This Wildlife Capture and Veterinary volunteer programme in KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, meticulously crafted by a Wildlife Veterinarian and Game Capture operator, offers an immersive experience in veterinary medicine and conservation, encompassing everything from A to Z on wildlife capture.
7th to 18th of April 2024
29th of September to the 10th of October 2024
|Minimum of 18 years old
|£1560 for the set 12 days
|What is included
|Your tented shared accommodation in a bush camp, all meals, airport collection on the from King Shaka International Airport in Durban, all transport while on the course, all study material & manuals supplied including a copy of the Third Edition of the Chemical and Physical Restraint of African Wild Animals, all equipment needed to be demonstrated (mass capture, dart guns, net guns, darts, trucks), all helicopter flying costs, a Saturday grocery shop and a certificate of competition
|What is not included
|Flights, visas, travel insurance, spending money
|Veterinary Medicine students and professionals, Conservation students, Zoology students, or just those volunteers those who love wildlife and the African bush, are physically fit and not scared to get dirty while learning new techniques.
This comprehensive Wildlife Capture and Veterinary programme is laser-focused on the practical aspects of capturing African wildlife.
Our goal is simple: we want every volunteer who participates in this program to leave with a profound understanding of the entire process of a wildlife capture operation, from its inception to its culmination.
Upon completion of the programme, volunteers will be at the helm of a real mass capture operation. You will be responsible for a range of critical tasks, including setting up the boma, coordinating helicopter activities, executing animal captures, loading them safely, and orchestrating their delivery to the valued clients.
The programme schedule is designed to maximize learning, with lectures held in the mornings and hands-on practical sessions in the afternoons. Throughout the programme, participants will cover a wide range of topics that are not only informative but also immediately applicable:
– Chemical capture and immobilization techniques
– Various dart delivery systems
– Drugs for immobilization and sedation and their safe handling
– Darting procedures, telemetry tracking, and satellite collaring
– Helicopter safety and the intricacies of darting from a helicopter
– Netgunning for game capture
– Animal handling practices
– Principles behind physical and chemical capture
– Selection and setup of capture bomas
– Considerations for housing animals in bomas
– Animal transportation methods
These topics are not just theoretical; they are fundamental to the real-life mass wildlife capture operation involving Zebra and Impala, in which volunteers will play an active role.
Beyond the mass capture event, our programme offers opportunities for participants to engage in other practical duties, providing valuable learning experiences. These include:
– Rhino horn removal, a crucial anti-poaching method
– Unique giraffe relocation activities, owing to the animals’ height
– Visits to a buffalo breeding facility, with the possibility of witnessing Bovine TB testing. This testing is essential for maintaining healthy, disease-free buffalo herds and is of significant concern in Africa.
This holistic Wildlife Capture and Veterinary programme ensures that volunteers gain practical knowledge and skills across a spectrum of wildlife conservation practices done in collaboration with wildlife veterinary doctors.
Typical Day Description
07:00 – Wake up, wash and get ready for the exciting day ahead.
07:30 – Time for a healthy breakfast of cereals, fruit, toast and a hot cooked option
08:00- Lectures start.
10:00- 15-minute tea break between lectures
13:00- Lunch. This can be onsite or a packed lunch if away at another reserve.
14:00- Time for afternoon practical to put the mornings theory lectures on darting, netgunning, boma sitting, transport crates etc, into practice.
18:00- After a long day exercising both the mind and the body with new knowledge, it is time to sit down to a hearty South African style dinner.
19.00pm- Catch an African sunset and discuss the day and what you learnt with the other participants on the volunteer course.
Accommodation is shared with one other participant of the same gender at a bush camp. It is in the form of glamping safari tents. Bedding and towels are provided but bring an extra blanket for cold nights.. The bathrooms are shared with each having an enclosed outside shower and toilet.
There is a communal area and a lounge, fire pit, boma and a pool for hot days as the temperatures can reach 31 degrees Celsius
There is washing machine if laundry needs to be done.
There is WIFI up at the lecture room yard. We do suggest that participant buy prepaid sim cards at the airport in South Africa and load with prepaid data too.
A casual South African style braai on the first night you arrive will help you settle in and meet the other participating volunteers on the team.
Breakfasts consist of cereals, toast and spreads and a cooked option.
Lunch if onsite is a cooked meal or if onsite, a packed lunch
Dinner is a hearty South African style home cooked meal.
Tea, coffees and juice are provided. There is fresh water for drinking. Vegetarians can be accommodated for.
There is a kitchen up by the lecture room camp and another by the main accommodation bush camp.
Ladysmith is situated in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal province, approximately 230 kilometres northwest of Durban. It is nestled in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, providing stunning natural landscapes including rolling hills, valleys, and the Drakensberg Mountains. The region offers opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, birdwatching, and exploring nature reserves including the private Nambiti Big 5 Private Game Reserve.
The region around Ladysmith is known for its conservation efforts, including nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries dedicated to protecting the natural beauty and biodiversity of the area.
The town is known for its cultural diversity, with a mix of Zulu, Indian, and European influences. This diversity is reflected in its people, traditions, and cuisine.
It offers a range of shopping opportunities, from local markets to modern stores. There are also various dining options, with restaurants serving a mix of South African and international cuisine.
Ladysmith is historically significant due to its role in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), during which it became a battleground. The town’s name is derived from the wife of Sir Harry Smith, Lady Juana Smith, the wife of a former governor of the Cape Colony. The town has several cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and historic sites. Ladysmith’s historical significance, cultural diversity, and natural beauty make it an interesting destination for visitors interested in exploring South Africa’s history and enjoying its scenic landscapes.