Animal & Wildlife Internship Programmes

Develop crucial field skills necessary to start your successful career in conservation and have the chance to work with a diverse range of wildlife including; The Big Five, Cape fur seals, Humpback whales, Great White Sharks and African penguins. We also offer internship opportunities in veterinary clinics where you have the chance to work with cats, dogs and exotic pets.

Make it happen!
Animal & Wildlife internships - quick video overview
The best Animal & Wildlife Internship Programmes in Africa?

The best animal and wildlife internships in Cape Town?

We think so. We pride ourselves on delivering customised internship placements and on the ground support that offer life-changing, valuable professional experiences.

Your internship will be based in the Western Cape, which is famous for breathtaking landscapes and coastlines considered home by diverse wildlife. You will have the opportunity to acquire valuable experience in conservation while working with endemic animals. These include Cape fur seals, Humpback whales, Great White Sharks, African penguins, Chacma baboons, Cape clawless otters, hippos, flamingos, and a wide range of incredible African birds.

As an intern in this field you could have the chance to assist with research work, habitat specialisation, protection and rehabilitation efforts. You will have the chance to team with inspiring animal rescue centres, as well as game reserves and national parks.
We also offer internship opportunities in veterinary clinics where you have the chance to work with cats, dogs and exotic pets.
Read on for a full overview of the best animal and wildlife internships in Africa.


Animal & Wildlife Internship Programme Overview

Here's what you can expect from the programme in a nutshell!

Animal & Wildlife Internship Key Skills:

  • Identification
  • Communication
  • Knowledge of local laws
  • Mapping skills
  • Field skills
  • Organisation
  • Analytical

Academic & Career Benefits

  • Develop crucial field skills necessary to start your successful career in conservation.
  • Benefit from daily guidance from experts in the field of conservation and animal rehabilitation & protection.
  • Move faster towards your career goals by building your CV with impressive international experience in some of the world’s most diverse conservation settings.
  • Gain a better understanding of your field and discover if your passions lie in animal rehabilitation, research or protection.
  • Gain an insight into the challenges of conservation in a different country.

Ideal Internship Applicant

  • Good communication skills.
  • A passion for working with animals and a love of the outdoors.
  • An interest in conservation.

Programme highlights:

  • Gain hands-on and practical experience while working in the field of wildlife conservation and protection.
  • Get up close with some of Cape Town’s unique wildlife, including humpback whales, Cape fur seals, and African penguins.
  • Complete an internship in some of the world’s most beautiful conservation areas.
  • Contribute to efforts aimed at protecting wildlife in the Western Cape.
  • Learn from professionals with vast experience and knowledge of conservation.

Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Completed (or will have completed) A2-Levels or equivalent
  • Minimum of 2 weeks duration, no maximum
  • Not a resident of South Africa


Skills you'll hone through your Animal & Wildlife internship

Of course, the list is much longer - but these are the skills our intern alumni reported back that they grew in the most!

Organization skills
Mapping skills
Analytical skills
Field and identification skills


Turbo charge your career in Animal & Wildlife

What are you waiting for - get started now!


Animal & Wildlife internship programme reviews & ratings

We managed to grab some detailed interviews from previous interns on this programme, you can click on them below.

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If you are searching for a way to experience not only what Cape Town has to offer but also gaining work experience and being guided by fantastic mentors, I would strongly recommend Bridging Gaps.
Olivia Hollands Hurst

A hypothetical Animal & Wildlife Internship Programme

What might your programme in this career field look like? Here's how it has typically shaped up for our alumni!

Week One

Arrival & orientation. Introduction to Cape Town, your accommodation and your internship host organisation and colleagues.

Internship Programmes South Africa - Hypothetical week 1
Internship Programmes South Africa - Hypothetical week 2

Week Two

Get stuck into your Animal & Wildlife internship placement and establish yourself with your organisation. Come to our free social events.

Week Three

Enjoy a great work-life balance, getting out and about to see the sites alongside working hard on your internship.

Internship Programmes South Africa - Hypothetical week 3
Internship Programmes South Africa - Hypothetical week 4

Week Four

Pick up more responsibility in your internship as you prove your capability. Enjoy regular activities in Cape Town outside of work. Come to another social!

Week Five

Now you're flying (metaphorically) at work, you'll be more and more autonomous. Expect to pick up even more challenges!


Week Six

Internship is going swimmingly, now go and do something crazy like swimming with some great white sharks or abseiling off of a mountain.

Week Seven

Regularly enjoy the benefits of Cape Town and at work, gather materials needed for portfolio (e.g. references from us and provider).


Week Eight

Putting the finishing touches to your internship and gathering feedback from us and your internship provider for use in your academic / career portfolio. Finalise paperwork for university (if needed)

Download and read a free guide.

13 Essential Insights for a Fulfilling and Safe Internship in Cape Town


Why others apply for Animal & Wildlife internship programmes

Here's what others said when they applied. Some of these people came just for this career area, some mixed it with other career fields too...


