Wildlife Veterinary Medicine and Rehabilitation

Volunteer Int. Adventures
Ask A Question
Coordinator | Sharon
Coordinator | Sharon
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Some of the species treated include owls, bats, raptors, mongooses, pangolins, serval, genets, bushbabies, hedgehogs, garden birds, water birds, reptiles, honey badgers and otters
Regularly veterinary students and nurses are trained in the approach to the treatment and rehabilitation of indigenous wildlife by the onsite qualified wildlife veterinary doctor.
The rehabilitation aspect is run and overseen by a wildlife rehabilitation specialist, aided by permitted, trained team members. You will assist them with food prep and closure cleaning onsite.
If you are studying veterinary medicine, this project can be used as an internship as the veterinary doctor is qualified to sign off on practical credit documentation.
Witness surgeries, examinations, x-rays and medical treatments, depending on patients in care and assist with animal enrichments for those in undergoing rehabilitation
Assist a top wildlife veterinary medicine doctor and a highly experienced wildlife rehabilitation expert in their daily duties treating rescued indigenous wildlife. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups

Assist a team of an experienced full-time wildlife rehabilitation specialist and a wildlife veterinary doctor at this fantastic wildlife veterinary hospital treating indigenous small to medium sized South African wildlife. All the wildlife treated and rehabilitated, are wild without owners and once healthy and mature enough, will be released back into a safe natural environment to be free as nature intended.

Some of the species treated include owls, bats, raptors, mongooses, pangolins, serval, genets, bushbabies, hedgehogs, garden birds, water birds, reptiles (tortoises, snakes and monitor lizards), honey badgers and otters — to name but a few.

Often injured and compromised wildlife are taken to the nearest veterinary practice for treatment. Frequently, the veterinarian on duty does not have the expertise, the time, or the resources to treat a particular species and as a result these animals often get inadequate care (medical, dietary and husbandry). Even 24-hour veterinary facilities are not equipped to handle wildlife longterm, as this- in particular rehabilitation- is not their specialty.

So a veterinary facility that only treats indigenous wildlife on a full-time basis was established. The rehabilitation aspect of the hospital is run and overseen by a wildlife rehabilitation specialist, aided by permitted, trained team members. Regularly veterinary students and nurses are trained as well as experienced veterinarians in the approach to the treatment and rehabilitation of indigenous wildlife by the onsite qualified wildlife veterinary doctor. For those studying veterinary medicine, this project can be used as an internship as the veterinary doctor is qualified to sign off on practical credit documentation.

Volunteers allow the project to grow as a facility by taking on more patients and a greater workload. The project is busiest in the summer months, December, January and February, and baby season which is Spring, September, October and November, but requires assistance all year round.

While the project is a veterinary hospital first-and-foremost, a large portion of the work done consists of wildlife rehabilitation, cleaning and food preparation – husbandry. As wildlife is treated for free and funds are limited to employ local staff, volunteers are relied on to help with this work.

Volunteers assist with 6 days on and 1 day off a week.

Volunteers WILL be required to assist with cleaning inside cages and outside enclosures. This involves removing old food and faeces and replacing contaminated blankets and straw.
Volunteers WILL be required to assist with food preparation. This involves chopping vegetables for tortoises and other herbivores, sorting insects for our insectivores, and chopping day-old chicks, rats, mice and other ‘wild’ meat for our carnivores and omnivores.

Depending on the work load, volunteers MAY:

  • assist with animal enrichments for those in undergoing rehabilitation
  • have the opportunity to handle, hold, or assist with the treatment of some of the patients.
  • have the opportunity to witness surgeries, examinations, x-rays and medical treatments, depending on the patients currently in care. Those studying or qualified in veterinary medicine, will be able to assist the veterinary doctor in procedures.
  • have the opportunity to witness or assist with gavaging (tube-feeding) birds that are too young or too sick to feed themselves.

Volunteers need to be enthusiastic, hard-working, and eager to learn. Over the busiest seasons of summer and baby season, volunteers are required to work extra hard, often without breaks. If you have any physical limitations, please let us know beforehand, so that we can adjust the jobs assigned to you accordingly.

Typical day

Daily schedule

07:00- have a fresh start, shower and enjoy a good breakfast

08:10- start the brisk 2-minute walk to the veterinary facility with other volunteers

08:15- arrive and wait for the the staff to open the gate. The hospital opens at 08:00 in the week and 09:00 on weekends and volunteers need to arrive 15 minutes after opening time.

12:00 to 12:30- have a quick break and enjoy your packed lunch

17:00- its closing time and time to walk back to the guesthouse with other volunteers. In summer when very busy, you may be asked to assist a little later. Summers are hot so a perfect time to also take a dip in the pool before dinner

18:00- time for a great hearty dinner and relaxing time with other volunteers.

