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Safari4u Vet Experience Internship

Price South Africa 3 weeks+
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Safari4u Vet Experience Internship

South Africa

Vet Experience volunteers help small animals in disadvantaged communities, large animals in production and community outreach settings, and wildlife through game capture, reptile handling, and zoo projects. Volunteers can expect to explore different aspects of veterinary medicine, add a unique experience to their resume, help animals in need, and have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in South Africa! Check out the “Activities” tab for more information on day-to-day activities and the “Schedule” tab for a sample schedule.

***New in 2023: A 1-week Game Capture Certificate Course, Introduction to Chemical Immobilization of African Mammals, is now available to add-on to Safari4u Vet Experience sessions. 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, and more.  Limited to 7 students per session. *Additional fee applies, subject to availability.*


3-week session: $3,300 USD

Additional weeks: $900 USD/week

  • Destination
  • Departure
    Every Monday | Mid January to Mid December
  • Departure Time
    Small Animal | Large Animal | Wildlife
  • Return Time
    Animal Lovers | Pre-Vet Students | Vet Students | Vet Techs & Nurses | Vets
  • Dress Code
    This program runs on a 3-week cycle, so a minimum duration of 3 weeks is recommended. 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. The program fee supports our non-profit clinic as well as volunteer activities, transportation and accommodation.
  • Included
    Airport Transfers
    Laundry Facilities
    On-Site Support
    Pre-Departure Support
  • Not Included
    Free-time Activities
    Travel Insurance
    Visa Fees (if applicable)
Week 1 - Monday:
  • Arrival
Week 1 - Tuesday:
  • Pig artificial insemination & iron injections (Large Animal)
  • Reptile handling (Wildlife)
Week 1 - Wednesday:
  • Community Outreach (small animal)
Week 1 - Thursday:
  • Dart Gun Introduction & Training
  • Game Capture (Wildlife)
Week 1 - Friday:
  • Cattle Pregnancy Testing (Large Animal)
  • Vitamin Injections (Large Animal)
Week 1 - Saturday & Sunday:
  • Free time with optional Weekend Activities
Week 2 - Monday:
  • Non-profit Small Animal Clinic (Small Animal)
Transfer to Community Outreach site
Week 2 - Tuesday:
Community Outreach (Large & Small Animal):
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Cows
  • Dogs
Week 2 - Wednesday:
Community Outreach (Large & Small Animal):
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Cows
  • Dogs
Week 2 - Thursday:
Community Outreach (Large & Small Animal):
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Cows
  • Dogs
Transfer to Chintsa
Week 2 - Friday:
  • Game Capture (Wildlife)
Week 2 - Saturday & Sunday:
  • Free time with optional Weekend Activities
Week 3 - Monday:
  • Equine lameness exams, wound treatment, vaccine and antibiotic administration (Large Animal)
Week 3 - Tuesday:
  • Community outreach (Small Animal)
  • Zoo enrichment (Wildlife)
Week 3 - Wednesday:
  • Game Capture (Wildlife)
Week 3 - Thursdsay:
  • Sheep clinical exams, wound care, lambing, vaccine and antibiotic administration (Large Animal)
Week 3 - Friday:
  • Game Capture (Wildlife)
Week 3 - Saturday-Sunday:
  • Free time with optional Weekend Activities
Week 4 - Monday:
  • Departure
This itinerary is an example of a 3-week session. Activities are planned according to the needs of the community. Weekly schedules are released at the start of each week and are updated daily to account for new opportunities, vet emergencies, and weather.
Game Capture Certification Course (1-week add-on)
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

Tour Location

Chintsa is the “home base” of the program. Vet Student and Vet Experience interns stay in dorm-style rooms 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.

Chintsa is a beach town near many villages, farms and game reserves, which provide access to a wide range of animals and activities. Interns often spend 1-2 nights per session at one of our Community Project sites. Bedding is provided (sheets, pillows, blankets) and we guarantee safe and comfortable accommodation at all sites. Meals are simple and nutritious. Breakfast consists of cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, tea, and coffee. Interns pack a sandwich lunch 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!

Overall Rating


  • Gabby Troy

    August 11, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Safari4u is the perfect hands-on experience for any pre-vet looking to work with a variety of animals. This experience with deworming, treating wounds, and capturing wildlife is one that would be difficult to find anywhere else. From dogs to cows to impala to ticks, I learned an abundance of information and skills that will factor into my future career choice. What made this all exponentially more fun was the wonderful and energetic staff who worked with us every day!

    May/June 2023

  • Anonymous

    August 11, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    The staff and fellow students were amazing and really helpful in learning with me. I got to get lots of experience with things I had only done a few times before, so I now feel way more comfortable and confident in my skills. The experience was amazing!!

