13:02 22 Jul 18
My daughter is going to veterinary school this August term. My wife and I thought this would be a fabulous entree into the wold of veterinary medicine with her. Earlier this July we had the privilege of participating as pre vet students for two weeks with Safari4u. We were right !!! Safari4u and the team of leaders surpassed our every expectation. James kept us all on track and the team leaders were very knowledgeable and patient. They all kept us hands on at every step of the way. We were so busy everyday that we would have liked to stay an extra week or more to see what other fascinating adventures we could get personally hands on involved with. Dennis and Janet thank you also for the these top group of leaders, all who were great at sharing their passion for veterinary medicine. Thank you also for the bountiful feast every night. Warm Regards Michael Dunn.
12:47 07 May 17
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. Special thanks to: Ashely for suggesting this program. Dennis and Janet for checking in repeatedly to make sure we were not only ok but happy 🙂 and arranging every possible wish of activities for the small amount of downtime I had (due to my own travel sched). Nico for getting us started days 1.5 at the capture site and for a perfect weekend of game drives and majestic animal interactions. Alex and Lanielle for escorting us through a majority of our program. Truly an unforgettable experience!
22:25 08 Nov 16
I went to the Safari4u Program this past summer for two weeks. It was a great introductory experience to wildlife in South Africa! We did so many things including darting animals with medication, net capturing antelopes, flea dipping a giraffe, and caring for the local people's dogs (and a lot more!). I loved getting to learn about the culture and seeing the beautiful sights the Eastern Cape has to offer. Would definitely recommend for anyone that wants hands on wildlife experience in South Africa!
21:39 08 Nov 16
An extraordinary experience that I had the pleasure of experiencing for a fortnight in September 2016. It is conducted by an excellent group of volunteers who really make it worthwhile. This is a brilliant opportunity to expand your horizons; meet new people; learn about new cultures; create and expand your knowledge of exotic wildlife all within the beauty of South Africa. Would highly recommend to anyone interested in working with wildlife either for veterinary/educational related purposes or as a life experience!
11:46 08 Nov 16
I had an amazing once in a lifetime experience! I was able to learn a lot about the native animals as well as learning about the local culture. Game captures were hard work but very fun and exciting! Learning how to dart animals to dose them with dewormer was great and it was awesome to know that I was helping those animals. My group took a small trip out to Coffee Bay which was beautiful and eye opening. We were able to gain experience working with horses and dogs out in the field with limited resources. As a veterinary student this was a great trip to be able to learn more about African wildlife species but also be able to learn about and work with domestic species. I would recommend this trip to those interested in learning more about African wildlife while gaining a cultural experience! Great trip for those wanting to go to vet school, veterinary students, veterinarians, and those that just enjoy African wildlife!
11:06 08 Nov 16
I spent 2 weeks at the Safari4u programme and I couldn't recommend highly enough! It was amazing. We got to help on game captures, helped dart animals (we were taught how to use the dart gun!) and also helped treat the local animals at Coffee Bay, which was an amazing experience. The people were all lovely and welcoming. It was very relaxed and there is also a great number of activities you can do in your spare time 🙂 I did it as part of my Veterinary Medicine course which it was perfect for and I cant wait to go back!
13:34 27 Oct 16
Safari4U was hands down the best experience I've had to date. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about veterinary medicine and get to further my knowledge and skills by practicing hands-on with animals that range from dogs to pigs to antelopes to giraffes, I met life-long friends and felt part of a family. Dennis, who runs the program, never failed to ensure that volunteers felt at home and were having fun. Chintsa is the perfect location and is home to a beautiful beach as well as some great restaurants/bars. In addition to living in Chintsa, I was fortunate enough to visit Coffee Bay for a few days where I got to help dogs and horses in need of medical attention as well as experience the culture. With the beautiful scenery, the incredible hospitality and food and the local drummers who play by the fire at night, you'll never want to leave. I went on this trip simply expecting to gain some veterinary experience but it was so much more than that and helped me grow as a person. I will definitely be back.
13:25 27 Oct 16
Safari4u is an incredible opportunity to get hands-on experience with small animals, farm animals, and wildlife, in a setting you won't find elsewhere! You are constantly learning new things from locals and the vets and getting to interact with all kinds of different animals. Plus the area is absolutely beautiful to study in. The program is great for those studying veterinary medicine or those planning on studying it and it's one of the best experiences I've had!
