Wildlife Vet Experience – July 2022

Live blog of the Wildlife Vet Experience – July 2022

Follow the journey of students from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow, the University of Bristol and the University of Liverpool as they tackle their biggest, most exciting and most daring vet placement to date…the Wildlife Vet Experience 2022 with The Expedition Project and Enza Safari!

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*Week 1 additional stats details: More than 13 reserves were visited, and 8 animal species were worked on (Impala, Buffalo, Nyala, Sable, Kudu, Roan Antelope, Blesbok, Rhino), and a total of 33 animals were worked on. Each student has given an average of 8 intramuscular injections.

*Week 2 additional stats details: 4 projects and 1 reserve were visited, 3 animal species were worked on (Cheetah, Lion and domestic dogs), and a total of 8 other species were monitored (within HESC).

Traditional South African meals tried: Braai vleis, Potjiekos, Malva pudding, Boerewors rolls. Tried local cooldrinks like Mageu, Crème Soda, Granadilla Twist.

Live temperature
Last location

Let’s go!

Day 1 (Sunday)

Travel day

After arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, we then drove the 453km journey to Gravelotte, Limpopo for our first week.

Week 1 Accommodation

Read more about Magwena River Lodge accommodation here.

Day 1 concluded with an arrival briefing, a few project gifts, lasagne for dinner, some welcome drinks, and a chat around the fire.

  • Fire pit talk with warnings about buffalo alongside cold refreshments (run if they run!)
  • First “load shedding” experience
  • Midnight encounter with a pair of giraffes! (a tower of giraffes)
  • Very starry night upon arrival

Day 2 AM (Monday)


We started with breakfast and then a guided bush walk. Very informative and interesting for the team. Lots to learn about the environment we are in and the animals that inhabit it.

  • First group breakfast with a late start
  • Guided walk with Rico down the dried riverbed, talking about tracking (wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, civet, hyena), termite mounds, leadwood trees (with folklore), Mopani trees, and buffalo thorn (and the reason behind their names)
  • Quick lunch, thanks to the lovely Simon

Day 2 PM (Monday)

Vet shadowing with Dr Boshoff

An afternoon working with Impala and Buffalo.

  • The first encounter with the 11-person safari vehicle open to the elements– hold onto your caps, keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle
  • The first meeting with Dr Bossie was all business at our first Game Reserve
  • We also met Gerry, the famous local helicopter pilot
  • Gerry and Bossie were off to dart the white-flanked impala first, followed by a common impala. Half followed on an open-backed keep, looking out for the sedated animals
  • We captured them and transported them back to the trailer
  • Measuring horns to assess the age and reproductive potential. IM injections were given of a broad-spectrum antibiotic, Vitamins, and wormers to switch off with the second group, who captured a Common Impala 
  • They were transported away, as we went to knock down an escapee buffalo at another game reserve, where they breed Cape Buffalo, Roan Antelope, and sable
  • He was followed with the feed truck, a team of people transported him into the trailer, and he was transported to an enclosure on the ranch
  • Drive back was beautiful with the spotting of giraffes and other wildlife (aardvark, kudu, sable, warthog, female nyala, etc.) in the sunset–talk about tall, dark, and handsome giraffe (more testosterone)
  • We all returned to the car with a “spray tan” and proceeded to cover up as the temperatures dropped 
  • Dinner was amazing with a new version of garlic bread, and a familiar dessert of sticky toffee pudding
  • After dinner, we went and sat around the fire to talk about a jam-packed day and plan tomorrow’s adventures

Day 3 (Tuesday)

Vet shadowing with Dr Boshoff

A day working on 3 reserves and covering 180km. We worked on 3 species – nyala, sable and kudu. Animals were darted and translocated, or data collection is taken.

