Veterinary Service: South Africa

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About

This two-week program takes place at a cheetah breeding and care facility and wildlife sanctuary outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Your small group will be led by a veterinarian and your programs veterinarians will teach your course in "ABCs of African Big Cats: Anatomy, Behavior, and Conservation." You will be able to volunteer up-close and hands-on with cheetahs, porcupines, zebras, ostriches, and other animals on the property, and will also be able to observe animals living in the area in the wild including giraffes, wildebeests, and impala. Course labs will include necropsies, blowdart labs, enrichment projects, suture practice, and microscope use.

In the middle of the program, we have a three-day trip to Kruger National Park to go on safari and see all kinds of African animals in the wild, including elephants, lions, rhinos, and leopards.

Highlights
  • Safari at Kruger National Park, working with cheetahs, learning zoo medicine from vets, veterinary skills, African animals

Impact

You'll get to volunteer at a cheetah breeding and conservation facility where you can learn about the important work conservation and zoo vets do. Throughout the program, you'll have the chance to feed and help provide medical care to cheetahs, maintain and care for cheetah facility and enclosures, and learn about all aspects of care and management of captive wildlife.

Questions & Answers

It depends on the program you choose. For most 2 week programs it come out to ~$5000 once you add in air fare. They do have payment plans, financial aid and usually know about scholarships you can apply for as well.

Reviews

98%
based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 9.8
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar
Julia
10/10

An unforgettable experience

I have missed South Africa every day since I got home - this trip truly changed my life forever. Volunteering at FeraCare Wildlife Centre was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The work they do is so important and being able to be a part of it was truly incredible. We were able to feed cheetahs, pet them, watch them run, interact with them very closely, even listen to their heartbeat! I'm not a pre-vet student, but I do want to work with wild animals, and I loved every minute of this trip. The course lectures were very interesting. We stayed in a house on the FeraCare property and it was great - I enjoyed all the food, and the people, including the staff and other students, were all amazing. I would highly recommend this program - it was the best two weeks of my life!

How can this program be improved?
Not at all
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Allison
10/10

Life Changing experience!

I traveled with loop abroad 3 separate times, I went with them to Africa the summer of 2017. It was by far my favorite trip with them! Absolutely life changing being out there in the wild. Every morning we wake up and walk to breakfast, I would pass the lions enclosure and the cheetahs, which is a pretty awesome way to start your day. I also gained so much knowledge on wildlife veterinary medicine and conservation just from this program alone that I wouldn’t learn anywhere else. Everything about this trip was amazing!

How can this program be improved?
It couldn’t, this trip was perfect!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Darcy
10/10

Veterinary Service South Africa

This trip was amazing! I attended this trip the summer of 2017 and it was my first time leaving the country! Loop made the experience so easy! The program was so much fun! We learned so much about the conservation of cheetahs while also getting valuable practice in veterinary related fields including suturing, necropsys, and lab procedures! The weekend trip to Kruger was also amazing. When getting up to at 5am to go on a safari looking for wild animals the cold doesn’t seem so bad anymore! Overall, this trip was amazing and I’m so glad I did it!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Monica
10/10

Loop Abroad South Africa Veterinary Service

This was without a doubt the BEST experience I have ever endured! I am so passionate about Big cats and conservation, so this was an amazing way to learn more on this while making an impact at Feracare Wildlife Center! The vets we worked with are amazing and so talented. I have gained new skills from making blood smear slides to suturing! Seeing Feracare's vet doing what he does best was so inspiring to watch! We also had the amazing opportunity to go to Kruger National Park on a safari, which was AMAZING! This was also just such an amazing way to meet new people that are passionate about animals they way you are. We were all constantly laughing and having a great time together! I am so blessed to have been able to have had this opportunity. Feracare is a wonderful place filled with wonderful people who love what they do and make a difference every day in these deserving animals' lives. I would fly back right now if I could!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Joshua
10/10

