Shamwari Conservation Experience

Common and General FAQ’s

Will I get an opportunity to work hands-on and up close with the animals?

The emphasis and drive behind the award-winning conservation initiatives at Shamwari Game Reserve have always been focused on sound and ethical wildlife and ecological principles.

Although our veterinary and conservation experience attempts to offer a heightened focus through a more specialized focus and resultant interactions and interventions, due to the nature of the experience and in light of offering an experience based on safe and ethical practice, all hands- on experience remain at the discretion and management of our Shamwari Head of Veterinary Services, Dr. Johan Joubert and his team.

The wildlife game-viewing component, which is an incidental and very positive spin-off of the conservation management aspects of the experience, offers a great opportunity for participants to get safely close to the wildlife and is operated at the discretion of our wildlife coordinators, who host participants during their stay.

Shamwari does further not promote any form of unnecessary touch interaction and strongly believes in keeping wildlife in the wild.

How far is the nearest trading store or outlet to purchase goods and when can I go?

You will generally get an opportunity to buy personals and sundries on Fridays when visiting the local community as part of our social responsibility drive.

Although not carrying a vast array of items you should be able to purchase toiletries, cold drinks and other necessities from the local general dealers.

Are there facilities to cash in Travellers Cheques or draw cash on reserve?

For security purposes, we advise that you carry the minimum amount of foreign or local currency needed at any given time during your stay.

We advise the use of ATM’s or that you cash all Travellers Cheques in at a registered or known foreign exchange outlet at Port Elizabeth airport or if your transfer allows one of the major local banks in Port Elizabeth.

Will I be able to concentrate on big cats or a specific animal or elective subject interest matter as part of the veterinary and conservation experience?

Although we will make every realistic attempt to offer participants who might have very personalized interests or be passionate about a particular specie, or elective subject, as much exposure and interaction as result, we are unable to meet each individual request or desire to concentrate on personal or elective components in favour of outcomes which will offer a the intended experience for the group as a whole, which is so diverse by nature and takes participants behind-the-scenes of the game reserve’s wildlife operations and exposes you to the various aspects of modern day conservation which include several ecological, wildlife and species management issues.

Is the Shamwari Veterinary and Conservation Experience a certified course?

As result of the global difference in elective and extra mural study component requirements, roll out of veterinary study course content and modules with varying required outcomes, Shamwari has chosen to not offer a set itinerary and formalized course, but as result has realized and proven the value in offering an experience that is intended to offer participants a host of positive spinoffs, which may range from gaining greater and more diverse hands on exposure to veterinary practice in the context of African wildlife management, to affording participants the opportunity to bolster their resume as result of participation, or merely gaining insight into a more specialized field of practice.

Shamwari Conservation Experience presents all participants with a certificate of participation, which often stands participants in good stead for future opportunities and demonstrates the fact that they have partaken to improve their portfolio of knowledge and skills sets.

What is there to do on weekends or in my free time?

Both evenings and weekends are generally spent at leisure, yet due to the arduous and intense nature of the Veterinary and Conservation Experience, we would advise that you option any of several on and off-site activities for you to partake in when grounded or post experience. 

On-site activities may range from playing pool and table tennis to making use of the swimming pool. If enjoying a movie or watching sport on-site isn’t for you, for those of eligible age, socials at a local rural pub or restaurant are undertaken by participants from time-to-time.

As these activities (off-site) are at own cost, participants generally share costs to make your average spend more affordable. More often than not, the friends that you make whilst at Shamwari will be using their leisure time as the ideal opportunity to plan and enjoy one of several adventure activities along the beautiful Garden Route coastline.

As we have a comprehensive array of adventure brochures and contact details of reputable operators available, you shouldn’t struggle to find more fun and excitement.

Our staff will gladly advise you further pre, or on arrival.

Do I need any vaccinations?

 Besides any required vaccinations advised by your country of origin or the authorities from the country in which you reside, being a malaria free area, we know of no vaccinations or treatments that are deemed as required pre, or on arrival in the Eastern Cape district, in which Shamwari Game Reserve is situated.

Due to the nature of the experience and as result of the occupational hazards in the veterinary field and potential to come in direct contact with disease vectors, we would advise participants consult with a physician prior to arrival, to gain advice and offer consideration for the likes of rabies or any other advised vaccinations.