The Pre Vet Eco Experience at Shamwari has been formulated to provide you with a hands on, introduction into Wildlife Veterinary practices in South Africa. The project covers both practical and theoretical based learning and will expose you to conservation activities as well as hands on Veterinary procedures and techniques.

The objectives of the course are:
* Prepare you for the application process of Vet School
* Provide you with a broad range of basic veterinary skills through practical classes to prepare you for EMS at vet school
* Provide valuable work experience that can be added to your CV and application to Vet School
* Expose participants to behind the scenes veterinary wildlife practices at Shamwari Game Reserve
* To gain invaluable experience through exposure to practical and hands on skills in the wildlife veterinary field
* Experience first hand insight into Shamwari’s awardwinning wildlife department in conservation, ecology and wildlife management
​* To educate the principles of Wildlife Veterinary decisions compared to domestic circumstances and the larger conservation ethics
 that govern these procedures
* Immobilisation and darting techniques used for various wildlife species

As part of the Pre Vet Eco Experience at Shamwari you will be introduced to a number of conservation activities and Veterinary Interactions and procedures. It is important as part of your learning experience to understand the fundamentals of conservation that govern decisions made by Wildlife Veterinarians. 

Veterinary Activities May Include

Introduction to Darting Techniques 
The various darting techniques used for game capture and immobilisation, learning to handle the various darting systems and target practice.

Introduction to Drug Preparation and Pharmacology
Learn the basics of pharmacology in the context of African wildlife,you will learn how to draw and calculate drugs for various species and circumstances.

Introduction to Injections and Drawing up IV’s
Work with the veterinary team and learn the basics of injections and drawing up IV’s, a vital part of being a wildlife Vet.

Translocation of Antelope Species
Techniques used for mass capture and translocation of antelope species.

Passive Game Capture 
Practical techniques on passive game capture of various species. 

Post Mortems
Conduct post mortems with Veterinary staff for research and assessment. 

Be the Vet
Here you will be required to put your skills learnt to the test as you head out on the reserve to manage the team and act as the wildlife vet to manage the procedure. E.g. advise on quantities of drugs to be used for translocation of blue wildebeest.

Any Emergency Veterinary Procedures
As required by the Veterinary team on the reserve.

Conservation Activities May Include

​Game Monitoring: Rhino, Elephants, Predators
With regular monitoring it is possible to identify individuals, compile information about the family structure and determine feeding and special ecology. Data collected is used to assist in the managing decisions for the reserve.

Telemetry Tracking
Monitoring of some high profile animals like cheetah and leopard are required using telemetry tracking equipment as result of the neighbouring properties carrying livestock and the elusive nature of some of the species. 

Management of Breeding Centre
Management of breeding centre can include anything from veld (open country or grassland) conditions assessment, mapping of breeding area, mapping of alien vegetation, monitoring animal numbers and managing water points.

Volunteering at Born Free Foundation
It is the mission of both the Born Free Foundation and Shamwari Game Reserve to promote the conservation of species and the protection of habitat while maintaining a humane and compassionate approach to the welfare of animals and therefore it is their goal to create an awareness of the horrific way in which wildlife is exploited in captivity around the world. An opportunity will be given on a weekly basis for individuals to volunteer at the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary.

​Volunteering at Animal Rehabilitation Centre 
Shamwari Animal Rehabilitation Centre was set up to aid in rehabilitating injured animals found on the reserve and surrounding community. The aim is to give the animal short term care and release it back into the environment. The centre boasts avian, small and large stock boma (enclosure) areas which house the various species which may find their way to Shamwari. Here you will work along side the Resident Veterinary Nurse and learn various techniques.

Presentations Relating to Conservation and Veterinary Sciences

  • Introduction to Wildlife Conservation in SA
  • Anatomy
  • Ethical decisions of WildlifeVets 
  • Basic Veterinary Skills
  • A day in the life of a Wildlife Vet
  • Physiology
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Basic Veterinary Nursing
  • Rehabilitation of wildlife
  • Elephant management
  • Anti-poaching methods
  • Intensive vs Free roaming wildlife • Wildlife Monitoring
  • Understanding the principles of Eco Systems
  • Animal Population Dynamics
  • Capture Techniques and relocation of wildlife
  • Use of Boma’s
  • Stress Factors in handling and containment
  • Biomes of the Eastern Cape
  • Wildlife tracks and signs
  • Basic wildlife conservation, ecology and management principles
  • Animal welfare in relation to capture and containment

Presentations Relating to Applying to Veterinary School

  • Process and applying for Vet School
  • Interviews at University
  • Preparing work experience for interviews
  • Making the most of EMS
  • Ethical issues: awareness in your application

Practical preparation for EMS

  • Bandaging- types/uses/layers/practical application. 
  • Drug calculation and injection practice 
  • Using a stethoscope
  • Heart rates/breathing 
  • Physical examination of an animal
  • Interview practice!

Wildlife Vet Course: South Africa


The Pre Vet Eco Experience at Shamwari is a unique course that has been formulated specifically for students wanting to apply to Vet School. Acceptance into Vet School is very competitive and the interview process and previous work experience are important areas considered when approving applications. This experience offers your the opportunity to work along side the award winning conservation department and pioneering veterinary staff at the reserve to gain that valuable experience.

The course has been designed to give budding, potential Vet students an in depth introduction to Veterinary Science in the context of African wildlife. Not only will you learn the basics of what it takes to be a wildlife veterinarian you will also have informative and important lectures from existing UK Vet students on the application process and considerations for success.

If you are looking for hands on experience in the Wildlife Veterinary field that will contribute towards your overall application for Vet School, then look no further than our Pre Vet Eco Experience. 


Your Accommodation
Whilst conducting your Pre Vet Experience you will be accommodated at the purpose built student centre is situated in close proximity to the main reserve on one of the management properties of the conservation department. General game including zebra and kudu can be found along with buffalo on the property. The centre boasts twin rooms with ensuite shower and toilet facilities with a communal safe and storage in each room. There is also a number of communal facilities including a lecture theatre, swimming pool, canteen, storage fridge, lounge and entertainment area, television and DVD access, computer and internet access. 

Your Meals
Three meals are provided on a daily basis. Meals will either be served at the facility itself or taken as a pre-packed serving, depending on planned or as result of unscheduled activities. Laundry services are provided once a week.

​Weekends & Evenings
Most evenings are spent at leisure and you will be free to explore the surrounding area of the Eastern Cape or relax at the training academy.

All inclusive experience and course: $2365

The programme is split into both theoretical and practical activities based around Veterinary Science, Conservation in the context of African Wildlife and Vet School applications.