  • With an early start, we woke up to see a herd of buffalo and then had a hearty breakfast courtesy of some scrambled eggs and bread due to a “load shedding” preventing us from having electricity to power the toasters.
  • During the day, we went to three different reserves working firstly with five male nyalas with one prime male bull and four juveniles. We went out in student teams of three plus Dr Bossie and guides in the jeep, observed the darting, loaded them with a tarp onto the jeep and brought them back to base. Then we injected them with a dewormer (doramectin), vitamins (B and E) and a broad spec antibiotic (oxytetracycline). Once we had done this with the five male nyalas we went on to search for a skittery male kudu to which we were unsuccessful almost losing.
  • Secondly, we went to work with a prime sable bull worth around R250,000 (ZAR) which Dr Bossie darted successfully and then took control of the horns and completed the routine treatment which consisted of:
    • Placing PVC plastic over the tips of the horns and moulding it onto the tip with a blowtorch as there was evidence of the horns being damaged thought to be due to the presence of another male sable next door inciting the sable to butt of the fence causing a loss of roughly 1 inch of horn which determines the value of the animal.
    • Injecting the sable with a dewormer, antibiotic and vitamins plus some additional Co and Mg which aid with the absorption of copper which is required as the sable, which was naturally black was starting to turn brown
    • Checked for ticks and applied a pour-on to prevent any further infestation
    • Measured the length of the horns which determines the age and value of the animal (assuming no damage and loss of the horns has occurred)
    • Then Dr Bossie administered the reversal combination in the marginal ear vein.
  • Thirdly we looked for a juvenile kudu which had to be moved from one section of the reserve to an area that was more suitable, the procedures performed on the kudu included:
    • Microchipping
    • DNA testing
    • Checked for tick burdens around the genitalia 
  • During the transport of the kudu, we noticed while on board that under the sedative there was significant respiratory depression (no noticeable breaths). We then alerted Dr Bossie who made the decision to stop the transfer, take the Kudu off the vehicle and administered the reversal to ensure that the kudu was breathing.
  • Finally, we went to the final reserve of the day and traversed the bush to look for a prime kudu bull which was being sold. However, due to the skittery and shy nature of kudu, this was a difficult task and the combined efforts of the team lead to no avail as we darted two kudu bulls who were not the individual they were looking for when compared to the stud photos available.
  • Tonight we eat a traditional favourite of beef potjie (South African pot stew) and rice.

Day 4 (Wednesday)

Vet shadowing with Dr Boshoff

We woke up for breakfast in the dark. Driving 269km, today we worked on 4 species – a Roan Antelope calf, multiple Sable, treated a broken Blesbok leg with a cast, translocated Nyala bulls and ended the day with a drink at the local restaurant. A full day!

  • We met Dr Bossie at the first game reserve where we darted a Roan calf to administer its vaccination booster for resp disease. 
  • At the same reserve, we darted and transported 2 juvenile Nyala bulls (males) to move to a different herd because they had just become sexually mature and they would not be able to compete with the existing male in their initial herd
  • We then had a brief break where we discovered a female Praying Mantis, which was white to match the winter grass and will turn green in the summer to camouflage itself
    • We took lots of pictures
    • During that time, our lovely Rico helped to sort out camera settings for wildlife photography
  • Then an emergency call came for a broken left forelimb (antebrachium) of a Blesbok. We arrived after the cast was applied, however, we were there to give antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and a vitamin injection
    • It was an open fracture which needed to be realigned. He did not use any metal plates or pins. There is a poor prognosis but the owners had sentimental value for the animal, so they thought it was worth a try to fix. 
  • We got called next to a sick sub-adult sable male who was being bullied by the dominant male and unable to eat. They had to expedite his sale to another reserve, to save darting him again before transferring and to make sure he actually recovers from malnutrition
  • The offending got caps put on his horns in order to protect the tips of the horns from breakage. At the same time, they updated measurements of his horn (base-to-tip, horn circumference, and tip-to-tip) to assess reproductive performance. 
  • That was the end of the calls for the day, afterwards, we had a wonderful chat with Dr Bossie at a local restaurant (despite looking worse for wear) and had a lovely cold beverage. Topics discussed included: blood transfer/transfusions, rhino horn trimming, anthelmintic and antibiotic resistance, fracture assessment and management, antibiotic choice (dependent upon scenario and species), toxicities, and neurological presentations. 
    • Our drink was by a river which had hippos and crocodiles (though we did not see them) so we also discussed the restraint of both species. 
  • On the ride back, many of us were nodding off due to the busy day, and were greeted by a nice dinner of traditional South African food (boerewors-beef sausage cooked on the fire, and pork chops) and off to bed for another early start tomorrow

