Although taking up veterinary medicine at any well-respected school may be enough for most career purposes, there is something else that can be gained if you go to the right place to obtain the right veterinary work experience. Veterinary training right in the heartland of Africa, specifically in a major game reserve such as Shamwari, comes with the enviable opportunity to work on an amazing diversity of fauna. You will also learn from those who have spent many years in the reserve and are brimming with wisdom and stories to share.
The Shamwari game reserve also operates its own animal rehabilitation centre, whose mission is to help not only any injured or sick animal found on the reserve, but also those animals (domestic livestock or wildlife) from nearby communities. With the centre providing a rich kind of work experience, veterinary training becomes a fulfilling and deeply rewarding endeavour. Work in the rehabilitation centre is mainly about giving short-term care for animals for the purpose of eventually releasing them back to their native environment.
You will also dip your arms in the management of the game reserve’s breeding centre. Such breeding centres are operated to assist endangered species in regaining enough numbers to pull them back from the brink of extinction. As a worthy work experience, veterinary services dispensed in the breeding centre will always involve a well-rounded array of daily tasks that will push the limits and compel the student trainee to achieve new heights in terms of skills and performance—as the song goes, if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere. Work in the breeding centre does not mean you’re cooped inside the building all the time though. You will also regularly spend time out in the field performing accurate assessment of the open country, map the breeding areas, and help manage existing water points.
Expertise in Emergency Procedures
Thanks to the sheer nature of conservation work in Africa, there is never a shortage of certain opportunities for rich learning. Indeed, in terms of the variety of available veterinary work experience, veterinary training in conjunction with conservation efforts in the African continent is much sought-after – mainly because of its intensity. For one, there will always be the kind of emergency situations that will enable the trainee to test their acquired skills and learning in an acutely demanding situation that spells life or death for an injured or sick animal. And this happens many times every week, or even daily, so the trainee emerges from the course thoroughly enlightened on the harsh realities in the game reserve and their vital role in it – as well as having had their skills honed to a degree not possible anywhere else.