Shimongwe African Wildlife Vets

An exciting opportunity to work with a wildlife vet on many of Africa's large game.

Working with a permanent wildlife veterinarian based in the Alldays area, you will join the veterinary team at a number of conservation projects and on many large game reserves in the area. The veterinary experience provides exciting hands on work with a diverse range of species, and the opportunity to work with Africa’s most majestic wildlife.

Micro chipping a rhino for veterinary purposes
 
  • Game reserve veterinary team working closely with cheetah, leopard , hyena and rhino
  • General medical work on various reserves, farms and breeding stations
  • Disease control and blood sampling
  • Game capture and immobilisation
  • Veterinary disease control and management at two extensive Roan and Sable antelope breeding projects
  • Disease free Buffalo breeding work
  • Provide resident veterinary base for three wildlife conservation projects

Conservation Value

This project enables a permanent veterinary base for several game reserves, in an area where one of southern Africa's last free ranging lion population still roam. Through working with domestic animals from a clinic in Alldays, the project aims to build trust and empowerment in controlling and conserving the predator populations which live among them - an area of great conflict due to the devastating impact predators such as lion and cheetah have on their land. Volunteers assist the resident vet working with many rare and endangered species in the area.

  • Disease free buffalo breeding
  • Lion darting
  • Big 5 reserve work
  • Poaching dogs
  • Roan and sable antelope breeding projects
  • Snare removal from hyena
  • Sable antelope breeding programmes
  • Rehabilitation  veterinary work
  • Fitting transmitter to rhino and elephant
  • Rustic bush camp

Disease free buffalo breeding

To ensure disease free buffalo remain a viable breeding population, volunteers will be involved in routine blood testing for TB.

Disease free buffalo breeding

Lion darting

To ensure safety within local communities and build relationships with local landowners and farmers, predators in the area will be darted and relocated to safer areas. Eyes and ears are covered during sedation to reduce stimuli.

Lion darting

Big 5 reserve work

Volunteers work with the resident vet responsible for all wildlife work across two game reserves.

Big 5 reserve work

Poaching dogs

Volunteers will sterilise any dogs brought into the free mobile veterinary clinic to reduce the number of stray dogs used by wildlife poachers. Local communities will also be offered free inoculations for their dogs and treatment.

Poaching dogs

Roan and sable antelope breeding projects

The Phola veterinary team will support two extensive roan and sable antelope breeding projects, the largest private breeding collections in South Africa.

Roan and sable antelope breeding projects

Snare removal from hyena

Working on a conservation project studying brown hyena, a bait was used to trap a hyena seen caught in a snare. Volunteers assisted in darting the animal to remove the wire from the hyena's neck.

Snare removal from hyena

Sable antelope breeding programmes

Working closely with sable often requires veterinary sedation due to their nature of confronting predators using their shaped horns. Female sable may be darted for pregnancy testing in breeding programmes.

Sable antelope breeding programmes

Rehabilitation veterinary work

Eli, a young eland, was found in a nearby reserve, abandoned and in great distress. Caught between two fence lines, he has damaged one eye severely. Volunteers are currently hand rearing the young calf with regular milk supplement and treating his damaged eye to minimise loss of sight in later life.

Rehabilitation  veterinary work

Fitting transmitter to rhino and elephant

Elephant and specifically rhino are darted and fitted with transmitters and micro chips to reduce poaching of the species and enable them to be tracked more successfully. Having a continuous presence of trackers with rhino has shown to reduce the incidence of poaching on reserves.

Fitting transmitter to rhino and elephant

Rustic bush camp

Veterinary volunteers at Phola will live in a rustic bush camp within a beautiful game reserve in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, home to populations of leopard, cheetah, hyena and rhino.

Rustic bush camp

Veterinary Work

Working with an experienced wildlife veterinarian, you will join the veterinary team supporting a number of conservation projects in the area.

The veterinary experience provides exciting hands on work with a diverse range of species, and the opportunity to work with Africa’s most majestic wildlife. Veterinary volunteers can be involved in the following work:

  • General veterinary practice work in the surrounding area of reserves, farms and breeding stations.
  • Disease control and blood sampling.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of various conditions and diseases.
  • Chemical immobilisation and game capture of over 500 animals annually in the winter months.
  • Occasional work on Roan and Sable antelope breeding projects
  • Occasional dentistry work on predators
  • Game reserve veterinary work, covering over 25,000ha. Work on a Big 5 game reserve and a second game reserve working closely with cheetah, leopard , hyena and rhino.

Wildlife Experience

Working alongside a wildlife vet based in the Alldays area, you will join the veterinary team out in the field at several different game reserves, conservation projects and occasionally from a clinic. The veterinary experience provides exciting hands on work with a diverse range of species, and the opportunity to work with Africa’s most majestic wildlife.

This is a busy veterinary project, covering a large area in the North of South Africa. Most of the veterinary work will be field based and related to wildlife capture and relocation, rhino conservation and the protection of vulnerable species, such as roan and sable antelope. The vet also operates a small clinic for domestic and livestock work, so you will also have the opportunity to get an insight into a rural South African veterinary clinic.

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Your placement cost includes return flights and carbon offsets (if selected), return transfers from Johannesburg Airport to your project, all accommodation, meals (at most projects), transfers between projects if you are volunteering at more than one project, the 24 hour support of our South African ground manager, ACE T-Shirts, and, of course, the contributions to the projects, without which they could not operate. Read more about the costs, where your money goes and financing your volunteering placement here