Day 5 (Thursday)

TEP-funded Rhino dehorning (AM)

Yesterday was an incredible day, starting early with a wake-up at 5 am armed with knowledge and appreciation for the rhino species from a briefing the night before.
We made our way to an undisclosed location to participate in a rhino horn-trimming operation. Making an effort to save 4 rhinos, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to monitor these majestic creatures as the project happened. An emotional morning where a real difference was made. From there we relocated 12 Nyala females. The special day was capped off by a sunset swim and drinks around the pool.

  • We arrived at our special event of the week with grins up to our ears and excited for the work ahead we were told that we would be darting four different rhinos and trimming their horns, and performing other routine procedures. However, before then he showed us two of his more tame rhino – Buttercup and her calf (yet to be named) – which once we all drew lots one of us was able to help feed them with the guide.
  • After we had a conversation about the state of the African White Rhino populations in South Africa as the Northern White Rhino population was officially deemed extinct as the last male recently passed due to ill health and there are only two Northern African Rhino females left.
  • Furthermore, the Southern White Rhino might also be extinct by April 2023 according to the data if no action is taken, the best way to prevent this is to legalize the rhino horn trade. Although sounding counterintuitive, It made a lot of sense as it would allow the poaching industry to be gutted as they could decrease the value of the horn and flood the market with their current reserves so the money from the horn could be put towards conservation, while taking the incentive away from the poachers.
  • After that discussion we went over the procedures, the different teams involved and what the process would be. Some of us were able to go up in the helicopter with Dr Bossie and the pilot Gerry to observe the Rhino from above and see the darting procedure.
  • Once the animal was darted we would observe from the helicopter the signs of immobilization and Gerry would expertly navigate the rhino herd so that the Rhino went down into an area of the bush where it was safe for the animal to be brought down by the team and it was accessible for the routine procedures to be completed.
  • Once safe to approach the team placed a blindfold on the Rhino to reduce the impact of external stimuli from startling and aggravating the animal and pushing the animal onto the ground.
  • When this was done we were waved forward to help and were assigned some roles, the procedures that were done to each rhino were:
    • Ear notching in large segments so the animal is identifiable from far away.
    • Monitor the breathing so it doesn’t fall below 6 breaths a minute which was a wide safety margin
    • Hair was taken from the tail, flakes of the horn, ear notch segments, and a blood sample from the medial radial vein which would be used for DNA and heritage testing.
    • Microchips if not already present were inserted so the animal’s identity can be confirmed if darted again to be moved, sold or for any other reason.
    • Then 4 inches from the base, away from the horn growth plate, blood and nerve supply (so the horn can grow back), the front horn was trimmed using an electric saw and then the smaller back horn was also trimmed and placed in a labelled bag to be put into storage which would then be microchipped.

Day 5 (Thursday)

Vet shadowing with Dr Boshoff (PM)

Afterwards, we went to a reserve where we had to help collect and give treatment to twelve female nyalas who were being sold at an auction. This initially started with keeping an eye on the animals that Dr Bossie darted and that they weren’t left unattended, still breathing and then carried onto a trailer.
After we headed back to the lodge, had our dinner and then sat around the fire and played some card games under the night sky.

Day 6 (Friday)

Rest day

Today we are having a rest day. We had a slower start, with some students going for a 6km run through the bush. We will be relaxing in the dry river bed, playing games and enjoying some time off after a busy few days. This afternoon we will visit a local tourist area and go for a drink and meal at a unique restaurant.


In the morning a group of six of us went for a short run to the breeding farm at Selwana where we saw a male sable and were able to point out and spot some tracks for some African species: buffalo, snakes, civet and when we got back we jumped into the pool to cool off.

