Wildlife Veterinary Course 

Conservation medicine & practical wildlife veterinary experience

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General information

About our Wildlife Vet Program

This is a 12-day program designed to give veterinarians knowledge and hands-on experience in wildlife veterinary work in South Africa. This course is led by experts in the field. It covers topics that will give you a diverse understanding of wildlife veterinary medicine and the challenges faced by conservationists in Africa. The knowledge gained will enable participants to contribute to the conservation of endangered wildlife on a global scale.

  • Designed by local wildlife vets for international vets, students & nurses
  • Beyond a wildlife volunteer experience.
  • Wildlife experience occurs in several nature/game reserves and rescue centres throughout South Africa.

Our Aim

  • Offer a high-quality experience where veterinarians, nurses and students can gain knowledge and guided practical experience in wildlife vet medicine and conservation.
  • Be exposed to the reality and difficulties of wildlife medicine in Africa.
  • Encourage conservation medicine globally.
  • Concepts that can only be learned by working with wild animals in their natural environment and among locals.



1 – 12


Fully Booked




Fully Booked




Fully Booked



This is a dynamic program structured into three theoretical-practical modules.
Module 1: Wildlife veterinary medicine & One Health
Module 2: Conservation & wild animals behaviour
Module 3: Human-Wildlife Conflict

During this 12-day, several lectures are given on power-point with the projector, but others would be told on the bush, using nature as our classroom. This course is designed to allow delegates to participate in a variety of cases, projects and experiences involving African wildlife. The amount of knowledge shared, won’t be only based on tutors presentations, but delegates aim to learn, and questions asked. The course level is an introduction to Wildlife Medicine. However, if delegates have previous experience on that matter, in-depth and specific concepts would be told.

Module 1

Wildlife conservation medicine


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.

Medical cases

  • 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.

Widlife capture

  • Wildlife pharmacology anesthesiology.
  • Principles of chemical immobilization.
  • Theoretical and practical sessions on the principles of darting.
  • Mass capture techniques.
  • Real capture – species may include any Southern African mega-herbivore, carnivore or anthologies.
  • Exotic especies like tiger may happen from rescue centers.

Widlife management

  • Wildlife management objectives.
  • Wildlife breeding programs.
  • Wildlife contraception programs.
  • Wildlife identification, monitoring and tracking methods.
  • Wildlife nutrition.
  • Population health management.

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.
  • Raising real orphans and their reintroduction

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.
  • Diseases associated with captive wildlife.

One Health and Conservation Medicine

  • Understanding the complexity of the Wildlife – Human – Livestock interface.
  • Clarifying wildlife misconceptions with in the diseases approach.
  • Looking for practical solutions with in the complexity to protect wildlife & improve both people & animal health.

Module 2

Conservation & Wildlife behaviour


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 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.
  • Elephant social behaviour and handling.

“Close interaction with wild animals will give you knowledge that you never thought possible.”

Module 3

Human – Wildlife conflict


How can conservation improve locals and International lives?

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

Community based conservation – The biggest threat to wildlife in Africa is human overpopulation, greed and shrinking habitat. A realistic look into the lives of the average rural inhabitant and their perceptions of wildlife.


Download our summarised programme


Dr. Fabiola Quesada

Wild Spirit CEO

Veterinarian. Wildlife Conservation Medicine 

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

Dr. Brendan Tindall

Wild Spirit Director

Wildlife Veterinarian. Mega-Herbivores Specialist

Dr. Tindall is considered one of the best wildlife veterinarians in Africa. He specializes in rhinoceroses. 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 for conservation makes of him a role model for our students.


South Africa

12 days, 11 night, unlimited adventures


Your country



Due to the unpredictable real wildlife veterinary work, the itinerary is variable. For this reason, it is impossible to ensure the exact location of each event long in advance. The detailed itinerary would be shared with students weeks before the start of the course.

