Oyster reviews: Veterinary experience in South Africa

Find out what Oyster veterinary experience participants have got to say about their time in South Africa:

Mother and baby look at the camera“The interaction with the animals was fantastic. The vet was extremely knowledgeable and the project has opened my eyes to the many different roles a vet can take.I’ve had lots of contact with Anne who was extremely helpful and answered all of my questions within a few hours of me sending them, each time!This was extremely useful in planning what to bring and made my first solo trip much less daunting.”

Katherine, 2 weeks, September 2018

Veterinary experience“All the logistics of the program were organized so well I did not have to think about any of it and could instead focus on helping out, having fun, and making friends. I absolutely loved the veterinary experience I gained through this program and the friends from all over the world that I made through my time in South Africa. Be open to anything and everything over the course of the project and talk to as many people as you can. Everyone has such a unique life experience that you can learn a lot about others and yourself just by striking up conversations.”

Maya, 2 weeks, July 2018

Zebras drink on the Big 5 game reserve in South Africa

“It’s been an awesome experience so far, better than anticipated. The staff are great, so friendly and willing to share there knowledge. I’m asking a lot of questions. The work we’re doing on the reserve can be taxing but also fun, I find there’s plenty of time to recover and just chill out. I can’t complain about the food either, there’s plenty of it with lots of fresh fruit. The senery is just breath taking, I can’t believe the vastness of this reserve.”

David Demers, 2 weeks, March 2018

Lions at the Big 5 game reserve in South Africa

“Best choice I have ever made. The people who worked there were so friendly and so informative, you really got to know them well making it so hard to leave. There were many life experiences I will never get back when working with the vet and so many things I learned. The other volunteers were also really friendly – made many new friends making it a must to travel more. I do already miss it!”

Mariella Forward, 4 weeks, February 2018

Cheetah being stroked by volunteer in South Africa“Oyster is a great gap year agency, they offer a wide range of great programmes. I must admit it was hard for me to choose between them! I would definitely recommend Oyster because the very helpful staff made the whole booking procedure extremely smooth. A month wasn’t long enough in South Africa, it will exceed all your expectations! :)”

Liz Michael, 4 weeks, July 2017

vet experience south africa“Thank you so much for all the help you have given me in preparing for this trip! I am very excited (and both nervous in equal measures) but I am sure that I will have an amazing experience. I cannot thank you enough for all you have done.”

Meghan Lambert, Pre-Departure review July 2017

South Africa Veterinary experience“I’m doing great and having the best time here in South Africa. I’ve also met amazing people. The animals here are beautiful and I managed to witness and assist the vet in darting an impala and a black wildebeest which was an incredible sight.”

Thi-An Nguyen, 4 weeks February 2017

web“I’m doing good thank you! I am excited yet sad all at the same time to be home. The trip was absolutely amazing!!! Definitely the best four weeks I’ve ever done and I’ve already decided I want to travel again next year. I’ve bettered my knowledge on so many aspects and got a very hands on experience. The staff there make the experience! Always so happy to help and let you get involved.”

Harmony Blythin, 4 weeks August 2016

Beautiful Chintsa“The highlights were being a part of the welfare of animals and being able to manage and even improve their lives. The weekends were fun too!”

Elyse Davey, 4 weeks August 2016

web 1“Overall, the trip was really great! I really enjoyed being part of the vet group. It was a very relaxed group – we were able to interact with the animals and I actually really enjoyed the lectures; they weren’t too full on and it was just nice to learn new things. Seeing elephants was definitely a highlight! just want to say thank you so much for all your help – you’ve been so helpful and made me feel so much more relaxed about the planning and organising of the trip. I would definitely recommend Oyster to others who want to do something similar, as I really can’t fault anything, and I know the other volunteers who went with Oyster said the same!”

Tawnie Radford, 4 weeks February 2016

web“I’ve had so many amazing experiences and have met the loveliest people. The vet course was really interesting, we had quite a few interesting lectures and also helped to drain an abscess on an elephant! Thanks so much.”

Nancy Gutteridge, 4 weeks January 2016

12002274_10153107279718321_2953534766993086346_n1“I’ve had the most amazing two months doing my veterinary experience. I met some incredible people from all over the world that now feel more like family and I’m going to miss a hell of a lot. Some of the things I’ve experienced will never be topped.”

