Over the last 12 years we have been privileged to host 450 student volunteers from more than 30 countries
Dr Dup has confirmed my career in the veterinary world.
As an 18 year old preparing to apply to university, trying this veterinary experience before spending tens of thousands on a veterinary degree has left myself and my family assured that this is the career for me.
I have always loved animals and wanted to work with them in some way, most assumed it was a phase, but being part of Dr Dups team for four months over the summer break has made them take me and my dream more seriously. The reference from Dr Dup will help with my university application too.
I know that this amazing and invaluable experience has me ahead of my class mates via the practical and theory work as well as the stories of vets and nurses most memorable cases (good and bad). I feel I have been shown the real veterinary experience not the sugar coated TV version.
Be careful coming here as you will never want to leave. I am already planning to come back during next summer break!
A once in a lifetime trip that I will do every year!
I have been working as a small animal veterinary nurse for the last 15 years in London, England. I needed a break from my day to day nursing routine, to experience and learn new things.
Dr Dup and the team have renewed my love for my job. I am amazed at how easily my small animal nursing skills transfer to the beautiful and majestic wildlife of South Africa. IV injections in a Buffalos ear vein is so much easier than a rabbit in practice back home. An enucleation is the same on a dog and lion, both just as amazing to watch, a vet with nearly 40 years experience makes any procedure look easy. Monitoring a lion, kudu or buffalo under anaesthetic/chemical restraint requires the same skills as a dog or cat.
In the small animal clinic while monitoring anaesthetics of dogs and cats I have been reminded of the importance of just using your senses and a stethoscope rather than fancy capnograph etc. - a good reminder for us all to not rely on the machines!
It’s great to have people from different countries and different stages of their career. To be able to discuss our experiences back home and advice others new to the veterinary life what it is really like and simple tips and tricks that can help with school and beyond.
Amazing wildlife, veterinary and South Africa experiences.
Everyone was so welcoming, I have a second family now.
Forever grateful and looking forward to next year.
I came in July 2018 for a vet internship after my 3rd year in a French vet school. I wanted to improve my knowledge about wildlife.
During the month I spent there, I learnt a lot about the chemicals and how to use them on local wildlife, how to treat a wound on an antelope, how to do an autopsy on many animals and a lot about the lesions we could find on the animals.
The good point was that Dup gave us some lessons about anaesthesia on wildlife, explaining all the protocols depending on the species, the differences between the species. We could always ask our questions which helped me to learn a lot during my internship.
We were quite busy; sometimes waking up at 5AM to drive to a reserve for a mass capture.
It was a very interesting experience and I would love to come back one day.
I currently attend the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria.
Last February, I had the opportunity to shadow Dr Dup in his everyday life as a wildlife vet and anyone who has ever had the chance to work with him will confirm: learning from Dr Dup is one of the best things that can happen to a vet student.
Waking up at 4 A.M. everyday has never been easier than during those three weeks, where getting out of bed meant we were headed for another day of amazing adventures in the beautiful South African landscapes.
From day one, Dr Dup trusted us with hands on work. He let us assist in any way we could: administering injections, holding the animals, chipping them, treating wounds, etc. He gave us just the right amount of responsibilities and freedom for us to also trust ourselves. Before getting out on the field, he always held a short lecture about the species we were about to work on.
Thereby, we could fully enjoy the work on animals like buffalo, various antelopes, giraffes and we even had the very rare opportunity to help with the translocation of a hippo - which was probably the most crazy and unique adventure we had out there. I genuinely wish for everyone to feel the thrill and excitement we felt then at least once in their lives!
I got to meet people I would have never gotten to cross ways with in my “normal” life.
All in all, I would recommend everyone to step out of their comfort zone and head for South Africa. Wildlife medicine had been a dream of mine for a while, but since I came back, it has definitely become a plan.
I had such an amazing experience in South Africa with Dr. Dup. I learned so much and met so many beautiful people on my adventure that I will never forget throughout my veterinary medicine career. I am so grateful to the people who helped me get here and also proud of myself fo doing it!
I spent two weeks in August 2019 with Dr. Du Plessis, Dominique and teammates that I've met there. It was the first I traveled alone so far from home and I won't exaggerate by saying that it has been probably the most beautiful trip I've been able to experience so far.
For the experience itself, we have seen many wildlife animals. I never thought I'd see in two weeks all the animals I've seen and I've been very happy and satisfied about it. I saw elephants, plenty of giraffes, lions, rhinos, hippos, eagles, sable antelope and so on. Every moment of the experience was brand new and very unique.
I learnt how to do intravenous injections on buffalos, observed relocations and participated in them. I learnt how to work as a team, which I really appreciated, and assist Dr. Dup in his work as a wildlife veterinarian. I spent two (short!) amazing weeks and I of course intend to come back when I can!