We know it can seem daunting to head out to a different continent. This page is meant to give you all the info so that when the day comes and you step onto your flight knowing you've set everything in place to have a fantastic time.
- Once your application is approved, please pay a deposit ASAP to secure your seat. Banking details will be on your invoice that Michelle will send.
- Application turn around times are about 3 days. If you have not heard from Michelle please contact us directly. (details in the footer)
- Final outstanding balance to be paid 60 days before the start date of your course.
- We will run a bar tab for you at the Lodge Bar. This is payable on the day of departure via cash or credit card.
- Any non-regular diets have a surcharge and will be added to the bar tab.
- Flights are not included in the course fees.
- Fly from your country of origin to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa.
Then you have 2 options:
- Whatever you decide, give us your arrival times and we will fetch you from either KMIA or the City Bug stop in Nelspruit. Send us your itinerary as soon as you've made your booking.
- A tip for landing in South Africa. There are porters (orange uniform) that might offer to assist you at the airports, handle your own luggage, be firm and say no to their services. If you do make use of them R10 is a fair fee.
- There are information desks at the airports if you're unsure about where to go and then there is also police dressed in dark blue uniforms with yellow emblems that can help.
- Please lock/wrap your check in luggage at your point of origin. Label you luggage with your name and a phone number/email address..
- We have a high rate of petty crime, so please look after your valuables all the times. Always keep an eye on your bags, don't leave anything around and keep cash, phones, cameras on your person. Do not put expensive belongings in your check in luggage.
- Let your folks know you will most likely get hold of them a day or so after you arrive here. They are welcome to contact us via email on email@example.com, to check if you have arrived safe and sound.
- Very important : Keep all your electronics, a change or two of clothing and your essentials in your carry on, as luggage has before been delayed. If your luggage is delayed/missing on arrival, make sure you report it to your airline, get a tracking/reference number, get the name of the person you reported it to and their telephone number, and give that person my contact details: Michelle Raath, Source Tree (Pty) Ltd / Wildlifevets.net, firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone +27 79 497 9297.
- You'll be arriving in our winter season. Days are warm - up to 27° Celsius. Night time and mornings can be very cold - down to 5° Celsius (that's cold for us!) so have layered clothing.
- You're not going to the "heart of the jungle" and we have almost everything you have. So if you forgot something you'll be able to buy it from a store at the airport or in Nelspruit.
- You'll be staying at Source Tree Lodge. We are on a game farm in a rural area. With the course schedule and location we can't just nip into town. There are no visits to bars/clubs in the evenings. All evening activities are based on the farm unless it is necessary to sleep out because of logistical reason on a capture.
- We always advise that students pay a visit to their doctor and get a broad spectrum antibiotic for JUST IN CASE! Also get a pro-biotic for your tummy.
- We do not require any vaccinations for your visit, but check with your doctor as to what your home country requirements are for re-entry. We would prefer that you have rabies vaccinations as you will be working with the dogs in the rural communities.
- This is a beautiful country! South Africans are a proud people so please realize that this is the country South Africa - not Southern Africa. This also means that we are not affected by most of the issues you might encounter on the media regarding Africa.
- We are one of the top most developed countries in Africa.
- There are no wild animals running around in our streets unless you're in a wildlife area. Our cities are like yours, just smaller.
- We have 11 official languages. Swahili is not one of them.
- Our country is almost double the size of Texas. We are bordered by Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
- A taxi means something different here and are not suitable for a tourist to use.
- You can find relatively cheap flights to anywhere in South Africa.
- We drive on the left hand side of the road. Our roads are (highways and national roads) good, clearly marked tar roads. Its easy to self-drive here but be aware of traveling at night and calculated navigation is essential. This is the best way to find all the "jewels" South Africa has to offer.
- Trains are not the safest means of travel unless you make use of the luxury lines. The Gautrain can take you from the OR Tambo airport to destinations in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
- If using a buss make use of the luxury coaches like Greyhound, Intercape or City Bug.
- We provide your transport in a 15 seater bus.
- During your course you are in our care and we make every effort to ensure your safety and well being. Please do not arrange private trips with friends or other operators during the course.
- No one is allowed to leave the group during the course or on captures with any person that is not working for Source Tree Pty Ltd.
- Don't worry, you're not staying in a tent among the lions!
