Nature Conservation in South Africa – Big 5 – Veterinarians

Nature Conservation in South Africa - Big 5


This program is designed for veterinary students studying science, nursing and related veterinary disciplines. It allows you to take part in the management of a private reserve and its efforts toward the conservation of wildlife. Thus, volunteers are called to discover and participate in the operations through lectures, monitoring and veterinary activities. This project gives you the chance to live a unique field experience.

Your schedule is supervised by veterinarians and professional guides who are passionate about nature. The purpose of each activity will be explained from the point of view of local conservation.

This game reserve offers a wide variety of African animal species including the famous Big 5: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos. You can therefore, through your daily activities, observe these species as closely as possible in a breathtaking natural setting.

The program

  • 2070€ / £1810 / 2400$
  • Two weeks
  • Lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, buffalo, antelopes, cheetahs, giraffes and more
  • 10 persons maximum
  • Public : current or graduated veterinarians students
  • 17 June to 1 July (14 days)
  • 1 July to 15 July (14 days)
  • 15 July to 29 July (14 days)

Due to the nature of working with wildlife and other conditions out of our control, this draft serves as an example of a typical experience to date, but may be adapted as suits the conditions at the time of stay and as will be implemented at the discretion of our veterinary wildlife team to best suit and optimize the experience for all participants


  • Orientation

– Wildlife drives on reserve. Species identification.
– Discussions on wildlife management, monitoring,
ecology, etc

  • Role of veterinarian on game reserves
  • Game capture techniques

– Mass capture
– Passive capture
– Chemical immobilisation

  • Immobilising drugs
  • Darting and translocation equipment
  • Husbandry of captured animals
  • Game translocation

Practical Experience

  • Target shooting with dart gun
  • Assistance with darting (immobilisation) of specific
  • Translocation of captured animals from reserve to
    bomas (enclosure)



  • Important infectious diseases of wildlife
  • Wildlife
  • Wildlife sanctuaries and wildlife rehabilitation
  • Community work at disadvantaged communities
  • Poaching and veterinary implications of survivors of
    poaching incidents

Practical Experience

  • Necropsies
  • Mass capture and translocation of antelope
  • Target shooting from helicopter (dependant on
    availability and prevailing conditions)
  • Community day: Basic veterinary care/treatment of
    community animals
  • Visits to Rehab Centre and Born Free

Day 15 / Monday: transfer at 10:00am to Port Elizabeth. Arrival at the airport around 12:00pm.

To participate to this program, you must be a veterinary student studying science, nursing and related veterinary disciplines. Verification will be done during your registration.

Average physical condition is required

  • Comfortable rooming, sleeping up to 3 per room (same sex basis)
  • Sharing with on-suite shower or bath, toilet and basin per room
  • Cupboard shared with individual trunk per person
  • Communal safe
  • Lounge and dining room
  • Plunge Pool
  • Fire place (braai or barbeque area)
  • Lecture or study room
  • Laundry once a week
  • Three meals are provided on a daily basis.

It is a two weeks experience.

Three dates are available :

  • 17 June to 1 July (14 days)
  • 1 July to 15 July (14 days)
  • 15 July to 29 July (14 days)

The price for this program is R 35.000 (approx 2100€)

To know: do not hesitate to use the converter XE Converter, the South African currency fluctuates regularly.


  • Accommodation
  • Supervision and daily activities
  • Transfer from the airport to the reserve
  • Three meals a day
  • laundry once a week

Not included:

  • Flight tickets;
  • Internet (paid voucher available in the lodge)
  • Excursions during weekends
  • Vaccines
  • Travel insurance

Are you interested in this program  and you would like to book? Complete the form below.

N.B : Our program is regularly full, so it is advised to book in advance. 

En utilisant ce formulaire, j’autorise Destination Nature à enregistrer mes données



Big 5

The reserve has the 5 most popular safari species called the Big5, which include: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos. These species are represented on the national banknotes.

destination nature people

passionate professionnals

Your coordinator is a field guide who is experienced and passionate about his job. Do not hesitate to ask him any questions.

destination nature spot


Since its creation, this reserve has been focused on high quality tourism by offering safaris for only the guests it hosts. You will be lucky to explore 250 kms without seeing other vehicles.

destination nature point

Born Free Foundation

The center is based within the reserve, and is a sanctuary for Lions and Leopards who are unable to be reintroduced back into the wild.

destination nature travel


The reserve’s owners wish to develop and increase interactions with local populations. Many actions are planned to help them.

destination nature agency


The lodge where you sleep offers quality housing, with three meals a day, housekeeping twice a week and cleaning of your clothes.

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