Bushveld Veterinary Experience!
Ecstatic students from all over Europe; tried and tested by myself. There is no wildlife veterinary training out there better than this one. You have my word. Go see for yourself!
Before you read on, let me ask you something first.
- Do you love adventure?
- Do you want to work with wildlife, like giraffes, buffalo, baboons and exotic antelope?
- Have you ever watched Animal Planet, and thought “fack Africa looks so cool”?
Well my friend it is!
Everything that you see here on this blog, and everything that I have done in the past 5 years has started with a similar program just like the one I am about to share with you today.
So don’t pass on this thinking “meh it’s just one of these Africa trainings again”. No see it as a doorway to a new fantastic way of life. The Wildest Life (crowd goes wild…), ahum. Maybe you’ll become a true wildlife vet! Or maybe you’re just in for an amazing experience, that’s cool too!
Alright let’s play some Cluedo, who, what, where, when!
Bushveld Veterinary Experiences is a program started by the leading veterinarian of Kranskop Animal Clinic and Wildlife Services. It will offer you a complete veterinary experience with exposure to wildlife, production and companion animal work. Practical, hands-on veterinary training with an unforgettable African experience GUARANTEED!
Participants will always have a choice of doing companion animal-, production-, equine-, exotic- or wildlife work as they wish, accompanying any of the vets during their work days. Of course, depending on what comes in every day.
The program is situated in the small town of Modimolle in South Africa’s Limpopo province, two hours’ drive north of Johannesburg.
WHO is this project for?
- People on their first or second trip to Africa.
- Students that are looking for a high intense, highly practical program.
- Students from the higher years of vet school (years 5-6).
- Students that want an amazing all-round African experience!
WHO is this project NOT for?
- Students from the earlier years of vet school. The more practical skills you already have, the more you can do with De Wet!
- Students wanting to work solely or almost exclusively with mega herbivores like elephants and rhinos, or big predators like lions and cheetahs.
- Students that have insufficient level of English, you need to be able to have a normal conversation.
You can enroll in Bushveld Veterinary Experience all year long.
Ok I hear you thinking… ok Jonas, but when is THE BEST time to come over to South Africa? When I’m coming over, I want to make the absolute most of it!
Well it entirely depends on what you want, but here’s a rule of thumb:
- November – April: case load is lower, but best in terms of exposure to disease conditions and parasites in animals.
- June – September: is peak time for the game capture season.
Ok but what makes this project so special!?
There are many wildlife trainings out there, I know, but here’s why Bushveld Veterinary Experience is
one of the best!
Firstly, knowing what every student really wants from a wildlife project, I co-designed everything in this program with Dr Barnard. He asked my advice what an amazing project should look like. Afterall I was right in your spot, just a few years ago!
It’s really all about DOING!
Check out the following highlights, which will be the foundation of YOUR Bushveld Veterinary Experience:
1. WILDLIFE HOTSPOT!
BVE is centered in the Waterberg district. It’s an area with a LOT of private game reserves, parks and game farms. It’s also the same area where I have worked for 7 months as a junior veterinarian, so 90% of all pictures you’ll see on my instagram, facebook or website come from the same region.
Giraffe, buffalo, impala, kudu, nyala and so many other species are hugely represented in this area and can become YOUR next patient 😉
2. HANDS-ON VETERINARY TRAINING!
I know Dr. Barnard from my time in Africa, he’s an awesome guy and a great vet! Not only are his days filled with a plethora of difference species like buffalo, giraffe, sable antelope and even rhinos, he’s also HUGE on a practical training of students.
So I’ll tell you first what BVE is NOT: it’s not one of these programs that cost well into the thousands of euros where all you can do is basically follow someone and watch him/her do all the work!
You’ll be with Dr Barnard, on average, 4-5 days a week, and here’s what you CAN expect:
- Day in – day out work in the bush. This can be in the early morning, evenings or throughout the day, depending on the heat (35-40°C is not unusual in the African Summer) and what work comes in that day.
- Actively participate in medical work on sick and injured wildlife.
- Assist in game capture and immobilisation.
- Fly in the helicopter.
- Help with medical work on domesticated animals and livestock in rural South African veterinary clinics. Diagnostics, therapy, surgeries you name it!
- Wildlife population management.
- Meet local people and get to know a completely different way of life, dare I say hakuna matata…?
- Daily dose of dopeness.
Beware, it can be very intensive days!
Click the arrows to alternate between the pictures!
3. MONKEY FOR A DAY!
You will spend the weekends with the badasses of PRIME crew. PRIME Crew is a monkey rehabilitation centre with a strict capture and release policy, and no touristic affiliation. Here you can spend the day with a boatload of baboons and vervet monkeys. Some of them were injured, others abandonned by their mommies. At PRIME Crew they nurse them back to health before sending them back into the wild!
Win their trust, and brace yourself for the monkey hugs!