Afterwards, we had a lovely breakfast consisting of some scrambled eggs, mince, toast as well as some fresh fruit and we discussed what we could do during our day off as Dr Bossie had to attend a funeral so we could have a bit of rest and maybe see some of the tourist locations around Gravelote.

The overall group consensus was to relax and make the most of the quiet moment while we could as we set up some deck chairs in the river bed to bask in the sun and have some well-earned rest. This was broken up with some games of frisbee and rugby as we tried to hone our lineout skills and then we sat and had a lovely braai lunch by the pool with some traditional South African sausage and vegan chilli in some rolls.

Then we decided to go out and see the Great Baobab tree but were disappointed as we found out it closed at 15:00 and it was now 14:30 and that would mean we wouldn’t have long to admire the tree so we decided to stop there on our way to Bundox tomorrow. Instead, we voted to go back to Letaba junction for some drinks, the first round paid for by Roger Thank you, and some platter bites before coming home for dinner which was roast chicken and vegetables. After dinner, we gave some gifts to Aiden and Riko as we were unsure when there would be an opportunity to do so in the future just to say thank you and show our appreciation for their work, company and time. After the gifts we went and sat around the fire and to those who stayed up late were able to hear a male sable chasing away a female nyala and we had a brief on maybe being able to do some darting practice with Dr Bossie and that we had to pack our bags so we could leave early in the morning if needed.

Day 7 (Saturday)

Travel day

We visited a famous Baobab tree and then made our way to our next accommodation.

Week 2 Accommodation

Read more about Bundox Explorer Tented Camp accommodation here.


On the way to Bundox we stopped at the Giant Baobab tree as we admired its size and stature as some of us took the opportunity to climb it and get some photos.

Then we stopped at a local restaurant by the river to get some food and refreshments while watching some of the rugby on at the time.

After this, we got back on the road and drove into Bundox where we were greeted by our new guides for the Big 5 reserve as well as our lovely glamping tents and a nice hot meal.

Day 8 (Sunday)

Day off activities

Waking up in the breathtaking Bundox Explorer Camp is enough to get anyone enthused about South Africa and the importance and wonders of nature…especially because we are camping…well ‘glamping’!

The day has begun with an unbelievable game drive. We saw male lions that had just killed another lion, as well as elephants drinking from a waterhole.

  • Sunday started with an early morning game drive where we were lucky enough to see a male coalition of two lions hunt another lion which we were following behind, a once-in-a-lifetime sighting that guides and rangers could only hope to see. 
  • Also, we were able to see some elephants and giraffes before we headed back to camp to have a well-earned lunch after learning all sorts of interesting behavioural, anatomical and reproductive facts about the animals we saw in the bush from our local guide Cullen and ranger “Bossman”.
  • After lunch, we had a brief moment to admire the waterhole which we had an amazing view of from the decking and pool where some of us were lucky enough to see a lone male elephant playing with the water source. Which also gave us an opportunity to catch up on some messages and speak to the family.
  • After this, it was time for our evening game drive where we set off towards a hyena den and past the river hoping to spot some hippo. We saw on the way to the hyena den, a “bloat” of five hippos enjoying the sunset and hopefully not too cold water.
  • When we arrived at the hyena den we saw some sub-adults outside of the den who was curious as to who was approaching their den. Then after observing them from a safe distance in the game viewer and listening to their chatter as the sun went down we set off as the guides and rangers sent radio of a potential sighting of a leopard back at the river we were at before but further upstream.
  • When we got there they said there was a leopard just down the side of the river bed but as time went on the other viewers left thinking it had left until it was just us. When we saw the leopard 100m along the bed run across back into the bush from the side of the river, a brief but spectacular sighting of the leopard which we’d be able to see in HESC in the days to come.

Day 9 (Monday)

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre orientation and management

Day 9 was another early start to get to Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre for orientation and introductions (the animals and people!). Context and understanding are important with centres like this so the team got to know how the centre works and runs, who is involved, and then of course who some of their more famous inhabitants are (the animals this time!). Today was our first day working at HESC, students got their hands dirty early, preparing the feeds for all the animals in their care. It was an amazing experience meeting each animal and learning their special stories. The day was spent going around the whole facility feeding and cleaning the enclosures.