Our patients might be hundreds of kms apart, therefore several hours of traveling are inevitable.

day 1

Meeting at Johannesburg Airport
  • Meeting at Johannesburg Airport at 12 pm.
  • Departure to first nature game reserve/accommodation.
  • Introduction talk.
  • Wild Spirit welcoming merchandising pack.

day 2 - 6

Wildlife veterinary work & lectures 
  • Wildlife Veterinary and Conservation practical work in nature reserves, wildlife farms & rehabilitation centres.
  • Talks and presentations.

day 7

Travel to George by plane
  • Flight duration 1:45 hours.
  • Road trip to our next accommodation.
  • Based on timing some vet work or presentations might be possible.

day 8

Wildlife veterinary work & lectures
  • Wildlife Veterinary and Conservation Experience on Nature game reserves.
  • Wildlife medicine talks and presentations.

day 9

Extra activities
  • Great white sharks, Whale wathching, Elephant interaction, Bungee jumping or Zipline in rainforest

day 10-11

Vet Work & Wildlife Conservation experience
  • Wildlife Veterinary and Conservation Experience on Nature game reserves.
  • Wildlife medicine talks and presentations.

day 11

Evening: Closing ceremony
  • Braai (South African barbecue).
  • Attendee awarded certificates.

day 12

Journey back
  • Drop off at George Airport


Our Wildlife Vet course will take place on several game reserves in South Africa. You will be hosted in safe accommodation at places surrounded by wildlife. Here you will enjoy evening gatherings, barbeques, astronomy and chats about daytime adventures.
Accommodation might be quite different between courses. Despite we do our best to choose comfortable accommodations, sometimes, this is not possible due to the remote areas where we work or the unaffordable lodges South Africa offered for tourist. Please notice this is a wildlife vet experience in AFRICA, not a luxury safari.


Vet & nurse students

Vets, nurses & students

Vets, nurses or students who want gain knowledge of wildlife conservation and it´s medicine with the aim of contributing to conservation through knowledge and involvement.
Recommended age: 21-40 years old.

Volunteer Vets

Veterinarians, nurses, and students that are considering volunteering in Africa. Those that understand that be trained on Wildlife Veterinary medicine is a requirement to make a real contribution to conservation.

Wildlife vets

Vets who work with wildlife elsewhere of the world that would like extend their knowledge of african wildlife medicine and management.

Leader Vets

Those that are determinant to make a change in wildlife conservation medicine but just need a blueprint, some extra knowledge or maybe they need to feel that they are not alone on this journey

Adventurous vets

Those that know that Africa is not for fake hearts

Vets with wildlife conservation hearts

Veterinarians who want to focus their careers on the conservation of wildlife


  • Medium-fluent English level 60% 60%
Remember that English is the language that our professionals will be using to communicate with you. Low level of english will compromise your communication with the group, our vets and so will affect the understanding of lectures
  • Be a vet, nurse or student 100% 100%
Vet student are required to have a basic understanding in pharmacology and infectious diseases
  • CV selection 40% 40%
Selection based on Curriculum Vitae & date of Application-form sent. No previous experience in wildlife is required.
  • Be healthy 50% 50%
Be fit and have good physical/mental condition is very important for field work. You will be necessary to make physical efforts and adapt to the high climatic changes.
  • Open mind 90% 90%
Be a person with an open mind, desire to learn and enjoy the African experience 
  • Aims to learn 100% 100%
Keep in mind that we are not here to compete with each other, but to learn from one another.


Apply now, limited space available to 14 international delegates. Don´t miss out!

2024-2025 Course Fee




12 day Wildlife Veterinary Course & Practical


Veterinarians Teaching daily fee

  • 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.

12 days/ 11 nights accommodation


Teaching materials

  • Tuturos presentations and PDFs


  • Wild Spirit certificate
  • This course has been recognise as practical experience by several vet universities


  • Picking up from Johannesburg airport
  • Dropping off George Airport
  • Bus transport to accommodation and various working locations: In some courses our driving distance excede 1000Km
  • Entrance fee on farms/ natural game reserve where we will be working.

Safaris/Game drives

  • By car
  • By helicopter

Meals (80% of the meals)

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Wild Spirit Welcome pack

Wild Spirit Corporative t-shirt, cap, note book and USB.




  • International flight Country of origin- Johannesburg
  • Domestic flight, round trip: Johannesburg – George

Some meals

  • Lunch on airport days: days of arrival & departure.
  • Lunch/Dinner on extra-activities days.
  • Meals if eating time is during travelling road.

Extra activities



  • Travel insurance
  • Medical 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.