Responsible tourism: Veterinary internship in South Africa
Our placements are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that the project directly benefits local people and wildlife too.
Wildlife The reserve places conservation at the top of its agenda. Through the help of participants, the reserve is made a good place to be for the wildlife within it. Participants are taught to care for the animals, to treat them with respect and to make sure that they act appropriately around them at all times.
Care for the environment All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.
Our company is an environmentally responsible one that operates recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas,electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid.
Participants are advised to use hand wash gel that does not require water. We also advise, during our pre departure course, to take care with water. In many of our destinations, water is precious and expensive.
Meeting local needs The park also plays an important role in protecting the local economy. The ‘big five’ wild animals are a key source of tourist income for South Africa and protection of these species is vital for some rural areas, who rely on responsible tourism to sustain them. Through helping at the reserve, you will be helping to meet an important local need. You will also contribute directly to the area’s economy, creating jobs for domestic staff at the reserve and by eating locally-sourced food provided by local cooks.You will not be taking jobs away from local people.The organisation employs as many local staff as it can afford, but relies on participants to support them.
Helping local communities Within the grounds of the reserve is a small community, with a school and several other facilities. Participants are encouraged to support it by buying souvenirs from their hand crafted goods. These local workers receive fair prices for their goods and are helped financially by the reserve.
Traveling with respect Before joining the project you are briefed fully on the reserve, the customs there and how you can respect the locals here. Participants are encouraged to find out more about the history of the location so that they can travel aware.