Back to our Bundox tented camp for an evening game drive.

  • Monday started with an early start and breakfast in camp before heading off to HESC: Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. We first got orientated around the centre learning what species they keep and how they are fed. After we were rushed straight into the animal kitchen to prepare meals for the cheetahs, over 200 of them.
  • Afterwards, we were able to go into the back of a Bakkie (pick up as we know it) to go around the centre and drop the meals into the enclosures so the cheetah could have their breakfast. Also, we went and grabbed some lucerne bales for the zebra and the antelope which we placed in feeders around the centre.
  • In addition, we were able to drop off some carcass meat at the “vulture restaurant” where all the vultures and other birds in the local vicinity could also get something to eat as well.
  • We were also able to meet Shuri, the local roaming giraffe, Thaba, a rescue white rhino orphan calf as well as Esme, 6-year-old rescue white rhino and many other animals such as zebras, vultures and leopards.
  • Some of us today, but all of us would be able to do this, were able to give Thaba her milk that she needs every 3 hours which we would give from a bucket and Thaba would suck the milk out of a teat, a truly unbelievable experience.
  • Then after a long day of working at HESC we went back to camp in time for a well-earned meal and some smores around the fire as we got briefed that we would have an early start and that we would be able to work with Dr Rogers who was planning to come in and dart some cheetah who had developed some abscesses and pressure sores on their hips from being given calcium IM (intramuscular).

Day 10 (Tuesday)

En route to Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre management and procedures (AM)

The day started the same as Monday, feeding the animals in the facility. Some time spent with some of the baby animals and meeting Doc Rogers in the afternoon.

Cheetah checkups with Dr Rogers (PM)

Students had the opportunity to witness the treatment of 5 cheetahs. Treating abscesses and checkups. An experience to remember! The evening was spent around the fire at HESC, with a real South African braai. The meal was cooked on the fire with the whole HESC team and Doc Rogers enjoying the evening together with us.

Plus evening braai with Dr Rogers
  • With a 6:45 am leave time in order to be there to help feed the animals in the morning we had a quick breakfast, packed our pack lunch of burritos and set off in the darkness through the bush to HESC. On the way, we were able to spot some giraffes as we headed from Bundox to the gate to head on the roads to HESC.
  • However, as we got to the gate we were told that there were two female lions roaming nearby and as we had some spare time we stopped at a safe distance and were able to admire the beauty of these female lions.
  • After this unexpected but stunning encounter, we took to the roads to HESC. When we got there we watched the curators feed the wild dogs and watching the social interactions between the individuals in the pack was amazing and intriguing. Listening to how they communicate with each other and also how they keep the vultures from stealing their food was unbelievable also.
  • After this, we fed Esme the rhino, the zebra and the antelope with the lucerne bales and got to see more of the lovely centre that they have at HESC.
  • This took us into the afternoon where we were able to have our lunch burritos and we were told Dr Rogers was on his way and that he would briefly explain what he was doing and then afterwards he would do a presentation on the work he has done and common things he has seen with cheetahs during his time at ProVet Animal hospital and as a wildlife vet.
  • We got to meet Dr Rogers and his team as we went to watch him dart the cheetah so he could assess and treat the abscesses on their hips and also have a look at the developing pressure sores. He explained to us how he’d dart the animals with a combination of (butorphanol, atipamezole and metodomatine) and how he would treat the abscesses with a mastitis cream injection plus antibiotic convenia (Cefovecin: a long-acting cephalosporin) while doing it at the same time.
  • After this, we went into HESC’s staff and volunteer camp where they stay on site and had a braai with Dr Rogers’s family and the whole team at HESC.

Day 11 (Wednesday)

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre management and procedures (AM)

Our last day at HESC. We prepared feeds for the cheetahs and other animals. Did a tour of the facility experiencing the history of HESC from a different perspective.

Lectures with Dr Rogers (PM)

The afternoon was capped off with an incredible lecture and presentation from Dr Rogers on the Veterinary work of cheetahs and all the lessons learned from the decades of experience in the field. At the end of the day, the students learnt how to use a Veterinary dart gun and had a practice session.

