experience, especially as it relates to hands on professional development.

Monday: Arrivals, community work at Chintsa East Village (small animal practice) 

Tuesday: Pigs, artificial Insemination and iron supplement injections (large animal practice) or horses.

Wednesday: Wildlife, capture, immobilization and transport reptiles (exotic animal practice and handling) or horses, pigs, goats, sheep, dogs and cows (large animal and small animal practice) 

Thursday: Beef cattle, pregnancy testing and vitamin supplement injections.  (large animal practice) or horses, pigs, goats, sheep, dogs and cows (large animal and small animal practice) 

Friday: Sheep, lambing and inoculations (large animal practice) or wild animal management – dectamaxing weaker animals for endo and exo parasites with a dart gun.

(Clinic work will be offered on a pull out rotational basis)

Weekends will be your free time unless the need for unforeseen changes arises.

  • Completion of application form
  • CV/Resumé
  • Basic level of competency in English
  • Copy of return flight itinerary
  • Acceptance subject to availability of position
  • Volunteers are based in the coastal town of Chintsa which is the volunteer hub. Whilst in Chintsa , participants will stay in shared accommodation in the “vollie” house, situated just a few minutes’ walk from the beach.
  • Shared accommodation
  • Communal kitchen & living area
  • Electricity
  • Hot & cold running water
  • Bath & shower room facilities
  • All bedding and linen included
  • Washing machine available for volunteer use
  • WIFI at the VA32 office, as well as at the volunteer house (intermittently at the house!)

Due to the nature of the Pre-Vet Experience, volunteers will work between various reserves, farms and rural villages and are mobilized to where the work is. Program accommodation reacts to this need and therefore you can expect to stay in a variety of accommodation in the wider Chintsa area. This accommodation will always be comfortable and safe and could include work based tented camps, bush cottages, farm houses and occasionally lodges.


Activity level


Education level


Involvement level


Independence level

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