4. SLEEP IN THE BUSH!
When you’re not out hustling buffalo or chasing impalas in the veld, it’s probably time to relax. In SA they know how to do it properly!
After work, on week days, you’ll be staying at Likhama Lodge, www.likhama.com, a real authentic SA game farm. It’s a cool place where you’ll have breakfast in the morning with the casual giraffe walking by checking on your early appetite. In the evening you can have a sundowner overlooking the iconic African sunset! Life here is good.
5. FREE TIME ACTIVITIES!
You are looking for a unique African experience, we know that better than anyone! When you have some time off from the program, you can do a whole lot of cool stuff in the area, like:
- Horse riding safari in the bush (recommended).
- Go on a big 5 safari.
- Go to a game auction.
- Go sky diving.
- Visit an authentic SA church service.
- Chill the hell out.
- Play tetris.
6. BOOSTING YOUR CAREER? NO PROBLEM!
Upon completion of BVE, Dr Barnard will write you a personalized letter of recommendation which you can attach to your resume for later employers. This is a BIG plus, trust me! Having worked with lions, rhinos and other iconic African animals of the savanna will certainly make you stand out of the crowd!
You will also get a certificate of excellence, which you can hang over your bed for showing off when you’re having your annual pyjama parties!
Awesome right!? But wait there’s MORE!
When you enroll in Bushveld Veterinary Experience, you will also get these exclusive BONUSES:
Embark on a highly epic
Africa is all about adventure – the trip will stay a surprise until you arrive 😉 Is the photo a hint? I don’t know… Oh and btw it’s FREE!
High-intensive Helicopter darting course!
Dr Barnard will personally teach you everything about flying and darting from the helicopter in this course. You will dart plains game with anthelmintics yourself. You will shoot zebra, wildbeest, giraffe, or any other animal that needs its anti-worm shot! It’s FREE for groups of 3.
Giving back to nature through
The Wildest Trail, aswell as Dr Barnard, are huge on supporting this beautiful planet. That’s why a portion of the program price will be deposited integrally into the funds of an NGO, such as WWF or Virunga National Park.
- All meals, drinks and accomodation.
- Airport pick-up and drop-of in Jo’burg OR Tambo.
- Mysterie Trip of severe awesomeness.
- Helicopter Darting course for groups of 3.
- Free game drive at Likhama Lodge.
- Weekends at PRIME crew.
- Letter of recommendation and certificate.
- Flights & visa.
- Travel passport.
- Vaccinations & travel medication.
- Extra activities outside BVE.
Ok Jonas, cool! But what does Bushveld Veterinary Experience cost?
BVE’s 2-week program:
€2850.00 per person.
Special exclusive price for students of The Wildest Trail: all-inclusive two weeks €1998.00 per person.
Special exclusive add-ons:
– Helicopter darting course!
– Other Wildest Trail trips, they are EPIC! And fully customizable for before/after your stay with BVE. Click (((here))) for more info.
Now that we have most of the project covered, here are some extras if you are an eager beaver!
Click the button if you would like to see some additional info about Bushveld Veterinary Experience!
Click the arrows to alternate between the pictures!
The Bushveld Q&A!
Here are some interesting questions that people before you had poppin’ up in their gorgeous heads, take a look:
What is the maximum number of students BVE takes on at a time? I don’t want to be number 9 in a group of 12. You are absolutely right you don’t want to be number 9 in a group of 12, number 7 maybe… But no BVE only takes on a maximum of 3 students at a time, and 4 only in very rare occasions.
Do I have to be a student to be able to enroll? I already graduated, but I want to join! No problem, you can!
Can I participate in the helicopter darting course if I am just by myself or with another friend? Yes absolutely, Dr Barnard loves sharing his knowledge and flying the helicopter so you bet! Since he has to rent the helicopter and the pilot, as well as buying fuel, the price will be €150.00 per person if you are by yourself or with 2 people.
How long will the helicopter course be? You’ll get 20 minutes flying and darting time after a thorough briefing down on sweet Mother Earth.
What else can we do at the lodge? Aside from chilling extremely hard, you can also do many other activities at the lodge. You can swim in the pool, join the owner on his feeding trips or go on mini safaris!
Would you recommend staying a little bit longer in South Africa? Yes! SA is an amazing country, there is so much to see, do and explore! I would recommend anyone to just rent a car, and just head out. Adventure awaits!
Will I do enough practical work? I want to DO stuff! Dr Barnard is huge on a practical training of students. Nobody likes “just watching”! Of course the better your practical skills are, the more you’ll be allowed to do! Some animals you’ll be working with can be extremely expensive, so in those instances invasive handling may be limited.
Will I miss my mommy? Ok maybe I just made this one up, but NO you won’t miss your mommy. Literally every second of the day you’ll be hit in the face with new amazing experiences!
Can I extent my time in SA with a trip to Cape Town or some other awesome place after BVE? Yes! The Wildest Trail will help you with all of this! As a matter of fact anything you want! Send me an email so we can discuss.