  • We set off early in the morning again to help work at HESC. Unfortunately, we weren’t as lucky as yesterday while getting to the gate so we quickly rushed to HESC to help with the morning chores.
  • Firstly this consisted of half of us feeding half the cheetah and then cleaning out the leopard enclosure and the second half of us going to feed the rest of the cheetah, the serval and all the vultures at Vulture restaurant.
  • After this we cleaned up before we set out to clean Esme’s enclosure, mucking out Rhino dung and placing it in bakkies before travelling with the dung along the fence line to fill in holes in the fences and areas of the road with cracks caused by water hogs.
  • This took us into the afternoon when we had some time to tuck into our lunch burgers and pass a rugby ball around before Dr Rogers’ presentation as he was busy with an emergency at the hospital.
  • With the emergency extending further into the afternoon, one of the curators at HESC offered to take us on a full guided tour of HESC and ask any questions about the animals while Dr Rogers was busy with his case. This was invaluable to learn more about the role the curators have in not only looking after the animals but their environment as well, in addition to learning more about the different species of vultures, the behaviour of wild dogs and much more.
  • After this, we got word that Dr Rogers would be with us soon and when he got there he took us into one of the video rooms in HESC and gave us a talk on many things which he goes into further detail on in The Expedition Projects cheetah course as well as some information about his background and how he got into wildlife medicine.
  • The topics he covered in the talk included: 
    • Different darting drug combinations, their reversals, and their benefits.
    • Preferred darting sites and darts in different species and some common complications.
    • How to assess the degree of sedation in an animal
    • Vaccinating protocols and vaccines given to cheetahs, 
    • Common nutritional deficiencies in cheetah and how he pioneered with a team of nutritionists a supplement that is not standard practice in feeding the cheetah.
    • Common infectious diseases and ailments in cheetah and the drugs and procedures used for their treatment such as: Nephrosis, Ringworm, Anthrax, Vasculitis and Gastritis.
  • After this Dr Rogers taught us how to use his dart gun and allowed us to practice and get a feel for shooting the dart gun by shooting at a target which was unbelievable, with Megan and Miranda being the best shots!!
  • After this, we headed back and had a nice lasagna and garlic bread which definitely filled a spot after our action-packed day and we went to bed knowing we would be helping some local projects and communities tomorrow.

Day 12 (Thursday)

Daktari Bush School (AM)
  • With a slightly later wake-up time than normal we were allowed some time to gather and collate our gifts for the projects we were visiting and have some breakfast as we were heading to Daktari Bush school and wildlife orphanage first where we would give a brief presentation of the local kids about why we chose to become a vet, what inspired us and what our future goals are. Then to Nourish Eco Village to plant some trees to help negate our carbon footprint and learn more about how they help the community.
  • When we got to Daktari one of the volunteers took us on a tour around their facilities and to see all the animals they keep such as: Dassies, Banded Mongoose, Ostriches, Cape Genet, Cheetah, African Hawk Eagles, Eagle Owls, Caracals, Meerkats and many more. Also, we were told they were going to add two male lions to the wildlife centre to help educate the children on the animal as well as provide end-of-life care and residency to these animals. This also meant that tomorrow we could go to Moholoholo where they would have to be tested for Tuberculosis before being transported.
  • Once we gave the presentation, we got to know the staff and kids better by sharing our stories and giving advice and then we played rugby with the kids in their playground with some of the balls we donated as a group. Unfortunately, this did not last for long as we had to head off to Nourish but this was definitely a life-changing experience.
Nourish Eco Village (PM)

Tree planting at Nourish.

