Veterinary Medicine Experience

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


Join a team of qualified veterinary professionals working with various types of domestic animals, livestock to wildlife in South Africa to gain hands-on practical experience.
Gain extra practical experience while helping a very busy qualified veterinary medicine doctor working with low income pet owners and rescued and surrendered animals
Assist with vaccinations, parasite treatment and veterinary care to low income pet owners at a monthly community mobile veterinary clinic
Take part in assisting veterinary doctors from various clinic practices on a monthly mass spay day at a local animal welfare
Jam packed weekends filled with extreme sports, whale & dolphin watching, local markets, lagoon cruises, beach & forest walks, wildlife safaris & animal sanctuaries
Are you studying veterinary medicine, nursing or technology? We have two projects rolled in one that are especially for those qualified or studying these related sciences This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 20+

We have two different veterinary practices that we place our vet students, interns, nurses, technicians and qualified veterinary participants in Knysna. Both have very dedicated qualified staff and both are very different in work routine, treatments and patients. Participants are placed according to availability and their personal needs and goals.

Animal Welfare

This animal welfare project is a privately funded, non-profit association solely working for the benefit of animals found mostly in underprivileged areas.  Acting and speaking for those who have no voice, the society engages in rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing where possible, education programs and daily clinics, as well as operating a sterilization program which operates on a weekly basis, servicing the greater Knysna area. Besides responding to distressed call-outs from the public, the society is often also driven to engage in the welfare of larger animals, that although not falling within their jurisdiction, cannot likewise be ignored. Once a month they host a mass spay day that  takes place at the clinic with veterinary doctors from private practices in the local area joining in to sterilize as many dogs and cats as possible. To prevent unwanted puppies and kittens, sterilizations are very high on the agenda.

Education is power, and to the best of their abilities, the staff of the society distributes visual pamphlets on both the care of animals, feeding requirements, and disease protection and control.  Many of the pet owners have wonderfully cared for and loved animals, but sadly these cases are in the minority, leaving the heavily financially burdened society and limited staff with an awesome, and for the most part, heartbreaking task. The welfare also treats those with lower incomes with low cost veterinary treatment which there is a huge need for.

Private Veterinary Clinic

This private veterinary practice has been established for many decades and is the largest in the area and much loved by the residents and their furry family. They have numerous veterinary doctors, nurses and staff has an excellent reputation for their veterinary treatment with modern equipment. Aside from domestic animals in the greater Knysna area that they treat they also treat livestock and horses in the neighbouring farming areas and wildlife from rehabilitation centers in the area. They hold a mobile veterinary clinic in the poorer areas of the Knysna townships on the first Wednesday morning of the month for vaccinations, flea and mange treatment and to veterinary care. They also treat rescued injured and sick wildlife- both birds and animals- brought in by the local public, for free

Typical day

7.30am - Up for breakfast, get ready for the day and pack a light lunch

8am- You will be collected by our driver and taken to either the veterinary practice or the animal welfare depending on which part of the project you have been accepted on. 

8.30am- the day starts with hospital rounds checking on the overnight patients and then any scheduled operations will take place followed by consultations

13pm- break for lunch

14pm- Time for more consultations

4pm to 5pm- you will be fetched by our driver and taken to your volunteer accommodation. If there are late emergencies you would like to take part in to gain extra experience, we encourage you to stay a little later

Due to the nature of veterinary work, it is impossible to say which veterinary treatment or operations will be taking place as the work is very varied due to the case loads at the time. You may also be required to join a veterinary doctor on field trips treating larger animals like cows or horses on neighbouring farms or assisting at a satellite veterinary clinic in a neighbouring town

Free-time activities

Knysna is one of South Africa’s favourite towns based around the beautiful Knysna estuary with views of the iconic headlands. It is not known as the jewel of the Garden Route for nothing and is surrounded by magical forests, farmlands and a breath-taking coastline dotted with blue flag beaches which are great for swimming, barbequing or just simply watching dolphins surfing in the waves. It is also home to the famous elusive Knysna elephant which are the most southern free roaming elephants in the world and there are still hot debates about the numbers with some saying there is only one left and others a small herd of about 4.

The area that Knysna is situated is the Garden Route of the province of the Western Cape and it is a dream for animal lovers and extreme sports enthusiasts as there are numerous private wildlife reserves, national parks, whale watching, predator sanctuaries, primate sanctuaries, elephant sanctuaries, wolf sanctuaries, skydiving, paragliding, sandboarding, numerous interesting markets and so much more so boredom is not an option.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 20 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 (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
Education Requirements
Veterinary Medicine, veterinary nursing and veterinary technology at Students, qualified or retired professionals level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures
The cost of the project includes accommodation, a food allowance, daily transport to and from the project, airport collections and drop offs, staff on the ground available for emergencies 24/7 and to oversee your stay and safety, marketing costs, donations to the project, a Saturday tour of markets and a wildlife safari- entrance fee for your own cost-and a Sunday lunch braai (BBQ) either at the beach or the forest with all the trimmings with true South African hospitality. The Saturday tour and Sunday braai are included for those booking 15 days and longer. For those booking 14 days, only one is included. 
Airport Pickup at George Airport
Airport collection and drop off is included . You will need to fly into George Airport for your airport collection where you will be met by your Volunteer International Adventures representative and driven to your volunteer accommodation in Knysna.

The volunteer accommodation is a lovely self-catering apartment in the town of Knysna close to shopping malls, restaurants, take-aways, gyms, nightlife, entertainment areas and essential services. There is security and the area is safe to walk around. Accommodation is either shared with another volunteer or single depending on volunteer numbers with each room having its own bedroom with either double or twin beds, a TV, bathroom with a shower, basin and toilet, living area and a kitchen. There is also WIFI. Couples, friends, and families can be accommodated.

Bedroom (Double) Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages
You will also receive a food allowance for your basic food essentials for your self-prepared meals. You will be taken for a grocery shop as part of your induction on your arrival. This means that you can choose the specific food if you have set dietary requirements. There is a kitchen for cooking
Internet Access
Limited 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 George Airport (GRJ) in George. 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.
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


Details on arrival

Starting days are Monday to Friday all year around
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$524 /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
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Volunteer Int. Adventures cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Volunteer Int. Adventures.

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Veterinary Medicine Experience

Are you studying veterinary medicine, nursing or technology? We have two projects rolled in one that are especially for those qualified or studying these related sciences


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