Worldwide Experience: Vets Go Wild Program in South Africa

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If you are looking for a hands-on Africa vet experience and need to fulfill a portion of your Extra Mural Study requirements, then join Vets Go Wild.

Our 12 or 16-day Vets Go Wild modules are aimed at students undertaking veterinary and wildlife based programs at university. The course provides training in the care of animals at Amakhala Game Reserve and The Addo Elephant National Park both located in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Animals that you are likely to be working hands on with include Rhino, African Buffalo, Big Cats, Cheetah, Giraffe and more.

  • 1. Dr William Fowlds' vet team is with the group for all activities, so a vet is always the primary facilitator
  • 2. You receive a thorough introduction to the wildlife species of South Africa that you could potentially work on. Understanding the species and their behavioral traits is naturally critically important during game capture operations.
  • 3. Much responsibility and decision-making transferred onto the students, real life situations!
  • 4. The 16-day course includes a marine animal care component, and a visit to the Addo Elephant National Park, and helicopter exercise.
  • 5. Option to apply for a practical volunteer placement with Dr Fowlds is open exclusively to Vets Go Wild participants.

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Questions & Answers

Hi Linda, please feel free to email us at [email protected] if you haven't done so already, and we'll send you a comprehensive information pack. To be eligible for this project you need to be studying or qualified in Veterinary Science (includes pre-vet students, vet nurse students, vet students and qualified vets/vet nurses) and have a keen interest for conservation.


based on 7 reviews
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BEST experience of my life, I never wanted to leave!!

Vets Go Wild was the best experience of my life! Working with lions, rhinos, giraffes, and multiple species of antelope was a dream come true. I value this experience more than anything so far as a veterinary student. It was the most hands on learning I have had and I learnt so much from the Ikhala veterinary team in only 2 weeks. I made friends from all over the world because we shared this emotional life changing thrill of our lives in South Africa. This experience made me realize how much is involved with conservation and the responsibility veterinarian’s have to contribute to endangered animals. Veterinarians are the key, a crucial role, for wildlife to be in our future. I think that is the most amazing role in life to lead. It was truely a once in a lifetime experience to meet and learn from Dr. William Fowlds and the Ikhala team who are on the front lines of conservation every single day. It has inspired me to hopefully take on that same role as a future veterinarian!

Yes, I recommend this program

Vets Go Wild - June 2018

I had the most amazing time with vets go wild! The trip exceeded all expectations and the amount of hands on experience I got was next to none. All of the Ikhala veterinary team and lodge staff were so helpful and friendly it made me feel so much more at ease throughout the entire experience.
From lions to giraffe to rhino; it is without doubt the trip of a lifetime... totally unforgettable!
I would say to anyone considering this course to not let the opportunity pass you by... it is well worth the price and will give you so many transferable skills for working in veterinary even outside of wildlife.

How can this program be improved?
It can’t! It’s amazing!
Yes, I recommend this program

I'd be lion if I said this wasn't the best experience of my life

If you are considering this course as part of your studies, just book it.

I have had the time of my life out in South Africa, working with some beautiful animals, and more importantly, some amazing people. The course is incredibly hands-on from day 1 - the combination of this and lectures really proved a great way to learn.
I did this at the end of my third year and found the level of clinical work within my abilities (with some guidance of course!), and there were others who were in lower years who felt the same.

I went out to South Africa thinking that it would be a lovely 2 weeks, but I didn't see myself as a wildlife vet. I thought I was quite keyed up on the conservation out there, but after visiting and learning about the poaching crisis and more, I really didn't have an accurate view of the situation. I have come away believing that I can (& I now want to be!) a wildlife vet, and I feel that I have the knowledge now to educate other people about the sad reality that the African wildlife are facing. I couldn't recommend this experience more- I truly had the time of my life out there.

How can this program be improved?
I think it could only be improved by letting us stay out there for longer!
Yes, I recommend this program

Vets Go Wild 2018 - Out of this world!

This was my first solo trip to South Africa and it was honestly the best experience! The course was incredible, no photos or words can do it justice; you learn so much so quickly, and all the staff are so helpful and friendly. I had only just finished 2nd year at vet school so I didn't have much practical experience, but that did not hold me back because the procedures on the animals are brand new to almost everyone so you are all in the same boat! I cannot recommend this course highly enough and I will be sure to return to this incredible game reserve one day, the work they do is phenomenal!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Best Wildlife Experience Ever!

Vets Go Wild was the best thing I could’ve done for any summer internship/experience. I absolutely have no words to tell people just all the things I got to do, to see, and to learn! When they say that it will be hands-on, it really was hands-on experience every single day and moment! I've learned so much about African wildlife in such a short period of time, it's crazy to know it was only 16 days! Dr. Fowlds and the rest of his team are absolutely fantastic! I loved working with everyone and just seeing their motivation to help protect and serve African wildlife species. As a vet student, the experience allowed me to be more confident with my skills and tested my strength in working under pressure at times. I would recommend anyone interested in wildlife and conservation to sign up and go!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Vets Go Wild was the best thing I could’ve done this summer! It’s so hands on and I've learnt so much in such a short period of time! As a vet student it puts you to the test and allows you to become so much more confident in your abilities. Working along side vets at the top of their profession provides an amazing insight into the world of wildlife medicine. Each group of students is so diverse and a mixture of abilities but by the end of the trip we work as one. I’ve made friends for life all over the world and I wish I could go back and do it all over again!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Life changing

I have always been one of those people who dreamed of working with African wildlife from the time I was a small child. To actually be giving an intravenous injection to a black rhinoceros or restraining a giraffe was something I could have never imagined I would get the chance to do. My experience with Worldwide Experience was unforgettable. I learned so much about the behavior, physiology, and complications of capture of wildlife. Working with Dr. Fowlds was incredible. He is so patient and calming even when he's pushing you to move faster. I really liked that we started in larger groups with lots of coaching from Dr. Fowlds for the first few immobilization before we were split into small groups and given the opportunity to think through the procedure ourselves. We had to learn what to look for in a TPR that indicated a problem was arising and what to do about it in that moment. I learned just as much from that hands on experience as I did from the lectures. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to listened to Dr. Fowlds's stories and lectures about his experiences with rhino poaching survivors and anti-poaching efforts. The rangers and volunteers were kind and extremely helpful. I learned just as much about the animals from the rangers as I did from Dr. Fowlds. Even the lodge staff made the experience memorable.

How can this program be improved?
My only complaint was that I would have loved to have spent more time with Dr. Fowlds. I was hoping that he would be around a little more outside of formal lectures and the immobilizations. It didn't necessarily hurt my experience, but more time with him certainly would have made it even more incredible. That is the only thing I can think of that I would have changed about the whole thing.
Yes, I recommend this program


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About Worldwide Experience

Worldwide Experience strives to conserve what man is fast destroying – our very own environment and ultimately our own planet. We are the specialists when it comes to wildlife conservation and offer scholars, students and the older generation the...