  • At Nourish Eco Village we got to learn a lot about their programme providing:
    • Education for local children as well as enrichment,
    • Three meals a day to the kids
    • School excursions and have people into the school to give talks,
    • Education to young girls about their health and give out free health kits including tampons
    • A centre for local trade and job opportunities in a community where unemployment rates are over 70%
    • Help the environment by using homemade fertiliser in their garden and by planting trees in their centre and using local produce to put more money into the community.
  • After the tour of their centre, we were lucky enough to try some pup, beans and veg which we ate with our hands. This is a local meal that most had every day and was actually really nice but quite messy but gave us a much-needed energy boost before planting our trees.
  • After this, we toured the garden to try the fruits and veg that they grow locally, as well as some chillies which brought out some tears and then we planted 15 trees which over their lifetime would cover the whole carbon footprint caused by all the travelling on this trip.
  • When we got back we were told the amazing news that we would be able to have a Braai with some traditional South African food and traditional barbecue food. Which included: steaks, boerewors sausages, potato salad, braaibroodjie (South African grilled ham and cheese sandwiches).

Day 13 (Friday)

Vet shadowing with Dr Rogers – TEP-funded Lion TB testing (AM)
  • With another early start, we woke up and quickly had some breakfast as we knew today would be amazing as we would have the chance to help Dr Rogers test some lions for Tuberculosis using an intradermal skin test.
  • We set off towards where the lions were. Went to Mohololo where we got to shadow and help Dr Rogers with the care of two lions which were being tested for TB via an intradermal skin test using Mycobacterium Bovis and Avium tuberculosis bacteria
  • After this got to see some work being done on a serval which was a bit dopey and old 
Vet shadowing with Dr Rogers – TEP-funded Helicopter training and darting (PM)
  • We then got to work with Gerry and Dr Rogers on a private airstrip to practice some darting from a helicopter which was unbelievable
  • We were able to have our own Braai consisting of Wors sausage, 
  • After this, we set off back to Bundox stopping by a local trade centre where we could buy some souvenirs for family and friends. Then we decided to stop by a local restaurant to try some local food and have a well-earned dinner.

Day 14 (Saturday)

Community checkups with HALO (Hoedspruit Animal Outreach) (AM)
  • On our way to HALO a programme which helps treat and vaccinate dogs in local communities where they may not have the funds to do so and also to control the spread of rabies and other diseases.
  • Duties: we had to check the age of the animal(roughly), sex, neutered or not, do a quick general health check, check for mange, check for TVT, check for tick bourne fever by testing temperature after looking at their gums if they were pale, deworm any animals with a medium or high tick burden, vaccinate for rabies and then a 5 in 1 vaccine which included distemper.
  • Got to stop by one of the local stores to buy some gifts and have a nice meal before heading back to start packing and enjoy our last night.
Blyde River Canyon excursion (PM)

Day 15 (Sunday)

Departure day – drive to Johannesburg airport
  • Early wake-up call and said our goodbyes to Aiden at the gate then set off on the 7-hour journey to Johannesburg.
  • Stopped at service station Alzu Petroport which had a large watering hole with Buffalo, Antelope, Oryx, Elephants and many other animals.

**Highlights by Emily, Beth and Josh

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3 responses to “Wildlife Vet Experience – July 2022”

  1. Izzy Beardwood says:

    This all looks super amazing! I am so envious of all of you guys out in South Africa as it looks like you have all had the opportunity to see and do some amazing things and these resorts look gorgeous!!

  2. Izzy Beardwood says:

    Would love to know peoples favourite bits about the trip~ Favourite place to stay, favourite animal to work with, favourite project to work with and favourite animal that they have seen on game drives!

  3. Joshua Howell says:

    Hi Izzy, I still can’t believe I was actually in South Africa back in July and that I got to work with the animals I did. I couldn’t pick a favourite accommodation out of the two, Selwane nature reserve was stunning, situated next to a dried up river bed where we could see buffalo, giraffe and antelope if you were lucky. It had a pool, cosy communal spaces and lovely ensuite rooms. Bundox Explorer Tented Camp which was situated in the Greater Kruger National Park was stunning, in the heart of the bush with a small waterhole next to the decking where you could watch the sunset and maybe spot some roaming elephants. They also had amazing shared tents with ensuites and comfy beds, both accomodations immediately felt like home with the added bonus of open fires which made for great social spaces in the evening to relax and chat about our adventures.

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