Alex Hemphill, 8 weeks September 2015

“It is incredible experience and an opportunity to see some of the amazing Big 5 animals of Africa. It is definitely worth it. It is a chance to escape to a beautiful location and have a whole new adventure. Even if you have worries or doubts, when you get to the reserve it is all worth it. It is completely out of this world, so just put yourself out there and have an incredible time.”

Ida Deylami, 2 weeks August 2015

“A great experience for veterinary people to work with wild animals they may never see in England!”

Lauren Pratt, 3 weeks August 2015

Oyster reviews“This was amazing – one of the best experiences of my life so far! I am definitely missing it – so much so that I am currently talking to the people who were on the project with me about meeting up and how they are settling in, and when we can do something like that again! I still can’t believe that I have actually been!”

Kyra Homan, 4 weeks August 2015

Veterinary internship“I had an absolutely fantastic time over the past 4 weeks and have met some amazing people. It was such a good experience. The vet programme was really good and was very hands on. Also the staff at the reserve were really friendly and always willing to help.”

Jenny Edgar, 4 weeks August 2015


Veterinary internship“South Africa was fantastic and I literally can’t praise the staff at the reserve enough, especially the vet, who encouraged my desire to follow him into the profession! I would definitely go again if I could, and I wish I could have done so much more. Getting to work with incredible animals, in particular the elephants, was nothing short of a privilege. Thank you for arranging the best moment of my life so far!!!”

Toby Anderson, 4 weeks July 2015

Veterinary internship“I am definitely enjoying it! The first few days took some adjusting to, as it rained nonstop and was freezing cold, but it has picked up and was definite sunbathing weather earlier! I’ve done and seen so much!”

Hannah Court, 4 weeks July 2015

Veterinary experience“The vet is fantastic, very knowledgeable and willing to teach.”

Corinne Plough, 3 weeks July 2015

Veterinary internship“I’m doing well! Yesterday we did a game capture and actually caught a blesbok despite everyone doubting that we would actually catch anything!”

Debbie Young, 5 weeks July 2015

Veterinary internship“I am having an amazing time and have learned so much more than anticipated. I have had more hands on experiences than I ever could have imagined.”

Sally Burnett, 3 weeks, July 2015

Veterinary internship“I had an absolutely amazing time in South Africa! I really miss life there already, but am starting my new job as a vet care assistant now! I met some wonderful people from all over the world and made some incredible memories that I will never forget. Say yes to everything because you will regret it if not! Be prepared to be busy and work hard, but you have so much fun while doing it!”

Emma Hepworth, 4 weeks, May 2015

Game reserve volunteer experience“This was a dream trip – absolutely magical to be working with wild animals.”

Sarah Daneau, 4 weeks January 2015

veterinary internship“My time in South Africa was outstanding! If it would have been in our power to stay longer, Sarah and I would definitely have done so! I was missing life with the animals as soon as I stepped on the plane home! It was all so wonderful; the rangers were amazing, the vet was also great, the accommodation was outstanding, living with all the other volunteers was memorable!”

Maxine Bouchard, 4 weeks January 2015

Veterinary internship“My time here is absolutely amazing! I am having the time of my life! While I was there I actually found out I got accepted into veterinary studies at Uni, so I am so happy to be getting into that field at last! ! Without my experience in Africa I don’t think I would be going to study veterinary, so I am very grateful for the opportunity.”

Laura Seccull, 3 weeks January 2015

Veterinary internship

“I am currently having an awesome time here. This place is so incredible, and I am very much enjoying my time.”

Shannon Parker, 3 weeks January 2015

Veterinary internship reviews“After the most incredible 11 weeks in South Africa I am now home ready for Christmas. I’ve met the most amazing people, done things I could have never imagined and made memories that will last a lifetime.”

Abbi Baldwin, 6 weeks November 2015

To find out more about the veterinary internship, see our veterinary project webpage.

4 Responses to “Oyster reviews: Veterinary experience in South Africa”

  1. Cay

    Hi I am a nurse looking for hands on volunteering

  2. crystal

    Do I need to be a vet student? I am a math major student, but I am very interested in this program. Is it better to have a solid knowledge of animal care stuff to be accepted to this program?

    • Anne Smellie

      Hi Crystal, thanks for your interest in this project. You don’t need to to be a vet student to get involved in this project, although an interest in veterinary science is important as obviously you will be getting really involved with it whilst on the project. No prior experience is necessary apart from a motivation to learn and get involved. I hope that helps!


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