College Veterinary Service: South Africa

I can honestly say that this was one of the best experiences I have ever had! I never even imagined how much I would be able to learn in a matter of just two weeks! The staff was super cool and made it so much fun, from the veterinarians, to the cooking staff, to the staff at Feracare. Feracare (where we stay), was one of the most amazing places. It had amazing views and there were animals everywhere. They always made sure that everyone was taken care of and any problems if any were taken care of (had a few people get sick). The lectures were really informative and the activities whether it be Camp cleaning, Thatching, or Feeding were always a lot of fun! The veterinarians were so great, I don't think I could say enough about them; I know that if I ever needed anything to help me in my future endeavors, they would in a heartbeat! On top of that, I left the two weeks with so many great friends, something I wasn't expecting to happen! The weekend spent on Safari in Kruger was amazing, we saw so much, like: Zebra, Giraffes, Spotted Hyenas, Hippos, etc. In addition, having dietary restrictions I wasn't sure if I felt comfortable enough to even want to go abroad. Loop Abroad was super accommodating and made sure that I was taken care of everywhere we went! I would 100% recommend going on a trip with Loop if given the chance! I know that I plan on taking another in the upcoming summer!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Harunya
9/10

My Experience

I had such an amazing experience in South Africa. I thought that I wouldn’t really make close friends while I was there, but I fortunately did and that made my experience better than expected! I also learned so much being a biology major and this being my first time hearing veterinarian lectures. I know that going to South Africa, you would it expect it to be warm, but it was pretty chilly throughout the day and it is really cold at night. I know that when applying for Vet school that they like when you have experience and I personally think that this is a great experience to have in your application. My favorite memory is when I got to go inside an enclosure with a cheetah named Laura and feed her. She looked right into my eyes and in that moment, I felt such a loving connection with Laura even though I was just feeding her. It made me feel so incredibly happy and I knew Laura would be someone special to me during the rest of my trip.

Yes, I recommend this program
Lauren
10/10

Experience You Will Never Forget!

From the first step that I took in South Africa I fell in love! Not only are you in an amazing country the team at Feracare Wildlife Centre is so welcoming! Being able to work hands on with the Cheetahs and other wildlife is so rewarding! The 3 veterinarians I know will forever help guide me in my future if I ever need anything! The trip to Kurger National Park is so breathe taking. Waking up in the morning and being able to see giraffes right outside the house is jaw dropping. Plus all the students that travel with you will become friends for a life time!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sally
9/10

An Amazing Experience for Pre-Vet Students

My experience with Loop Abroad's Veterinary Service: South Africa program was one I will never forget. Feracare Wildlife Centre, where you spend most of your time during the program, is an outstanding facility run by knowledgable and helpful staff, and the amenities there far exceeded my expectations. I was also impressed by the educational and experiential aspects of the trip. The program provides veterinary experience with a variety of animals in an environment that is very different from that which you would experience in the United States. During the two weeks at Feracare, you basically live alongside the animals. It is a personal experience. The class on big cats was very informative, and the veterinarians that led the trip were extremely helpful, always willing to answer questions about veterinary medicine and their personal experiences in the field. During the weekend between the two weeks spent at Feracare, I had the opportunity to safari in Kruger National Park. Going on game drives in Kruger was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Seeing elephants, leopards, hippos, and more wild animals in their natural habitat was undoubtedly one of the most amazing and impactful experiences of my life thus far. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in veterinary medicine and/or wildlife conservation.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change is perhaps adding some time in Johannesburg or another South African cultural center to the trip. I feel like I did not learn as much about South African culture as I would have liked.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Meredith
10/10

Amazing Opportunity

This was not my first trip with Loop Abroad so going in I already knew that it would be amazing, and it did not disappoint! Not only was it amazing to be able to go to South Africa, work with cheetahs and spend a day at Kruger National Park I learned so much from both the veterinarians with us and the people I met at Feracare. I made great friends and some wonderful professional connections that I am so excited to keep in touch with. As a 1st (going into 2nd) year veterinary student this trip was not only an amazing learning experience but a wonderful way to remind myself why I am on this path.

Yes, I recommend this program

About Loop Abroad

Loop Abroad has been offering exciting animal and teaching programs abroad since 2009. We offer summer and semester programs for people who love animals, travel, adventure, and authentic experiences. With programs in Asia, Africa, Australia and...