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Safari4u Game Capture Internship

Price South Africa 1-2 Weeks
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Safari4u Game Capture Internship

South Africa
Game Capture volunteers assist an experienced South African wildlife vet and their professional game capture team with wildlife relocations throughout the Eastern Cape. Students will be involved in every aspect of the capture from planning to immobilization, then transport and release.  Students will be providing treatments as needed, monitoring vitals, and physically transporting a variety of species. Discussion groups with experts in the field allow for a comprehensive wildlife conservation and veterinary experience.


***New in 2023: A 1-week Game Capture Certificate Course, Introduction to Chemical Immobilization of African Mammals, is now available to add-on to any Safari4u Vet Experience or Game Capture session. In this 1-week course, students will be involved in every aspect of the capture from planning to immobilization, then transport and releases . Training includes lectures on the history of game capture, related pharmacology, standard operating procedures, dart gun safety and practice, obtaining and processing lab samples, providing treatments as needed, monitoring vitals, and more. Limited to 7 students per session.***

Now Accepting applications for 2023!  


Game Capture (per week): $1700 USD

Game Capture Certificate Course Add-on (1-week): $1400 USD

  • Destination
  • Departure
    Game Capture Sessions: April 22-May 8 | July 29-Aug 7 Certificate Course Add-on Weeks: April 15-22 | July 22-29
  • Departure Time
  • Return Time
    Pre-Vet Students | Vet Students | Vet Techs & Nurses | Vets
  • Dress Code
    Interns receive a welcome packet on arrival with a full program itinerary, guide to local culture and t-shirt. Training is provided for all activities. * Dates include certification course, limited to 7 interns per session.
  • Included
    Airport Transfers
    Laundry Facilities
    On-Site Support
    Pre-Departure Support
  • Not Included
    Free-time Activities
    Travel Insurance
    Visa Fees (if applicable)
Introduction to Wildlife Chemical Immobilization Certification Course
Saturday: Arrival in Chintsa
Sunday: Free time
Monday: Lectures Overview of Game Capture, purpose of chemical immobilization, pharmacology, safety/first aid, species specific protocols
Tuesday: Lectures & Practical Equipment use and demonstration, dart gun safety and target practice, sample collection and monitoring, ticks and tick borne diseases
Wednesday: Field Work Herd evaluation, darting, monitoring, sample collection, recording, reversal, lab sample identification
Thursday: Field & Lab Work AM: Herd evaluation, darting, monitoring, sample collection, recording, reversal PM: processing of lab samples, tick ID and diseases in SA
Friday: Final Exam AM: Predator protocols, post-mortem techniques in wildlife PM: Final exam Evening: Social with certificate presentation
Saturday: Free time
Practical Capture (darting, +/-helicopter)
Sunday: Free time- transfer to capture site
Monday - Thursday: Capture Days
Friday: Morning Capture  Transfer to Chintsa
Saturday-Sunday: Free Time
Sunday: Free time- transfer to capture site
Practical Capture (mass capture, net, darting, passive)
Sunday: Free time- transfer to capture site
Monday - Thursday: Capture Days
Friday: Morning Capture  Transfer to Chintsa
Saturday-Sunday: Free Time
Monday: Departure

Tour Location

During the certificate course accommodations will be at our home base in Chintsa in dorm-style rooms with electricity, running water, and modern bathrooms at a beautiful property adjacent to Chintsa Beach.  Amenities include a pool, volleyball court, ping-pong table, yoga room, canoes, boogie boards, indoor and outdoor lounging spaces and dining areas, pool table, and communal kitchens all with beautiful views and a short walk to the beach.

During practical game capture weeks, volunteers will be based in the Bedford area of the Eastern Cape. Bedding is provided and we guarantee safe and comfortable accommodation throughout the program. Meals are simple and nutritious. Breakfast consists of cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, tea, and coffee. A sandwich lunch is packed at the beginning of each day- options include meat & cheese, peanut butter & jelly, or tuna mayo, along with fruit and juice. Dinner includes a protein, a starch, and at least 1 vegetable. We try to accommodate all dietary preferences. Our vegetarian menu has gotten rave reviews!

*Alternate weekend plans can be arranged to visit and stay at a local game reserve or other options from our activities section for an additional fee*
Overall Rating


  • Anonymous

    June 17, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    Amazing and life changing experience.

    May 2022

  • Danielle

    June 17, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    This was a phenomenal experience. I am so estatic I was able to be apart of it! I learned so many new things pertaining to different species, medications for each animal, the different ways of capture, the reasons, and just so much knowledge on this trip! The things we were able to do just always blew my mind. Each day was filled with something new, different and exciting. I always felt safe due to the level of skill and precautions taken for the animals by staff included in each experience. Everyone was also so welcoming and nice, I felt right at home. I was able to be involved in so many things and such a variety of animals! Hands down my favorite trip I have ever taken. I HIGHLY recommend this adventure!