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Briana Paulette Gorrell
Safari 4uVet is amazing. I learned so much during this program, although, I didn’t have much animal experience before hand. You get a lot of hands on work with animals but they definitely don’t push you if you don’t want to do something. The weekends you can do whatever you want, they also have activities that you can schedule! All and all, I would definitely come back— I had an amazing time and this internship opened me up to a world of different opportunities in vet medicine. Thanks Dennis and Janet for creating such a great program.read more
I participated in the pre-veterinary program in March of 2018. I am entering my first year of veterinary school, and I absolutely loved it. The pre-veterinary program covered a broad spectrum of species and provided an array of new experiences. During the 4 weeks I was there we worked with livestock, small animals, and wildlife both in and outside of a clinic. All of the staff are very friendly and eager to help you learn. I would love to participate in either this program again or in their veterinary/ game capture programs in the future. I would recommend all of these programs to those who are interested in a career in veterinary medicine or other animal related industries.read more
I did the program in 2015, 2016, and 2017. It has been wonderful to see everything evolve over the years. In 2015 we were focused on building a mobile clinic; this has now transformed into Wild Coast vet. The clinic truly focuses on helping the animals and working within the means of the community. The clinic offers the student hands on experiences in basic and emergency care on ALL types of animals. The program also offers an extensive livestock program (pig ai, lamb docking, ultrasound testing, cow pregnancy testing, equine care etc). Obviously, the game capture portion is a once in a lifetime experience. Nothing will make you feel more alive than the intensity of a good helicopter capture. But my favorite part was the community outreach in hogsback, Kei mouth or Cathcart. It is a shame some students find monotony in this, but this is the bulk of vet care in real life, so. You truly get to see the beauty of South Africa and it’s people. There is a lot to learn if you come with an open heart and mind. Cintsa is truly a place that can heal your soul.read more
What an Amazing experience!! I'm a Registered Veterinary Nurse and found this program was very beneficial and exciting. You really do make a difference to the Animals as well as educating people on how to give better care to their livestock, Horses and Dogs. I was involved in a Zebra, Giraffe, Lion and game capture. The main aim of darting and capturing these animals is to treat/re-locate them. I'll be back soon �read more
Traveling to Cintsa, South Africa to stay with the Safari4U program was one of the best decisions and most amazing experiences of my life. I bonded with so many vet/pre-vet students who share my passion for veterinary medicine from all over the world. I had the opportunity to work with not only african wildlife, such as lions, zebras, giraffes, impalas, and much more, but also with large animal/farm livestock, such as cows, goats, sheep, horses, and chickens. In addition, I also worked with small animals in the local clinic, Wild Coast Vets. I had the opportunity to observe my first spay and a neuter of two stray dogs. There are so many more amazing details I could share! I would recommend this program right away to any pre-vet students.read more
As my first international experience, this program really offers its members an inexpensive way to see South Africa. The house was a 10-minute walk away from the beach, and the program offers transportation to all weekend activities hosted by the local businesses and game reserves (Inkwenkwezi and Areena), as well as some discounts for those activities. On my weekends I participated in giraffe and elephant interactions, a 2.5 hour safari drive where I saw the big 5 game, kayaked down a river to the Indian ocean, a horseback ride on the beach, and an hour long quad bike tour on a game reserve. When it comes to suggesting who should try the Safari4U program, I would not suggest it to those who are looking to gain additional veterinary knowledge. This program is geared more toward pre-veterinary students, or those just considering international travel based on the local animals. Many of the trips involved going to the poor townships with tubs to “dip dogs” which involved washing them in a bath of flea/tick preventative mixed in water. It was a unique experience to see how South African underprivileged areas take care of their animals while adding in a language barrier; most of the local people spoke Xhosa, and few spoke English or Afrikaans. In addition to helping with the dogs, we also visited townships, and larger farms, with cattle, sheep, and pigs. We got a lot of practice dosing and injecting this variety of livestock with de-wormers and vitamins, as well as some practice docking tails and castrating sheep. There is also a small animal clinic that we spent time shadowing veterinarians who liked to quiz students, which was not offered by the one veterinarian that works for the Safari4U program. The program does advertise that it includes wildlife in addition to large and small animals, which was what I was most interested in. Two days out of my two weeks in the program were spent performing game captures. The first day involved darting and transporting 2 male impalas to another game reserve to increase their genetic pool. The second day was spent tranquilizing a male impala that had an abscess the size of a softball on its neck that I was able to lance and the group flushed with disinfectant before reversing it. There are also program trips to the local zoo and reptile house, however those not veterinary based and used more as a time fill for the week. The structure of the program has students from all over the world arriving on Mondays and staying as many weeks as they pay for. Each week the students are divided into smaller groups and sent out to the clinic, for a capture, to the zoo or reptile house, to dip dogs, or on an overnight (or two) to one of 3 places: Kei Mouth, Cathcart, and Hogsback. At Hogsback (a 2 night trip) we spent our time working in townships with their dogs and cattle when not hiking, going abseiling (propelling) down a waterfall, and learning how to make local (Xhosa) bread from scratch within the township. In Cathcart, we spent most of our time going to large scale farms and working with their sheep and cattle (injecting and dosing), as well as the unique opportunity of dissecting a recently deceased horse out in a field. Two weeks, in my opinion, was an appropriate amount of time for the program, since I didn’t benefit knowledge-wise from Safari4U. I spent more of my time in the program teaching pre-vet students from the U.S. what I learned in undergraduate, clinical experience, and during my first year at U of I Vet Med rather than just standing around. I tried to have students perform a quick head to tail exam on the tamer dogs that we dipped, and understand the basic anatomy and physiology of cows. The staff was quite underqualified to host such a program, and would only contribute to your knowledge if you asked questions or stepped up and asked to become more involved. The other problem I came across was the lack of activities after dinner (all meals provided). There was only a TV with movies offered, so most (including the staff) went to the two local bars just about every night, getting quite carried away. Overall, the 2 weeks were quite relaxed and had more of a vacation feel than that of a veterinary program. I met some great people from all over the world, and became inquisitive about the differences in their veterinary backgrounds, education, and knowledge. I did fall for South Africa’s culture and charm, but I would like to find a program more geared to veterinary medicine and the local wildlife if I chose to come back.read more