Free-time activities

Although Johannesburg is not the capital of South Africa, it is the largest business hub with a very large buzzing population. It is easy to organise an Uber to take you to local shopping malls on your days off or alternatively we can assist you with a private tour to local wildlife reserves, like the Pilansburg Wildlife reserve, on your day off to view the Big 5.  There are plenty of interesting attractions for those wanting to learn more about South Africa's history and many cultures like tours to the Apartheid Museum, the Cradle of Mankind, Gold Reef City or Vilakazi Street in Soweto, the home of three noble peace prizewinners. It is also very easy to travel from Johannesburg after your project to Cape Town, Durban, Kruger National Park or other parts of South Africa

......or even catch a short flight to Victoria Falls to catch this must-see natural wonder of the world.

Concert/
Music
Hiking
Riding
Safari/
Zoo
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Sightseeing
Sports
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
This project is suited for those qualified or studying veterinary medicine, zoology, conservation or any related subject. It is a serious project and best for those looking for practical credit for their career
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures
The cost of the project includes 3 hearty meals a day, accommodation shared with only one other volunteer, meeting you at OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg, airport transfers on arrival and return, a donation to your project, pre-departure support and admin and in-country staff
Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport
You will need to fly into OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for your collection during daytime only where you will be met by your driver with your name on a board at the Arrivals entrance to take you to your volunteer accommodation. 
Accommodation
The volunteer accommodation is a wonderful family run guesthouse, a 2-minute walk from the centre itself on a secluded street in an access controlled quiet suburb on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The property is large with a leafy natural setting and incredible bird life. It has full 24/7 monitored security, armed response and the owners and their dogs live on the property with you, other guests and volunteers. Rooms have shared bedrooms and bathrooms with one other- or can be upgraded to a single for a small surcharge. Shared bedrooms for couples and friends can be organised. There is a kitchen for your meals and a pool to cool off in those hot sunny days. There are braai facilities. Rooms have tea and coffee stations. There is a lounge to watch satellite TV in the evenings. It is up to the volunteers to keep their living spaces tidy. Linen is provided. Laundry services are available for a surcharge. There is free WIFI. Volunteers walk the short stretch with other volunteers to the project base in the mornings and evenings.
Guesthouse
Food & Beverages
 Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided and are traditional South African style... which of course means large portions. Breakfast is from 07:00 and is a choice of cereals, toasts and spreads and a cooked breakfast. Lunch is a packed meal and dinners are a hearty cooked meal in the dining area with others served from 18:00. Vegetarian meals can be catered for too. 
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

You choose your start and finish dates although we advise you to arrive on a weekend to settle in for a Monday start. The airport you need to fly into and depart from is OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. Arrival flights must land by 17:00 at the latest. Your check-in to your accommodation is from 14:00 and it is at least a 40 minute drive from OT Tambo International airport to your accommodation. You will be met at the Arrivals section by your driver with your name on a board.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,152
3 weeks
$1,664
4 weeks
$2,176
5 weeks
$2,688
6 weeks
$3,200
7 weeks
$3,712
12 weeks (max. stay)
$6,272
Average fees
$549 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Volunteer Int. Adventures will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Volunteer Int. Adventures during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Volunteer Int. Adventures cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Volunteer Int. Adventures.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Wildlife Veterinary Medicine and Rehabilitation

Assist a top wildlife veterinary medicine doctor and a highly experienced wildlife rehabilitation expert in their daily duties treating rescued indigenous wildlife.

$429/week

You might be also interested in

Sea Turtle Conservation Ambassador Quepos, Costa Rica Tortugas de Pacuare
Volunteer and save turtles, make a difference and meet one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Join us in Pacific CR!
Conservation of Whale & Dolphin Populations Tenerife, Spain GVI
Contribute to critical whale & dolphin conservation initiatives in the beautiful subtropical island archipelago - Canary Islands.
Migrants and Refugees Integration Support Napoli, Italy International Napoli Network
Help the refugee and migrant community to gain a foothold in Europe by supporting shelters, schools, health care and activities tailored to their long-term integration.
Caring for Rescued Lions at a Sanctuary Knysna, South Africa Volunteer Int. Adventures
Give hands-on help with an ethical lion sanctuary in the northern part of South Africa caring for lions saved from bad circumstances.
Endangered Wildlife Monitoring and Research Sontuli, South Africa Volunteer Int. Adventures
Volunteer with endangered species with a team of dedicated conservationists, researchers and wildlife experts on protected reserves- a true African bush experience
Brochure

Why am I seeing this?

You requested a page that doesn't exist on this site any more. This could be caused by a link you followed that was out of date, by a typing in the wrong address in the address bar, or simply because the post has been deleted.

Take Me Home