• South Africa
Subject Areas
Animal Science Biology Conservation and Preservation Life Sciences Wildlife Sciences

Program Details

Program Type


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Sep 12, 2019
Aug 31, 2019
4 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Spend two weeks in South Africa for our Zoo Medicine program, based at Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary. Working alongside veterinarians, your coursework will focus on the anatomy, handling and medical needs of animals in captivity. You'll also learn more about the behavior and conservation of various animals at the park, including birds of prey, reptiles, big cats, small cats, cubs, and primates. In addition to veterinary labs such as necropsies and lectures from veterinarians and expert guests, you'll also get the opportunity to safari in Pilanesberg reserve, visit community schools, and support enrichment for animals at the park.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Enjoy a 2-day safari in Pilanesberg reserve
  • Feed and care for cubs
  • Assist in vaccinations and deworming

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Program Reviews

9.67 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Zoo Medicine and Conservation

I have never been abroad before in my whole life and I couldn't imagine a more fitting location for me to travel to for my first time than South Africa. I wanted my experience to be in a place that no one I knew has been to so I could have no expectations whatsoever. I was nervous, but South Africa completely blew me away the min I walked into the Zoo where I would be residing. The staff of Lory Park and Loop Abroad were more than welcoming, they treated us like family and it felt like being welcomed into a second home. the sounds of the gibbons, cockatoos, and lions fully immersed me into the South African experience. The Safari Park alone made the entire trip an experience I would never forget. I am so humbled to have had this opportunity.

What would you improve about this program?
If anything I would probably improve on the organization of the excursions, like the mall trip. It was understandable however, because it was so last minute.
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Loop Abroad, South Africa

I really recommend this trip for anyone that is studying in the animal health field. My trip to South Africa was life changing and its an experience that helped me gain knowledge in vet medicine and in life in general. I went to Johannesburg and stayed at Lory Park Zoo for two weeks and learned a lot about zoo medicine. We were able to work with 5 main groups of animals which were primates, birds of prey, reptiles, cubes and big cats. This gave us the chance to learn about these types of animals. Some of the stuff we learned about was their health concerns, feeding, behavior, and environmental needs. Everyday was different and we were able to do some hands-on activities with the animals. This trip taught me and showed me a lot of stuff and I am thankful I went. We got the chance to go on a safari as well and it was amazing seeing the animals in their natural habitat. I overall recommend this trip.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish we were able to go out and see more of Africa. It would of been nice to explore more of Africa.
10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa Zoo Medicine

This trip was amazing in so many ways! We got to stay at the Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary in Midrand, South Africa. The house we stayed in had bunk beds and was very clean and nicely kept. Every morning we got to be on a different section, including big cats, small cats, cubs, primates, reptiles, and birds of prey, helping the keepers with exhibit maintenance, enrichment and training. This was such an incredible experience to learn how to care for all of these amazing creatures, as well as learning how to increase their welfare in captivity. We also had two vet days where we got to see their zoo vet perform a variety of procedures and routine vaccinations. Lastly, we got to go on an incredible safari for the weekend where we got to see a huge variety of animals in their natural habitat, including elephants, leopard, lions, and giraffes!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice is really take to heart the time of year it is for them! We went in the summer here (end of July through early August) which was winter for them. I only brought a few warm clothes and I kept having to re-wear them. It was in the 30s and 40s in the morning when we were helping on sections so it was very chilly.
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome Experience!

This was such a cool experience to be able to get more hands-on experience working with exotic animals! We stayed at the Lory Park Zoo and lived on the grounds majority of the week, except for on the Safari weekend. We got to work with the keepers at the zoo every day going through the different areas of the zoo, prepping food, cleaning, training, and more. My favorite part of the trip was getting to work with the vets doing treatments on the animals, learning about the treatments, and getting to be so hands on with them; we got to work all kinds of birds, primates, reptiles, and more. This experience is something that you would never be able to find in the States, and I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about zoo med and conservation.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw was when a zoo vet came for the day to administer vaccines to the big cats, seeing what the process was like and how quick and efficient everything had to be. It really opened my eyes to what working with wildlife and exotic animals of that size is like.
10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South African zoo med

I knew I was going to be learning exciting new things but I didn't know how out of this world this trip was going to be. Everyday was jam packed and everyone was exhausted from all the information and hands on experiance we were getting. I especially became close to a Gibbon named Joshua. I learned so much about animals I didn't even know existed. The staff made sure we were getting our questions answered and doing things out of our comfort zone so we knew we were getting the most out of our trip. There were times when we all got serious talking about animal issues that nearly brought me to tears and made me realize conservation might be the path I take in life. I hadn't even considered it before this trip. This experince has truly changed my life and for that I am extremely grateful.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay longer than 2 weeks. I feel like we learned so much that it made me hungry for more and 2 weeks just isnt enough time to quench that hunger.
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa Study Abroad

This trip not only broadened my knowledge of zoo medicine but it gave me something I didn’t expect—relationships with people from different parts of the world. From different lifestyles, cultures, and perspectives I came home from this trip with a new understanding and appreciation for life. The knowledge and hands on work I was able to participate in confirmed to me that I was working in the correct field. One of the main things that I brought home from this trip was the notion that becoming a veterinarian is an option and well within my reach. This was thanks to the endless support and motivation I received during this program. All the staff reminded us endlessly that all our goals could be accomplished and that this was just a stepping stone for our futures.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw and possibly the highlight of my trip was a tiger vasectomy surgery!
10 people found this review helpful.

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