    May 2022

  • Debbie

    June 17, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    Life changing experience!

    May 2022

  • Anonymous

    June 17, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    🙂 Working with wildlife was life changing. Once in a lifetime experience. Food, accommodations and Staff were great! Please be advise of cultural differences when visiting South Africa. You won’t regret it!

    May 2022

  • Shannon B.

    June 17, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    This adventure was an amazing experience, and difficult to put into words. It was the culmination of my passions for veterinary medicine, wildlife, and conservation all rolled into one action-packed expedition through South Africa.

    May 2022

  • Anonymous

    June 17, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    The game capture program was an amazing experience! Getting to learn about and work with such a wide variety of animals was something I will never forget. Spending time in South Africa and learning about the people and culture was amazing. Will definitely be back!

    May 2022

  • Natalia V.

    June 17, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    Loved the hands on experience with wildlife, learned so much about South Africa, even more than what I expected, the food was so goood and surprisingly the coffee too (wasn’t expecting it to be good). I’m so happy I did this, I would encourage other students to do it and also recommend to do research about South Africa before you get there so that you have some knowledge about everything (culture, economy, food, etc) also if you know someone that have done it before, talk to them.

    May 2022

  • Anonymous

    June 17, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    I got to live my childhood dream of helping animals and going to South Africa.

    May 2022

  • Brianna M.

    June 17, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Incredible learning experience! This trip really changed my view and understanding of a lot of the practices in South Africa and provided opportunities I could have never gotten anywhere else, like giving medications to zebra and springbok or assisting in a lion vasectomy!

  • Kailey M.

    September 3, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    August 2021

    10 / 10

    I had so many experiences on this trip that I never knew were possible. It was a blast getting to know other students and locals while doing game capture.

  • Trina Bellinger

    September 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Just completed the two week capture program and it lived up to the adventure I was looking for. From the madness of net capture to the precision of dart capture the program surpassed my expectations. Gaining hands on experience with African wildlife and learning many aspects of game capture, reserves and conservation from and insiders view has proven very valuable in giving me a whole new perspective as well helping in my career as a zoo vet tech.

    I’ve met students from all over… Canada, Mexico, Denmark, Iceland and of course South Africa and US. We did everything from stargazing on the beach to camping with game drives to night clubs. The staff is outstanding.

    Special thanks to: Ashely for suggesting this program. Dennis and Janet for checking in repeatedly to make sure we were not only ok but happy 🙂 and arranging every possible wish of activities for the small amount of downtime I had (due to my own travel sched). Nico for getting us started days 1.5 at the capture site and for a perfect weekend of game drives and majestic animal interactions. Alex and Lanielle for escorting us through a majority of our program.

    Truly an unforgettable experience!

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Vet/Animal Activities:

The majority of our African wildlife experience is through game capture: the tranquilization of wild animals for treatment or relocation. Tasks include monitoring vitals, injecting medication, providing treatments and physically transporting the animal. Students also learn about the dart gun and have an opportunity to practice under supervision (firearm operation & safety training is provided). ***New in 2023: A 1-week Game Capture Certificate Course in Chemical Immobilization of African Mammals is now available to add-on to any Safari4u Vet Experience or Game Capture session. In this 1-week course, students will be involved in every aspect of the capture from planning to immobilization, then transport and releases . Training includes lectures on the history of game capture, related pharmacology, standard operating procedures, dart gun safety and practice, obtaining and processing lab samples, providing treatments as needed, monitoring vitals, and more.***
*Please note: This is a physically demanding session- volunteers will not be asked to perform tasks outside of their comfort zone, but they should be prepared to be active most of the day.
Types of Capture:
  • Helicopter Capture
  • Curtain Capture
  • Net Capture
  • Dart Gun Capture
  • Passive Capture
  • Cage Traps
Lecture & Discussion Topics:
  • Safety protocols during game capture
  • Pharmacology (species-specific tranquilizers)
  • Species identification and herd monitoring
  • Dart gun safety, introduction and practice
  • Types of capture (when, why, and how)
  • Hunting (Canned, Trophy, Conservation, etc.)
  • Population control (culling vs. relocation)
  • Ethics of game capture
  • Ethics of specialized breeding
  • Ticks and tick borne diseases
  • Obtaining and processing lab samples
  • Animal Experience (hours/week): 25-30
  • Vet Experience (hours/week): 25-35
  • Clinical Experience (hours/week): 10-20
  • Surgical Experience (hours/week): 0
There are many reasons that an animal might need to be captured, including:
    • Genetic Variation: Most wild animals in South Africa are contained within a government and private game reserves to protect them from the growing human population. This has created a need to closely monitor the population of animals within each reserve to prevent inbreeding and overpopulation. Animals are moved in and out periodically to mix up the gene pool.
    • Land: Sometimes the land on a game reserve becomes inappropriate for type or number of animals on it and they must be relocated, i.e. during a drought or after a bush fire.
    • Poachers: Another danger for animals in game reserves is illegal hunting, also known as poaching. This is especially troubling for reserves with certain species like the white rhino. When a game reserve experiences a high level of poaching, the animals may be removed to a different part of the reserve or another reserve for their own safety.
    • Illness/Injury: This is not as common a reason as most people think it is, because wildlife are usually more difficult to find and capture when they’re ill or injured. The sedation may even be more of a risk than leaving the condition unattended. Money is also a consideration, as it often is in veterinary medicine- the worth of one animal may not be great enough to warrant the necessary vet bills (similar to a production animal point-of-view).
    • Game Farms: This is a major reason for game capture in South Africa and it’s a strange concept for people from the Western world- a man with a private game reserve may buy a giraffe simply because he wants to own a giraffe. The process is strictly regulated to ensure that the land is appropriate, the vet is using acceptable drugs & equipment, and the animal’s welfare is not compromised. This is a controversial topic and there are many factors to consider (including those mentioned above)- students have an opportunity discuss this topic with our wildlife vet, Program Coordinators, and each other as a group discussion.

