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Caring for Animals in South Africa


What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Maddi and I am a veterinary nurse.


Where did you go?

South Africa – near Port Elizabeth.


How old were you when you studied abroad?

20 years old


What made you take the leap and study abroad?

The opportunity came up as part of my veterinary nurse course, and I have always wanted to go to South Africa – so I decided to go for it.


How did you plan your trip?

It was organised through my college.


How did you prepare for you trip?

I needed several vaccinations – hepatitis A and B and typhoid. I also did quite a bit of research myself into where we were going, but to be honest a lot of the information was provided for us.

Maddi 1

How long were you away?

We were supposed to be away for two weeks, but we ended up being away for three weeks.


What did you do during your trip?

We stayed on a reserve with a family and did lots of activities during the day – we went on safari, to the beach, built camps, went on nature walks and worked with SPCA (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).


Did you face any problems/issues during your trip?

The only problem we faced – which was quite a big one, was the big delay in getting home. While we were away the volcano in Iceland erupted, which cancelled flights all over the world left us stranded in Johannesburg for around a week.

Tip: Always make sure you are covered for all eventualities. we offer a range of niche travel insurance policies as well as policies for specific countries, see both our South African travel insurance and our Safari travel insurance, should you want to go visit animals in the wild whilst you’re away.


Did you do any exciting/adventurous activities?

The entire trip was amazing; we went on Safari, elephant back riding and rock climbing.


What percentage of time were you learning and how much free time were you given to explore? What was this balance like?

The balance was actually really good, it was probably 50% work and 50% free time, the balance evened out quite well.


What did you do during your free time?

We generally just relaxed, we went to the pool, sat in the sun with everyone, and explored.

Maddi 2

What was the highlight of your trip?

As an animal lover, visiting the SPCA and working with them was really good, and getting to cuddle a three week old lion cub was amazing!


Were there any low points during your time away from home? If so what were they?

Getting stuck in Johannesburg and having to stay in a rubbish hostel wasn’t fun!


Would you recommend studying abroad?



What one piece of advice would you give anyone planning to study abroad?

Do it! And don’t be afraid to talk to people, nine times out of ten people will talk back.


Would you recommend travelling solo or in a group?

I enjoyed being in a group, I’m not sure I would want to do it alone.


After your trip, would you consider working abroad?



Did the trip make you want to travel more?

Yeah, and I would also love to go back to South Africa.

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