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Conservation medicine course and practical wildlife veterinary experience.

This is a 14-day program designed to give veterinarians knowledge and hands on experience in wildlife veterinary work in South Africa. This course is lead by experts in the field and covers topics that will give you a diverse understanding of wild animal veterinary medicine and the challenges faced by conservationists in Africa. The knowledge gained will enable participants to contribute to the protection of endangered wildlife on a global scale.


  • This is more than a wildlife volunteer experience.
  • This veterinary course is designed to give delegates an opportunity to participate in a variety of medical cases, conservation projects and experiences involving African wildlife.
  • The wildlife experience takes place in several nature reserves and rescue centers throughout South Africa.
  • The main goal of the course is to offer a high quality experience where veterinarians and veterinary students can gain knowledge and practical training experience in wildlife medicine and its conservation; concepts that can only be learned by working with wild animals in their natural environment.



Your professors and tutors are renowned wildlife veterinarians and experts with a lifetime of experience in wildlife medicine in Africa.



Wild Spirit Director. Veterinarian. One Health

Dr Quesada is CEO of Wild Spirit. She is a unique veterinarian with one target in life: to improve wild animal conservation and welfare through the veterinary profession. Years of experience, including studying elephants and learning from South African wildlife professionals has brought her a deep understanding of wildlife management and its complex situation in Africa. Her passion and commitment to nature is showing the world the role of vets in conservation.


Wildlife Veterinarian. Mega-herbivores specialist

Dr Tindall is one of the best wildlife veterinarians in Africa. He specializes in rhinos. His background includes unbelievable experiences as a wildlife vet both in conservation in national parks and private game reserves. His career and dedication to animal medicine, his knowledge of nature, strong ethics and passion to conservation make him an amazing role model for our students.


We have the privilege of being able to work and collaborate with several other South African professionals. During the Wildlife Vet Course various specialists will share their field of expertise with you. These include ecologists, biologists, marine experts, rangers and wildlife managers. 






A. The role of the veterinarian in conservation

  • Introduction to the work of a wildlife veterinarian in Africa.
  • Methodology, materials and equipment of a wildlife veterinarian.

B. Medical case

  • Participants will be exposed to wildlife medical cases in progress. Interesting case studies will be discussed during theoretical sessions.
  • Exposure to real medical cases: Any clinical case, surgery or emergency can happen.

C. Wildlife capture

  • Wildlife pharmacology anesthesiology.
  • Principles of chemical immobilization.
  • Mass capture techniques.
  • Real capture - species may include rhino, elephant, big cats, buffalo or antelope.
  • Theoretical and practical sessions on the principles of darting.

D. Wildlife management

  • Wildlife management objectives.
  • Wildlife breeding programs.
  • Contraception programs.
  • Wildlife identification, monitoring and tracking methods.
  • Wildlife nutrition.

E. Animal reproduction

  • Importance of reproduction for conservation.
  • Biotechnology of reproduction for wildlife conservation.
  • Reproduction management.
  • Elephant reproduction: Physiology, anatomy and behavior.

F. Animal rehabilitation and breeding centers

  • The role of wildlife rehabilitation and breeding centers.
  • Various rehabilitation centers will be visited where the emphasis is on the individual animal.

G. Infectious diseases in Southern Africa

  • A global view of the main diseases affecting wildlife. Emphasis will be given to the prevention of the spread of diseases between wildlife and livestock and those that affect endangered species.
  • Virology, bacteriology and parasitology.
  • Diseases associated with captive wildlife.




Protection of nature

South Africa is a world leader in the protection and maintenance of biodiversity of their natural heritage. The country is blessed with a wealth of national parks and wilderness areas and boasts some of the leading global professionals involved in the implementation of sound wildlife medicine principles and research.

  • Conservation models based on sustainability and biodiversity.
  • Wildlife conservation projects and programs in South Africa.
  • Endangered species: Challenges and threats. Their survival is a fight against time.
  • Role of the veterinarian in conservation.
  • Habitat preservation and resource management for the breeding and protection of wild animal populations.
  • The rhino war – is there hope for the future?


Wild animal behaviour

Understanding animal behaviour is one of the main subjects a wildlife vet needs to grasp. Knowledge of each species’ behaviour is absolutely necessary for wildlife management and animal welfare.

  • Every day our students will be exposed to wild animals and will be introduced to real nature.
  • Close interaction with wild animals will give you knowledge that you never thought possible.
  • Elephant social behaviour and handling.






  • Africa is blessed with a rich and diverse culture, however the rapid population expansion on the continent is having far reaching consequences on the lives of the average African. Traditional cultures are under threat and the perception towards wildlife is changing.
  • Community based conservation - The biggest threat to wildlife in Africa is human overpopulation and shrinking habitat. A realistic look into the lives of the average rural inhabitant and their perceptions of wildlife. How can conservation improve their quality of life?







Not included in the course price

Great White Sharks

  • Experience the exhilaration of cage diving with great-white sharks in Mossel Bay.


Whale Watching

  • During winter, Plettenberg Bay is the place where Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales come to breed. Whale watching is a great opportunity to see these animals up close. Various conservation programs along the coast are run by whale watching companies. They will share their passion and commitment in the protection of the ocean with our students.


Elephant Interaction

  • A close seen into elephant behaviour and their protection.


Bungee Jumping

  • The bravest students will have the opportunity to do bungee jumping from the highest bungee bridge in the world.




