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 while not sacrificing on some of the fantastic food and accommodation that South Africa has to offer.
January 2022 ➜ Fully booked
February 2022 ➜ Interviews now open!
March 2022 ➜ Interviews now open!
April 2022 ➜ Interviews now open!
May 2022 ➜ Interviews now open!
June 2022 ➜ Fully booked
July 2022 ➜ Interviews now open!
August 2022 ➜ Interviews now open!
Enquire for future dates.
Sunday arrival into Richard’s Bay Airport where you will be collected by our team (please arrive by 14:30pm on your arrival day in order to meet our transfer time).
This airport is reached via a 1 hour connecting flight from Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport.
Contact us for details and coordinating flight arrivals and departures.
Starting at £120 GBP / $165 USD / *R2350 ZAR (for 2021) per day (2 weeks minimum)
With Vet Add Ons at £145 GBP / $200 USD / *R2800 ZAR (for 2021) per day (2 weeks minimum)
*Rate based on required South African Rand and therefore international currencies subject to change.
Your experience includes
Selecting only 2 student per two-weeks, the Zululand Experience will bring elements of the Wildlife Vet Online course to life with a combination of rhino rehabilitation, pangolin protection, plus wildlife vet shadowing. The experience includes the following highlights…
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
24 hour support crew
Professional airport pick up and drop off
Community activities and conservation topics (on request)
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 milk you can have between 1 and 6 feeds during the day as well as the possibility of night feeds. In summer months your day will start as early as 5am whereas in winter months, the starting time may be as late as 7am.
Your morning typically starts with preparing and letting the rhinos out into their larger day time 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 night time 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 is 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 as well as making sure 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 (2 day per week / when possible)
Focus – Shadow an experienced wildlife vet
Reserve – Manyoni Reserve
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 are committed to the conservation of endangered species, whilst maintaining and supporting partnerships with neighbouring 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 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 Mkuze 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. Pay a deposit (£100) and processing fee (5% of total due) to secure your spot here.
4. Personalised support then follows – this includes payments plans and trip planning
Before you travel
The best way to prepare for this experience is to take our Wildlife Vet Online course and read about our partners.