Free-Time Activities:

Weekend Activities and Trips include:

Stay Local: Our motto is “work hard, play hard!" Weekends and evenings are free time for volunteers on all programs to unwind from the excitement of the week. Some students head to the beach or hang out at the local cafe for a laid-back atmosphere, but those looking for more excitement can certainly find it in and around Chintsa. All bookings can be made on arrival.
  • Horse Riding - Take a leisurely ride from the bush to the beach and support our local equine rescue and rehabilitation center (3 Hours).
  • Surf Lessons - Learn to ride the waves on the beautiful Chintsa Beach with a qualified instructor (3 hours).
  • Quad Bike Safari Tour - Ride through the game reserve on your own ATV and see wildlife from a whole new perspective (1 or 2 hours)
  • Zipline Tours - Fly through the game reserve over 10 zip lines up to 153m long and 70m high (2 hours)
  • Kayaking/Canoeing - Take a leisurely paddle through the game reserve and enjoy the scenery (half day)
  • Abseiling - Repel down the cliffs of the Areena game reserve to really get your adrenaline pumping (1 hour)
  • Spa Treatments - Think you deserve some pampering after running around in the bush all week? Head to Crawford’s Spa to release that tension and start the next week rested and refreshed.
  • Brewery Tour - Visit our local brewery, learn about the brewing process and even stay for lunch.
  • Volleyball - Join the locals in a friendly game or grab some friends and start your own match.

Overnight Trips:

Want to see more of South Africa? Use the weekend to explore the Eastern Cape, Wild Coast, or even Cape Town by rental car or Baz BusAll bookings can be made on arrival.

  • Addo Elephant National Park - Visit the third largest National Park in South Africa and see some of the country’s most amazing creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Hogsback Mountain Village - J. R. R. Tolkien’s inspiration for The Lord of the Rings’ fantasy world “Middle-earth”.
  • Inkwenkwezi - Spend a night or two at a local game reserve with game drives, quad biking, canoeing, and great food!
  • Shark Cage Diving - Get up close and personal with some great white sharks for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s sure to get your blood pumping.
  • Bungee Jumping - If you’re an adrenaline junky, head to the Bloukrans Bridge for the tallest commercial bridge bungee jump in the world.
  • Sky Diving - There’s no better place to jump out of a plane than over the beautiful Garden Route.
  • Cango Caves - Walk and climb through this natural landmark to experience one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations.
  • Sandboarding - When in Africa… ride the dune!
  • Cape Town - Climb Table Mountain (or take the cable car) | See Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island | Take a wine-tasting tour | Experience night life on Long Street | Waddle down to the penguin colony | Have breakfast and shop at the V&A Waterfront | And a lot more!
Vet-Experience-in-South-Africa-Adventure---Global-Vet-Experience                       Wildlife-Vet-in-South-Africa---Global-Vet-Experience    Chintsa East Activities - Kayaking - Global Vet Experience           Vet-Experience-in-South-Africa-Ocean---Global-Vet-Experience                       Eastern Cape - Global Vet Experience        Vet-Experience-in-South-Africa-Global-Vet-Experience

Please submit an application for this program below. Our team will contact you with more information within 72 hours- if you don’t hear from us, please check your spam folder!