On the first day of your wildlife veterinary course our Wild Spirit team will welcome you at Johannesburg airport. This will be our meeting point and as well our departure point on the last day of the course. During these two weeks you will be working, learning and enjoying the wildlife veterinary work. Theory classes will be held mostly in classrooms with power point presentations, however every day in the field you'll have a chance to learn and expand your knowledge. We will teach you as well to read nature... is your opportunity to get the most out of such experience. Only on weekends or under unworkable weather conditions you will have resting days. Please notice itinerary is variable, due to unpredictable variety of wildlife veterinary work.

MAY COURSE: This is a special course due to it´s particular location. This unique course will take place in the Greater Kruger National Park and in Gauteng nature reserves. Every participant will be engaged with real wildlife veterinary work and with research and conservation programs in the Kruger NationalPark. At the same time you'll get involved in the veterinary community work following the important concept "One World, On Health".

AUGUST & SEPTEMBER COURSES: This course will take place on natural reserves and the ocean from Gauteng (Johannesburg and Pretoria province) and the garden Route (George, Knysna).

We have 2 options that we usually develop during our courses. This is not for our students to choose but to be chosen by our professionals depend on Wildlife Veterinary Work available, and in order to offer the best experience.

This options are only examples and itinerary might change.



Day 1: 12a.m Meeting at Johannesburg Airport. Departure to first nature game reserve.

Day 2-6: Wildlife Veterinary and Conservation Experience on Nature game reserves + Conservation medicine talks and presentations.

Day 7: Plane to George

Day 8, 9, 11, 12,13: Wildlife Veterinary and Conservation Experience on Nature game reserves + Conservation medicine talks and presentations.

Day 10: Extra activities.

Day 13 evening: Closing ceremony.

Day 14th: Plane from George.


Day 1: 12a.m Meeting at Johannesburg Airport. Departure to first nature game reserve.

Day 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13: Wildlife Veterinary and Conservation Experience on Nature game reserves + Conservation medicine talks and presentations.

Day 10, 11: Extra activities.

Day 13 evening: Closing ceremony.

Day 14th: Plane from George.

Meeting point is until 12 am in the Airport. Please make sure your plane booked have arrival early than the indicated time.



  • Veterinarians and veterinary students that are considering volunteering in Africa who understand that our profession and with learning we can make much more of a contribution to conservation.
  • Vets who work with wildlife in other parts of the world that would like to experience how their job relates to African wildlife.
  • Zoo vets who want to refresh and extend their knowledge of African wildlife.
  • Vets, vet nurses qualified or students who want to gain knowledge of wildlife conservation and medicine with the aim of contributing to conservation through knowledge and participation in the future.
  • Veterinary students who want to learn about the reality of wildlife veterinary work.

Please notice this course is focused for recently qualified vets or students, this is an introduction course/ practical experience. High qualified vets required an advance course. We offers advance level courses only under request.


Remember, Africa is not for fake hearts.


This requirements are important for you in order to get the best of this experience, be able to follow the daily hard work of wildlife veterinarians in the field, as well remember that English is the language that our professionals will use to communicate with you and so low level of english will interfere in your communication with them and so in the understanding of lectures.


  • Be a Vet student with understand in pharmacology and infectious diseases. Be Vet; Be a Vet nurse or student.

  • Being a person with an open mind and desire to learn and enjoy experience in Africa.

  • Keep in mind that we are not here to compete with each other, but to learn from one another.

  • Curriculum Vitae and selection by order of booking. No previous experience in wildlife is required. High english level.

  • Be fit and have good physical condition is Very important to.


You are only at 5 steps to join Wildlife Veterinary Course and practical experience by Wild Spirit. Let me show you ;)
1. Choose the dates you would like to join us.
2. Fill out the online application form and send it together with your CV.
3. If everything is right and we accept your application, you will receive your acceptance letter along with all details for payment within 24-48 hours.
4. Ensure your booking payment via bank transfer or Paypal.
5. Now you are part of the Wildlife Veterinary Course and practical experience! See you in South Africa.

Dates 2018



  • Dates: 3st - 16th
  • Location: Gauteng/Garden Route
  • Group number: 12
  • Availability: 12 places
  • Price: 2850€


  • Dates: 30th july - 12th august
  • Location: Gauteng/Garden Route
  • Group number: 12
  • Availability: 12 places
  • Price: 2850€


  • Dates: 1st -14th
  • Location: Gauteng/Garden Route
  • Group number: 12
  • Availability: 12 places
  • Price: 2850€


  • Wildlife Veterinary Course
  • Teaching materials
  • Certificates: Wild Spirit certificate · This course has been recognise as practical experience by several vet universities
  • Accommodation
  • Transport by car
  • Safari
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (80% of the meals)*


  • Some meals: Lunch on airport days: days of arrival, departure and day in our way to George. - Two lunches on extra-activities days. We always recommend have lunch at the front beach enjoying whales pass. - One dinner during the weekend. We will enjoy the restaurants and outside ambience on town. Only if the group agree and times aloud we will have a second night out. - Meals if eating time is during road traveling.
  • International flight and flight Johannesburg - George
  • Extra activities: Bungee jumping, diving with white sharks, whale watching and elephant rides.
  • Travel insurance


The quality of this course is backed by the testimonials of previous delegates as well as the support of several universities and organizations around the world involved in conservation and education. This course has been recognized as a practical experience for some master’s degrees.

  • This experience was the most amazing and powerful moments of my life

    Marine, France
    Marine, France, Wild Spirit Vet Student | 2016
  • It's like dreaming with your eyes open and you never want to wake up. Surely, this trip was by far better than anything I could ever imagine.

    Ana, Brazil
    Ana, Brazil, Wild Spirit Vet Student | 2013
  • There are many great experiences that we can have in our life, but no one will leave you as speechless, as breathless and as amazed as this one.

    Jennifer, EEUU/Italy
    Jennifer, EEUU/Italy, Wild Spirit Vet Student | 2012