Marine Experience Rhino Experience Vet Experience
“My time at the rhino orphanage has been absolutely amazing, I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to get involved with so many different things. Some highlights have been caring for the orphans, going on a game drive with some local school children, cheetah TB testing and an orthopaedic surgery and also seeing a rhino dehorning! Everyone at the orphanage is so kind and it’s because of them that I’ve had the most incredible two weeks – my only wish is that I could stay longer!”Ruby, UK
Inspiring rhino rehabilitation (& pangolin protection when possible)
Game reserve and wildlife orphanage experience
Credible wildlife vets (on request)
Practical clinical EMS and AHEMS sign-offs (when possible)
24 hour support crew
Professional airport pick up and drop off
Community activities and conservation topics (on request)
If you’ve been searching online for wildlife opportunities to gain some in-person, practical experience, you may be restricted by the cost or quality of the options out there. For this reason, we’ve designed an exclusive package just for those passionate about endangered species that is both affordable and of high quality. It’s built around our principles of collaboration, credibility, and accessibility by connecting communities and exceptional projects and experts.
Enquire for 2022 dates.
Pre-arranged arrival into Durban Airport (or Richard’s Bay Airport when possible) where you will be collected by our team (please arrive by 13:00 pm on your arrival day in order to meet our transfer time).
These airports are reached via a 1-hour connecting flight from Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport.
Starting at £120 GBP / $165 USD / *R2350 ZAR (subject to change) per day (2 weeks minimum)
With Vet Add Ons at £100 GBP / $135 USD / *R2000 ZAR (subject to change) per day (based on one day per week)
*Rate based on required South African Rand and therefore international currencies subject to change.
Contact us for details and help coordinating flight arrivals and departures.
Your experience includes
Selecting only 2 students per two-weeks, the Zululand Rhino and Endangered Species Experience will aim to inspire you with a combination of rhino rehabilitation, pangolin protection, plus wildlife vet shadowing (when possible). The experience includes the following highlights…
Focus – Rhino orphanage
Project – Zululand Rhino Orphanage
Summary – It is important to note that times vary depending on the age of the orphans at the facility and the time of the year. If an orphan is still on the milk you can have between 1 and 6 feeds during the day as well as the possibility of night feeds. In the summer months, your day will start as early as 5 am whereas, in winter months, the starting time may be as late as 7 am.
Your morning typically starts with preparing and letting the rhinos out into their larger daytime boma, once a week during this time the rhinos will also be weighed. After letting the rhinos out, you will assist with the cleaning of their nighttime bomas, this includes removing the dung and old hay, as well as cleaning their shelter and water troughs. After this, you will help weigh and prepare dry food (hay) for the rest of the day. Typically, this process takes about 2 hours. Milk feed times depend on the age of the current orphans, you will be provided this schedule upon arrival.
During the middle of the day is when you will get time to relax. You can also use this time to assist with other duties such as simple admin work/ data input, or cleaning the kitchen when you are on shift. This time after the morning duties are also when you might get the opportunity to get involved with community work, and wildlife conservation work in the greater area.
In the afternoons you will assist carers with bringing the rhinos in for the night and ensure they have enough dry food. Currently, we have 2 hippos in our care who will also be fed in the afternoons.
Typically your day will finish by the early evening.
Wildlife Vet Shadow & Reserve Management (1-2 days per week / when possible)
Focus – Shadow an experienced wildlife vet
Summary – Observe practice clinical procedures and reserve procedures like observe darting / capture techniques when possible. We aim to include the following – Assist with rehabilitation, Human-wildlife conflict, anti-poaching, and conservation techniques, Husbandry skills – handling, Husbandry skills – observation. When possible – Husbandry skills – physical exam, Husbandry skills – reproduction, Husbandry skills – routine health care.
Conservation in the community (On request / when possible)
Focus – Community education
Projects – Zululand Conservation Trust
Summary – The Zululand Conservation Trust is committed to the conservation of endangered species, whilst maintaining and supporting partnerships with neighboring communities. More details here.
*We aim to include and allow you to sign off the below topics. Please note that when working with wildlife, wildlife vets, and wildlife conservation there are times when ethics or circumstances do not always allow schedules to run according to plan.
Observe / participate in clinical procedures
Rhino de-horning (numbers dependent)
Wildlife and / or captive routine health care
Assist with wildlife rehabilitation
Human-wildlife conflict, anti-poaching, and conservation techniques
Conservation in the community:
Our accommodation is quite unique! It consists of a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom in a converted shipping container. The room has two single beds, a shelf, and an air conditioner. The bathroom has a toilet, shower, and a hand basin. There is WiFi available.
*Please note: we will only have 2 participants at a time and they will be required to share a room.*
We have a fully equipped communal kitchen for our staff and participants. Participants will need to cover their own food costs as we do not provide food but will provide support and arrangements. A trip to town once a week will allow participants to buy what they need.
We are situated in a low-risk Malaria area – Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We advise participants to consult with their doctor for any vaccinations or about the use of malaria tablets before their travels to South Africa.
Find out more about the Kwa-Zulu Natal area here.
How to book
1. Register here.
2. Once your initial registration has been approved you will be invited to set up an interview here.
3. A deposit request to secure your spot will be sent to you.
4. Personalised support then follows – this includes payment plans and trip planning. Online planning is available here.
Before you travel
The best way to prepare for this experience is to take our Wildlife Vet Online course and read about our partners.
“An absolutely amazing time!!! The cheetah surgery was a once in a lifetime thing to watch – so so lucky. Everyone has been so amazing looking after us and the vet is fab 🙂 not to mention the rhino orphans.”
“A once in a lifetime opportunity to work with some amazing South African wildlife. The team couldn’t have been any nicer and got us involved in as much as possible! Would definitely recommend!!”
“My time at the rhino orphanage has been absolutely amazing, I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to get involved with so many different things. Some highlights have been caring for the orphans, going on a game drive with some local school children, cheetah TB testing and an orthopaedic surgery and also seeing a rhino dehorning! Everyone at the orphanage is so kind and it’s because of them that I’ve had the most incredible two weeks – my only wish is that I could stay longer!”
“An incredible experience for an AHEMS student wanting to experience South Africa and wildlife to its fullest. The whole ZRO team is amazing and super friendly! I can’t recommend highly enough.”