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The Wildest Trail

Wildlife Veterinary Training

Bloemfontein, South Africa show on map

Boost your career with this fantastic wildlife veterinary training! Work hands-on with African icons of the savannah like lions, cheetahs, buffalo and many others.

About the Program

The Wildest Trail is designed for those new and learned in wildlife veterinary medicine, and want a “hands-on” experience with African wildlife. The Project is recommended to anyone considering careers in wildlife veterinary medicine, animal research, or if you want to experience the exhilarating field of wildlife veterinary medicine and management. 

The Wildest Trail cooperates with 4 vets and 2 vet clinics in the surrounding area. You will join as many wildlife veterinarians during your stay, depending on availability. On days where no wildlife veterinary work is scheduled you will join a dog rescue enforcement team into the townships, join vets with domestic work or work on the farm.

Program highlights:
  • Wildlife veterinary procedures in the field and clinic.
  • Game capture and translocation.
  • Disease control and blood sampling / Disease testing and prevention.
  • Medical work on sick and injured wildlife.
  • Medical work on domesticated animals and livestock.
  • Learn about veterinary drugs and their uses.
  • Top up your African experience with unique and certified add-on courses that boost your career to new heights.
You can expect work that involves game capture, rehabilitation, conservation and re-introduction, and assisting veterinarians in the area. You will get a wide range of experience, from wildlife diseases, to environmental conservation, to anti-poaching and direct contact with African wildlife.

Veterinary work in a domestic or township setting:

When joining the dog rescue enforcement team into the poor communities, also known as townships, you will perform diagnoses, treatments, prognoses and other veterinary related work yourself. In other words YOU will be the vet. You can expect to treat about a hundred dogs in a single day, which undoubtedly can save many of their lives. Don't worry if you don't know enough yet about pathologies, diseases or medical conditions. The Wildest Trail  will provide you with all the necessary info, pointers, and things to look for before you leave, and the team is always there to help you with their experience. 

Interactive work on the rehab facility:

When you are not out chasing a lion, saving dogs, or wrestling a buffalo in the wilderness there is probably some work that needs to be done at the farm. Work like preparing food for all the animals, or administering medication. Yes sometimes you will have to do some work like cleaning cages or pulling weeds but it is well balanced. The farm hosts a mighty pride of the following species: lion, cheetah, serval, caracal, jackal, velvet monkey, porcupine, bat-eared fox, meerkat, rock hyrax, African civet, and other. The cages of the smaller animals are free to access whenever you want. Once to twice a week there will be guided animal interactions with the cheetahs and white lionesses. The focus is always animal interaction and study, not just patting and then moving on like you will find in many wildlife sanctuaries.

Spicing up the good stuff:

When you save your spot, you can choose which add-on courses you are interested in. These courses can be completed in one to two days, and come in with just a small extra fee. Call it the pepper on the dish! Upon successful completion, you will get an official certificate that you successfully completed the course, which can be great for your resume! All courses are practical, so it’s never just theory only. Experience with spaying and neutering can be arranged upon request.

  • Wildlife rehabilitation course.
  • Captive animal care course.
  • Snake and reptile handling course.
  • African predator course.
  • And many more.

Typical day

Veterinary work with wildlife is very dependent on availability. That's why the program is very flexible to allow you as much hands-on experience as possible.

Volunteers generally work five days a week.

One day a week: Veterinary work with the dog rescue enforcement team in the townships.
One day a week: Add-on course day, depending on your choice.
Off-day: Do what ever you want! Visit the local community, join the dog rescue enforcement team again, go on a big 5 safari, go horseback riding in the Savannah or play tetris. You name it!

Free-time activities

South Africa is an amazing country, where you can do unbelievable things! With the Wildest Trail  you have the opportunity to book several activities for when you won't be working. This can be arranged on your off-day or after your stay with the project. The Wildest Trail is committed to giving you your African experience of a life time!

Depending on your interest you can choose some of the following, but definitely not limited, activities:

  • A 9 day trip to the mighty Kruger Park, and experience the big 5 out there in real in the sticks.
  • A 7 day trip to Cape Town and the Garden route for a Marine Conservation Awareness trail. You can snorkel with seals and penguins, visit the iconic Table Mountain, dive with great white sharks or dive beautiful tropical reefs.
  • A multi-day safari and camping in the bush. Knowing how to barbeque and opening a bottle of wine is mandatory.
  • Also skydiving, horseback safaris and many more activities are available.


Program 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 (basic level)
Health Declaration
Education Requirements
Veterinary medicine at University level
Required Documents
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You must be an animal lover and drool about working with wildlife.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 07:00 - 19:00

Suitable for


Included Services

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High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if The Wildest Trail cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by The Wildest Trail.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
The Wildest Trail (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by The Wildest Trail

The fee is an all-inclusive fee:

  • 3 meals per day and drinks.
  • Accommodation.
  • Transport to and from the project.
  • 24 hour support and supervision on the project.
  • Free usb drive with all the course info, syllabi and certificate of excellence.
  • Free guide to booking cheap flight tickets.
  • Free 500mb Wifi voucher.

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport

You can land in different airports due to VetZ at Wild's central location in South Africa, though Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport is easiest and recommended.


There are three options for accommodation:

Option 1 – The Barn: the ten bedroom farm stall is within walking distance to the main lodge. There is a fully functional kitchen, one bathroom and an extra bathroom facility at the camp site. 2 – 4 volunteers live in a room.

Option 2 - Private room ($18.00 per night extra): This option will give you a private room in our volunteer house. You will share the bathroom and kitchen with the other students.

Option 3 - Upgrade room ($55.00 per night extra): This option will give you a private with an ensuite bathroom, a television, air conditioning and floor heating. You will be sharing the kitchen with the other volunteers in the volunteer house.

Students are based on Zanchieta Wild Cat Rehab Facility, with fellow volunteers for the Big Cat Project:

  • Shared accommodation.
  • Communal kitchen and living area.
  • Electricity.
  • Hot and cold running water.
  • Shower room facilities.
  • All bedding and linen included.
  • Washing service available.
  • Wifi signal is strong at The Barn and on whole of farm.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

We provide:

Breakfast (self-help) – fruits, cereals, breads, spreads and eggs, and surprise daily.
Lunch – sandwiches/muffins, breads, spreads, salads and fruits.
Dinner – a hot meal will be served every night. These range from traditional BBQ, stews, casseroles and vegetables

Please advise us of special dietary requirements. We will try our best to cater for you, however you may have to buy some of your own items such as gluten free products. We will gladly drive you to town for specific groceries.

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.
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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
7 weeks
9 weeks
16 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Bloemfontein/South Africa between 2 weeks and 16 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Wildest Trail will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.
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 The Wildest Trail during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Southern Africa South Africa  Bloemfontein, Helena street, Waterbron

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Wildlife Veterinarian Trainee Modimolle, South Africa The Wildest Trail Agency | The Wildest Trail
The Savannah and all its iconic creatures are waiting! Will you be their vet? Join one of the best wildlife veterinary programs out there!
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