    May/June 2023

  • Hannah Mercurio

    August 11, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    I thought this program was great! I learned a ton about large and small animals and really enjoyed the Game Capture certificate course […]. The staff was very friendly and really went out of their way to educate the students. The accommodations were lovely and the food was great. I would definitely recommend this to any pre-vet students.

    June 2023

  • Joseph L.

    August 15, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    This experience went above and beyond my expectations. I got plenty of experience with small animals, large animals, and wildlife. The staff was extremely friendly, and I made some amazing relationships with students, staff, and veterinarians!

    August 2022

  • Tanvi K

    July 25, 2022 at 9:55 am

    It was an amazing experience with Global Vet Experience! Worked with amazing animals, met amazing people and got to experience South Africa at its best and natural self😍
    You will learn a lot not just about veterinary but also about yourself in this experience.

    (Safari4u Vet Experience &. Vet Student Internships)

    July 2022

  • Yasline B

    August 3, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    Overall the internship experience was awesome. I enjoyed everything of South Africa. The program accommodations are good and the views from the rooms are amazing. About the program staff they are very nice and they’re always willing to teach you. Also, they’re very friendly. Definitely this program met my expectations. We worked with wild, domestic and farm animals and reptiles. The booking process is pretty easy and the personal always responded my questions. I definitely would recommend this internship to other people that are interested in work with animals.

  • Rilee P

    August 3, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    This is an amazing program for people of all skill levels. Through this program’s spectrum of activities it helped give me brief idea of what I’d more so like to put my focus on when becoming a vet and working in the field. Also, as somebody who had never traveled too far from home before (internationally), this program was great, the staff and other students were all kind and welcoming. Great people, great work days, and lots of opportunities. By my last week I was wanting to stay longer and do more!

  • Anna K

    August 3, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    The Safari4U Vet Experience Internship changed my life. This program reminded me of my passion to pursue a career in Vet Med, and created a new-found love for South Africa in my heart. I highly recommend this program for any student who wants to pursue some form of animal science occupation in the future. This program improved my skills and confidence in handling and treating a multitude of species. I will be returning next summer to re live my amazing experience over again- I 10/10 recommend this program!!

  • Carolyn M.

    August 15, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    I am entering my first year of veterinary school, and I absolutely loved it. The […] program covered a broad spectrum of species and provided an array of new experiences. During the 4 weeks I was there we worked with livestock, small animals, and wildlife both in and outside of a clinic. All of the staff are very friendly and eager to help you learn… I would recommend all of these programs to those who are interested in a career in veterinary medicine or other animal related industries.

  • Briana G.

    August 12, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    [This program] is amazing. I learned so much during this program, although, I didn’t have much animal experience before hand. You get a lot of hands on work with animals but they definitely don’t push you if you don’t want to do something. The weekends you can do whatever you want, they also have activities that you can schedule! All and all, I would definitely come back— I had an amazing time and this internship opened me up to a world of different opportunities in vet medicine.

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Vet/Animal Activities:

Learn about all the animals you'll be working with here.
Small Animal: Our non-profit clinic provides critical veterinary care to small animals (mostly dogs) in the Chintsa area. Our Community Project extends this care to small and large animals in disadvantaged communities throughout the Eastern Cape. Students also spend 2-3 days (1-2 nights) at one of our community sites, during which the group examines and treats several hundred animals. This may be under the direct supervision or on behalf of a qualified vet- training is provided and a Program Coordinator is assigned to each group of students for support and advice.
Large Animal: Whether you want to be a large animal, small animal, mixed practice, or exotics vet, you’ll need large animal experience to get through vet school! Equine practice and farm animal production are major areas of veterinary medicine and a big part of any veterinary curriculum. We designed the large animal component from recommendations and prerequisites of AVMA accredited vet schools to give our volunteers the most relevant hands-on experience. Volunteers work with a variety of animals in a production setting and through our non-profit community project.
Wildlife: South Africa has one of the most diverse and exciting populations of wildlife in the world. In Chintsa, we are surrounded by a number of game reserves that frequently capture and release animals. We work with several highly experienced wildlife vets who enjoy teaching students about their profession and the incredible animals they get to work with every day. Students work closely with the wildlife vet and their capture to locate, immobilize, transport, and release wildlife, a process commonly known as “Game Capture”. Students also work with wildlife through our rehabilitation program at the East London Zoo, and the reptile sanctuary. ***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, and more.***
Typical Experience Hours Per Week: 
  • Animal Experience: 20-30
  • Vet Experience: 20-40
  • Clinical Experience: 20-30
  • Surgical Experience: 0

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!