Your Trip to Africa

Know, Plan & Enjoy!

Travelling to a new continent can be daunting. The following guidelines will assist you plan your trip.

Fees

  • Once your application is approved, you will need to pay the deposit ($2000.00 USD) to secure your seat. Banking details will be on your invoice. Deposits are Non-refundable.
  • Application turn around times are about 3 days. If you have not heard from us, you are welcome to follow up via mail: sourctreecourses@wildlifevets.net.
  • Final outstanding balance to be paid 60 days before the start date of your course. Should you cancel your trip 30 days or less before arrival the final payment is not refundable.
  • Any non-regular diets have a R1000 surcharge per person and needs to be settled before you depart our accommodation.

Flights

  • Flights are not included in the course fees.
  • Fly from your country of origin to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa.
  • Should you need to stay over in Johannesburg please stay close to the airport and use a Shuttle service provided by the hotel. Be aware of whom you use for transport in order to travel efficiently and safely. City Lodge Hotel at O.R. International Airport.
  • Then you have 2 options:
    • Take a connecting flight to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA – quickest option after a long flight).  Airport website.
    • Take the Lime Time or City Bug bus shuttle to Nelspruit. Lime Time & City Bug Bookings
  • Whatever you decide, give us your arrival times and we will fetch you from either KMIA or the respective bus stop in Nelspruit. Send us your itinerary as soon as you’ve made your booking via mail: sourctreecourses@wildlifevets.net.
  • A tip when landing in South African airports. There are porters, (usually in orange uniforms), that might offer to assist you with your luggage. We advise you to handle your own luggage, be firm and say no to their services. If you do make use of their services, R10 is a fair gratuity fee.
  • There are well signed information desks at the airports if you’re unsure about where to go.
  • 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 laying around and keep cash, phones, cameras on your person, not in plain view, (“what the eyes don’t see, the heart won’t want”). 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 sourcetreecourses@wildlifevets.net, 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 may be 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, sourcetreecourses@wildlifevets.net, telephone +27 79 497 9297.

General

  • 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!) We suggest that you plan to dress in layers, that you can remove or add as needs be. Bring a warm jacket/coat!
  • If you forgot something you’ll most likely be able to buy it from a store at OR Tambo International Airport, or a store in Nelspruit, if the program schedule allows time.
  • You’ll be staying at Source Tree Lodge. We are located on a game farm in a rural area. Due to busy course schedules, limited vehicles and our location, we can’t just “nip into town”. We do NOT recommend/nor accommodate visits to bars/clubs in the evenings. All evening activities are based on the farm, unless it is necessary to sleep out due to capture logistics.
  • 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, (best to have your COVID vaccine before you travel) 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 may be working with the dogs, in the rural communities.
  • South Africa does however, require you to have a valid negative COVID test before entering the country. For more info regarding COVID and South Africa please follow this link: https://sacoronavirus.co.za
  • The lodge is not located in a Malaria area. You will be entering areas with Malaria but a good repellent is the best defense. We do not take Malaria medication ourselves. For more info please visit this site.
  • Be aware of the medication you take – it is not always necessary and the side effects may prevent you from having the best experience on the course.

South Africa

  • PLEASE NOTE: You will be attending the course in South Africa, a country in Africa, and NOT Southern Africa which refers to a region of the continent Africa. South Africa is a well developed country, with very good infrastructure. This also means that we are not affected by most of the issues you might encounter on the media regarding Africa. If you are unsure of anything, you are welcome to check with us directly.
  • There are no wild animals running around in our streets. Wild animals are encountered in wildlife areas/parks/farms/sanctuaries. Our cities are much like yours, just smaller.
  • Our currency is Rand (ZAR). Check out the latest exchange rate here. Most stores accept Mastercard and Visa. Don’t carry more than R200.00 cash on you. It is not safe, nor necessary. There are ATM’s at most filling stations if you need to draw more cash. 
  • We have 11 official languages in South Africa. Swahili is not one of them.
  • We work on 220V – 240V AC @ 50Hz. We have a type M wall socket. We advise you to buy these converters at a South African airport. 
  • Our country is almost double the size of Texas. We are bordered by Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.
  • Transport
    • Taxis in South Africa offer transportation to and from rural areas, and we do not recommend you making use of them at all.
    • You can find relatively cheap flights to any airport in South Africa.
    • We drive on the left hand side of the road. Our roads (highways and national roads) are well maintained , clearly marked, tar roads. It is easy to self-drive here but be aware of traveling at night and calculated navigation is essential.
    • 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 bus make use of the luxury coaches like Greyhound, Intercape, Lime Time or City Bug.
    • We provide your transport during the course in a small bus.
  • During the 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 permitted to leave the group during the course, or on captures, with any person that does NOT work for Source Tree Pty Ltd, Wildlifevets.com or Wildlife Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd.

Your Stay

  • Don’t worry, you will not staying in a tent, in the bush, amongst the lions!
  • 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 used 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.
  • We have credit card facilities at the lodge. We accept only Mastercard and Visa.
  • If we have time in the afternoons, we will take you up onto one of the hilltops on the farm, for a sundowner in the bush.

Daily Activities

Here is an example of a basic course schedule. Please understand that due to the nature of our business, this can in no way be guaranteed to be the schedule, nor the species your course will include. All veterinary work is client dependant and changes on a daily basis.

  • Sunday – Week 1
  • Group arrives;
  • Students are orientated at the lodge;
  • Welcome dinner.
  • Week 1/2
  • 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 various 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;
  • 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
    • Sexing
    • If weather permits they will be immobilized chemically
  • Capture Day
  • 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;
  • Settle bar tabs
    • Departure

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.
  • Check out these great sites:
    • https://www.lekkeslaap.co.za/akkommodasie/toversee (a town just 45 min from Cape Town with a spectacular beachfront house)
    • https://www.southafrica.net/za/en/travel
    • http://www.capetown.travel
    • http://www.plett-tourism.co.za
    • http://www.zulu.org.za
    • http://www.mtpa.co.za
    • https://www.sanparks.org
    • https://bayharbour.co.za