Game Capture Program

Eastern Cape, South Africa

Game Capture in South Africa

Game Capture volunteers assist an experienced South African wildlife vet and their professional game capture team with wildlife relocations throughout the Eastern Cape. Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the capture from planning to immobilization, then transport and release. Training includes providing treatments as needed, monitoring vitals, and physically transporting a wide variety of species. Lectures and discussion groups with experts in the field allow for a comprehensive wildlife experience. Anyone with an interest in exotic medicine, conservation, or simply a once-in-a-lifetime experience is welcome to join!


Click here for our most frequently asked questions.


USD per session



  • Safe and comfortable accommodation
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week)
  • Monday airport transfers
  • Project-related transportation
  • Wi-fi access
  • Washing facilities
  • Permits & entry fees
  • Pre-departure support
  • Welcome packet with coupons for local establishments
  • Volunteer t-shirt

The program fee also acts as the main support for our non-profit clinic.


Not included:

  • Flights
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Weekend activities and trips

GVE volunteers get discounted rates on flights, travel insurance, and weekend activities through our STA Travel partners!


Click here for our fundraising tips & discounts!

2019 Sessions: 

April 28 – May 13

July 21 – August 5

Limited to 6 volunteers / session

Week 1

  • Sunday: Arrival & Transfer to Capture Site
  • MondaySaturday: Capture Days

Week 2

  • Sunday–Thursday: Capture Days
  • Friday: Morning Capture & Transfer to Chintsa
  • Saturday–Sunday: Free Time
  • Monday: Departure

*This is itinerary is for example only- activities are planned according to the needs of the community. Weekly schedules are released at the start of each week and are updated daily to account for new opportunities, vet emergencies, and weather.

Check out our blog post about why we do game capture!

Types of Capture

  • Helicopter Capture
  • Curtain Capture
  • Net Capture
  • Dart Gun Capture
  • Passive Capture
  • Cage Traps


Lecture & Discussion Topics

  • Safety protocols during game capture
  • Pharmacology (species-specific tranquilizers)
  • Species identification
  • Dart gun safety, introduction and practice
  • Types of capture (when, why, and how)
  • Hunting (Canned, Trophy, Conservation, etc.)
  • Population control (culling vs. relocation)
  • Ethics of game capture
  • Ethics of specialized breeding



  • Animal Experience (hours/week): 30-40
  • Vet Experience (hours/week): 40-50
  • Clinical Experience (hours/week): 10-20
  • Surgical Experience (hours/week): 0


Click here for weekend activities in and around Chintsa East.

During the week, volunteers stay in a lodge on a beautiful game reserve with electricity, running water, and modern bathrooms. Bedding is provided and we guarantee safe and comfortable accommodation throughout the program.

Meals are simple and nutritious. Breakfast consists of cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, tea, and coffee. A sandwich lunch is packed at the beginning of each day- options include meat & cheese, peanut butter & jelly, or tuna mayo, along with fruit and juice. Dinner includes a protein, a starch, and at least 1 vegetable. We try to accommodate all dietary preferences- our vegetarian menu has gotten rave reviews!


Animal lovers, Pre-vet students, Vet students, Vet techs/nurses, Vets






Eastern Cape, South Africa

“This program is like nothing else I’ve done and I’ve gotten so much experience that I can’t ever get in America. Plus the staff here are amazing.”

– Anonymous (July 2018) 

Volunteer Stories

“I honestly did not know what to expect, but I am so satisfied with the experience I gained. I did not expect to have so much fun. You get so much out of this programme from veterinary clinical hours, wildlife experiential learning, knowledge of medical procedures and minor wound care, global veterinary perspective and valuable connections that I will always cherish. I hope I can come back as pre-vet, vet student and also as a vet. I honestly fell in love with South Africa and don’t want to leave.”

– Anonymous (June 2018)

“Just completed the two week capture program and it lived up to the adventure I was looking for. From the madness of net capture to the precision of dart capture the program surpassed my expectations. Gaining hands on experience with African wildlife and learning many aspects of game capture, reserves and conservation from and insiders view has proven very valuable in giving me a whole new perspective as well helping in my career as a zoo vet tech. I’ve met students from all over… Canada, Mexico, Denmark, Iceland and of course South Africa and US. We did everything from stargazing on the beach to camping with game drives to night clubs. The staff is outstanding… Truly an unforgettable experience!”

– Trina B. (August 2017) 

GVE is happy to be associated with ADL – Academy for Distance Learning, based in the UK. ADL’s previous and present students from South Africa include a renowned conservationist, who was a previous chief operating officer of Africa Needs Lions and a primate naturalist currently working in Kwazulu Natal.

Their wildlife programs include certificates and diplomas in:

  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Wildlife Management
  • Vertebrate Zoology
  • Invertebrate Zoology
  • Carnivore Zoology
  • Animal Science
  • Animal Welfare
  • Reptiles and Amphibians (Herpetology)
  • Marine Studies
  • Primatology
  • Zookeeping (also applicable to Safari Parks)
  • Animal and Environmental Welfare

Each certificate can be endorsed and issued by a UK Recognised Awarding Organisation. Please click here to view the courses available.