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South Africa: Volunteer Animal Care Work-Experience Placements

Veterinary Medicine in South Africa

The Animal Care Project in South Africa is very much a hands-on, practical placement for anyone who loves animals and wants to gain experience working with them.

There are opportunities in South Africa for those who want to get involved in looking after and caring for animals. Placements are suitable for both Gap year students and those taking a career break. Volunteers are simply required to enjoy looking after animals and want to learn more about them!

Volunteers can choose to work in either a general domestic animal centre, or a seabird rehabilitation centre in Cape Town.

Volunteering on an Animal Care Placement in South Africa with Projects Abroad

Volunteers shadow the full time animal carers at both centres, gaining first hand experience of the way that animal rescue centres work in South Africa. There is the opportunity to get involved with hands-on work like feeding, exercising and rehabilitating the animals under your care. As with any volunteer placement, you get back what you put in; showing initiative and a willingness to get involved, will result in your experience being very rewarding.

Veterinary Medicine in South AfricaOur voluntary Animal Care placement in South Africa will give you access to invaluable work experience which will greatly enhance your CV. You will gain many practical skills and develop as a person through having to adapt and be resourceful while living and working in a foreign country.

Volunteers with veterinary experience will be able to get involved in specialised surgeries.

Volunteers working with domestic animals work mostly with stray dogs and cats at centers in Cape Town. Working with Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) you'll be involved with preparing food, cleaning out cages, exercising the animals and grooming and caring for neglected and abused animals. The love and attention that you give to the animals can really improve their quality of life. Local staff will also appreciate any help with repairing and maintaining the kennels and cattery.

Volunteers with a lot of initiative and motivation can also work with the staff of the mobile care unit where you will get the opportunity to visit local townships and predominantly be involved with the spaying and castration of cats and dogs.

For volunteers from a skilled equestrian background we also offer a project working at a local stable containing 15-20 horses. This is a great opportunity for anyone with a passion for horses or those wishing to deal with larger animals.

Veterinary Medicine in South AfricaThis project is also available for two weeks if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.

Volunteers with a special interest in the conservation of coastal birds could also chose to work in a bird sanctuary. Based in Bloubergstrand, 25km out of central Cape Town across the bay from Table Mountain, this shelter specialises in rescuing injured African Penguins. Volunteers here work in an amazing location, where colonies of penguins, cormorants, pelicans and even pink flamingos are a common sight. Volunteers will assist in preparing food, feeding the penguins, cleaning out cages, and rehabilitating injured or oiled birds. You'll get the opportunity to learn about these ecosystems and unique animals, while having a great time looking after these cheeky animals!

Volunteers should join the coastal birds project for at least six weeks. You will live with host families in Bloubergstrand, (known locally as Table View, for the spectacular view of the mountain). Transport into the centre of Cape Town is fast and frequent.

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