- Source Tree Lodge has a open plan restaurant where you will receive 3 meals a day. (if out in the field we sent a packed lunch with). There is a pool table and a bar with local beers and wines. Spirits are also available.
- Accommodation is shared in 2 large rooms with 5 beds each and 2 smaller rooms with 2 beds. There is lounge in the middle with a fire place and a library for some down-time reading.
- There is WiFi throughout the lodge. It is by no means as fast as what you might be use to due to the fact that there are no phone lines here and we have to make use of radio networks.
- Although we provide internet connection on our farm, so that you can communicate from your own devices, it is advisable to activate your international roaming while you are still in the states. We provide free Wi-Fi at our main lodge. Our main service provider is Vodacom: www.vodacom.co.za.
- You are welcome to go for a run early morning or late afternoon. The farm lies within the Crocriver Mountain Conservancy so the elevation changes quite a bit. Go with a buddy!
- Bring enough clothes for 7 days – we will then take your clothes in to a laundromat to be washed for a minimal fee of R180 SA, per 5kg bundle.
- We have credit card facilities at the lodge. We accept Mastercard and Visa. (We have some payment problems with Dinersclub and American Express).
- Please let us know if its your birthday during the course.
- If we have time in the afternoons we will take you up onto one of the hilltops for a beautiful sundowner in the bush.
Here is an example of a course schedule. Please understand that due to the nature of our business this can in no way be guaranteed to be the schedule or species your course will have.
- Group arrives;
- Initial briefing for the course
- Students are given a set of comprehensive notes and are orientated at the lodge
- Welcome dinner
- Introductory lectures by resident veterinarians including:
- Basic principles of immobilization;
- Species specific information;
- Accidental human injection;
- Discussion on Game Industry in South Africa;
- Role of Hunting and Sustainable Utilization;
- Kruger National Park management strategies regarding elephants;
- Human/animal conflict areas and management thereof (Siyatutuka Farmers Community Project);
- Rhino management introductory lecture.
- Afternoon remote drug delivery lectures on 7 platforms;
- Darting competition amongst participants;
- After dinner students are briefed for capture following day.
- Students will accompany veterinarians to a capture:
- Species and nature of the capture will depend on work scheduled for practice;
- They will have hands on experiences and NOT merely observe;
- Possible captures includes all African species; not possible to pre-empt
- Siyatutuka Farmers Community Project - early start at dip tanks in one of the local communities;
- Informal lecture on site regarding diseases of the greater Kruger/Mpumalanga areas;
- Students will assist State Veterinary Services with vaccinations;
- Students get a glimpse of the rural communities in South Africa;
- Afternoon students will further assist State Veterinary Services with rabies vaccinations;
- They can expect to work with approximately 200+ cattle and 150+ dogs/cats in a day;
- Pathology lectures with Professor Leon Prozesky BVSc (Hons) MMedVet PhD – Paraclinical Sciences University of Pretoria – Section head Pathology;
- After lunch they will perform a post mortem – hands on.
- Open Vehicle Safari in Kruger National Park
- Expect to see many of the African Game Species
- Panoramic tour of Mpumalanga visiting God’s Window, Mac Mac Falls;
- Shopping at local markets;
Monday - Week 2
- Pharmacology lectures:
- Pharmacological principles from injection to recovery;
- Current and new pharmacological preparations;
- Afternoon practical immobilization with various pharmacological preparations for comparative results.
- Crocodile expert and biologist - State Veterinary Services Mr Louis Le Grange will lecture on Nile Crocodile;
- After lunch students will capture and handle crocodiles under his supervision:
- Blood draw
- If weather permits they will be immobilized chemically
- Visits to rehabilitation centres:
- Maholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
- Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
- On their return we will discuss the day and the Centres visited
- Early morning at diptanks again;
- Visit to the Venom Centre where students will have lectures on South African snakes and have the opportunity to handle species like black mamba and puff-adder;
- Evening farewell party at the lodge
- Settle bar tabs
Before or After your Course
- Its a long way to travel to South Africa so make the best of it if you have time!
- You will be in the North Eastern part of the country. There is a vast difference in landscape, culture and things to experience between the NE and the SW.
- It is really worth the flight to Cape Town before or after the course to experience the Coastal Region. Kwazulu Natal is another incredible province with warm ocean currents and lovely beaches.
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