The program seemed a little misleading from the very start. Upon arrival, there was a short introduction, but not with the whole staff or other volunteers. I didn’t even know some people were staff until I went into my second week. The staff are very fun and kind, but this program lacks a tremendous amount of education as well as organization. They are extremely understaffed with one vet working with the program, and one vet nurse. I was under the impression going into the trip that there would be ample veterinary experience throughout the week, but throughout my entire 4 weeks, I, as well as many other volunteers, received very minimal vet experience (with a vet). Additionally, the program takes three trips throughout the week: Kei Mouth, Hogsback, and Cathcart. During these trips, you are often times dipping dogs or working with livestock without any qualified staff and this can make up a significant portion of the week. There are also trips to the zoo, which felt more like a fourth grade field trip than anything else. The local clinic was very interesting as the staff there really try to get the students involved by asking questions and making an effort to teach students. Going into this program, I assumed there was a structured educational component. I knew the program would have to be flexible as you can’t predict what needs to be done, but regardless of what needed to be accomplished, most of the time you had to ask the questions, or you would be clueless. This program is definitely for individuals with little to no experience in the field. Of the vet students I knew during my time in Chinsta, most were disappointed with their experience. If you’re looking to learn a little bit, and have some fun drinking as well as going on weekend trips (game drives, giraffe interactions, etc.), this is the program for you. Overall, I met some really awesome people along the way and made the best out of my time in beautiful South Africa.read more
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. Special thanks to: Ashely for suggesting this program. Dennis and Janet for checking in repeatedly to make sure we were not only ok but happy 🙂 and arranging every possible wish of activities for the small amount of downtime I had (due to my own travel sched). Nico for getting us started days 1.5 at the capture site and for a perfect weekend of game drives and majestic animal interactions. Alex and Lanielle for escorting us through a majority of our program. Truly an unforgettable experience!read more
Dawn Michelle Peacock
My experience at safari4u was absolutely life changing and I would recommend it to anyone interested in veterinary and animal science!read more
I had an amazing time while in South Africa working with the Safari4u Vet. Program! I was nervous while making my flights because I had no idea what to expect when I got there, but once there it blew every expectation away. This program allows students to be hands on with all types of animals from dogs to who knows what. While there during my three week stay, I got to help with two griaffe captures, a white lion from a local safari, and some rhino! Even though my trip was two years ago, I have meet some great people, which I still remember names, and would love to meet up with them again soon. In other words, this trip is a 10/10 would recommend especially if you even have the slightest interest in going! I know that I would love to be able to go back, but this time stay much longer than a messily three weeks so that I am able to experience a whole lot more!!!!read more
I loved my experience with these guys, I had the time of my life, not a single day went by without excitement or learning.read more
Spending three weeks with Safari4U was one of the best choices ever! I had an amazing time and learned so much that has benefited me in school and will continue to benefit me as I apply for veterinary school! I got to experience things I never thought I would and everybody I met in SA (especially the staff!) was welcoming and friendly!read more
I was a part of this program for one month, and I was completely blown away! The opportunities we were given were incredible things we wouldn't have been able to do anywhere else, the people are lovely, and Cintsa is an absolutely stunning location. It was an awesome opportunity that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in Veterinary medicine!read more
Safari4U was hands down the best experience I've had to date. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about veterinary medicine and get to further my knowledge and skills by practicing hands-on with animals that range from dogs to pigs to antelopes to giraffes, I made life-long friends and felt part of a family. Dennis, who runs the program, never failed to ensure that volunteers felt at home and were having fun. Chintsa is the perfect location and is home to a beautiful beach as well as some great restaurants/bars. In addition to living in Chintsa, I was fortunate enough to visit Coffee Bay for a few days where I got to help dogs and horses in need of medical attention as well as experience the culture. With the beautiful scenery, the incredible hospitality and food and the local drummers who play by the fire at night, you'll never want to leave. I went on this trip simply expecting to gain some veterinary experience but it was so much more than that and helped me grow as a person. I will definitely be back.read more
I spent one month with the program in 2015 and loved it so much I came back for another month in 2016 with friends from the first trip! Safari4u gives you the opportunity to learn hands on about the veterinary field and is a huge talking point on veterinary school applications and interviews. I have participated in many game captures of giraffe and several antelope speices. We also learned to pregnancy test cows and goats, fertility test cows, tail dock lambs, and give injections to cows, sheep, goats, horses, and dogs. Dennis is very helpful and makes you feel like home at his house. Kim is the best, we love her! I have made many friends through the program and with the locals and hope to be back soon!read more