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Worldwide Experience Launches Wildlife Veterinary Programme

15 years ago

13th April, 2007 00h00

Vets Go WildWorldwide Experience is sending veterinary students from all over the world to South Africa to partake in a new wildlife veterinary programme titled "Vets Go Wild"! The first programme kicks off on the 12th July and runs for 16 days. Two identical programmes follow this, one on the 1st and the other on the 19th Aug. Amakhala & Shamwari Game Reserves in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, are the settings for a brand new 16 day module for students undertaking veterinary courses at selected UK and USA universities. The first term of the ‘Vets Go Wild’ programme is set to begin in July 2007, and will be led by Shamwari’s expert wildlife team alongside specialists from Amakhala Game Reserve. The concept has been created by Paul Gardiner, MD of Worldwide Experience and Nico van Zyl, a UK-based Veterinarian Nurse who, through his veterinarian work experience, identified the need for vet students to broaden their training experience through participating in conservation-based field expeditions. Shamwari Game Reserve forms nearly 25,000 hectares of malaria-free ‘bushveld’, with a goal of supporting responsible tourism and conservation. The project has been named one of the world’s most successful conservation projects, with the land having been bought and rejuvenated piece by piece by its founder, Adrian Gardiner. The reserve’s Wildlife Department has received the Global Nature Fund award for Best Conservation Practice, and Dr. Johan Joubert, Shamwari’s Wildlife Manager, was voted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust as one of South Africa’s Top Ten Conservationists. Other key figures involved in the Vets Go Wild programme are John O’Brien, Shamwari’s Head Ecologist, as well as Dr. William Fowlds, resident Vet from Amakhala Game Reserve. Dr. William Fowlds also assists Addo National Park with ongoing conservation work as the park continues its expansion plans. Addo now incorporates a marine reserve, so the module can offer the vet students the opportunity to learn more about the extensive marine life along the coast of South Africa. The Wildlife Departments at Shamwari and Amakhala run intensive and carefully orchestrated monitoring and game introduction programmes, making this a fantastic work experience opportunity for veterinary students. Participants will be involved in working with the Big Five (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard), game capture projects, analysis of animal diet, predator monitoring, rhino management, microchip implanting, as well as work with the Born Free Foundation at their Big Cat Rescue Centre on Shamwari Game Reserve. All of this allowing for ideal extramural study (EMS) opportunities. There will also be lectures at Shamwari and Amakhala’s teaching facilities, focusing on identification and tracking, diseases and reproduction, as well as on the environmental and societal impact the wildlife reserves on the surrounding areas. “We’d like the Vets Go Wild programme to become the UK’s and the USA’s official African Wildlife Campus for all veterinarian students”, explained Paul Gardiner. A 16 day veterinarian nurse module will also be made available. For information on participating, contact Worldwide Experience on +44 1483 860560 or via

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