Animal & Wildlife internship programme features

What makes our internship programmes a worthwhile investment? Here's a swift overview of what you can expect!

Choice of two programmes

We have two primary programmes to suit your needs. In some instances we also offer virtual placements.

Unlimited duration as standard

You can come for as long as you need without paying any extra fees.You'll receive the same level of support.

Backed by concrete promises

We are 100% on your side. We guarantee every aspect of your trip with unrivalled promises.


Need to focus on a precise niche or two? No problem! Your programme can focus on your specialist areas.

Immersive cultural experience

We'll help you engage with the culture and personal benefits of being in a foreign country.

Virtual placements

Save on travel and accommodation costs, pay a far lower fee. All while building your professional network.

Academia friendly

We will handle all aspects of academic accreditation, including direct liaison with your tutors and academic staff.

Future career friendly

We will write full reference letters for your placement(s) to optimise future employers' first impression of you.


Current Animal & Wildlife Job Openings

Here are some current or recent internship job opportunities in this career area. We do not publish all openings - so please contact us to hear about others.

Animal Rehabilitation Intern

Good physical health Good analytical skills Adaptable Passionate about wildlife conservation BSc or Diploma in conservation, wildlife sciences or ecology

The Organisation: A rehabilitation reserve that works with injured and orphaned wild animals as well as delivering anti-poaching programmes aimed at preventing the extinction of endangered species.
Keywords: Wildlife conservation, Research, tracking, wildlife relocation, Internship
Wildlife Conservation Assistant

Good communication skills Good physical health Passion for conservation and wildlife BSc in or prior knowledge of wildlife sciences, environmental sciences or ecology

The Organisation: A wildlife organisation with a hands-on approach to conservation with a specific focus on saving endangered species in South Africa.
Keywords: Wildlife conservation, Research, tracking, wildlife relocation, Internship
Conservation, Ecology and Wildlife Research Assistant

Must be in reasonably good physical health as interns will be involved with work on foot and hikes A passion for wildlife and conservation is essential Currently studying environmental science/biology/animal behavior/ecology or related field would be beneficial

The Organisation: A unique company based in various game reserves, dedicated meaningful conservation through research to create a better understanding of various social behaviors, climate change impact, environmental sustainability, human wildlife conflict and local biodiversity.
Keywords: Wildlife conservation, Ecology, Research, Game reserve, Internship
Holistic Reserve Management and Species Re-wilding Intern

Passion for conservation and research is essential Studying or completed studies in wildlife science, biology, animal behaviour or related fields

The Organisation: An NGO and research institute attached to a five star game reserve in the Western Cape. We focus on the relocation and long term stability of endangered African wildlife and vegetation.
Keywords: Wildlife conservation, Reserve management, Research, Wildlife, Internship

Get in touch.

Explore your custom Animal & Wildlife programme now

Click right here to get started

A straightforward process

We have worked very hard to streamline our process to make your experience easy, fun and highly rewarding personally and professionally. Flick through the steps below, or read about our process in more detail.

Introduce yourself to our friendly team

Getting your dream internship all starts with you saying hello! Just pop your details into our enquiry form and we'll reach out to schedule a conversation with you that we call a 'discovery call'.

Ask questions & learn how we can help

In your discovery call, you can ask us any questions you still have. We'll talk about your options in the career fields you've told us you're interested in to help you imagine your placement and decide if our service is right for you.

Complete your programme application

If everything sounds good to you, complete your application to put into words your dream programme. This forms the basis of the 'design' of your customised placement and will be the primary framework against which we validate potentially suitable opportunities.

We'll source you the best opportunities

We maintain a large and varied network of the best organisations in Cape Town. We will identify the best potential fits for your programme goals and preferences and reach out on your behalf to assess those organisations for suitability (learn about their current projects and initiatives).

Prepare and plan for your experience

Once you've confirmed which placement offer you prefer, we'll start helping you plan the rest of your trip. We'll book your accommodation, help with your travel arrangements and provide extensive advice and information on how to get ready for your time in Cape Town. Your Bridging Gaps mentor will be on hand to make sure you're fully prepared for your placement.

Maximise your experience & learning

Finally, every member of our team will move mountains to make sure you get what you came for and MORE! It's essential to us that you're safe, you're learning and growing in confidence and developing the most important skills for your future career.


Animal & Wildlife internship programme cost

Our programme fees are shown below, for a full description of our service offering please click to view the programme or a side-to-side comparison.


one-off, fixed

Bespoke programme

Backed by 4
concrete promises



one-off, fixed

Comprehensive support

Visa & travel assist

Accommodation assistance

Social events & excursions

... and lots more



one-off, fixed

Tailored Search

Ongoing support
& mentoring

Click to see detailed programme feature comparison.
Animal & Wildlife Internship Programmes FAQs

We've answered some specific questions about this internship programme below.

How long does it take to become a conservationist?

This depends on your education and work background. Generally, most entry-level conservation jobs will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline as well as some previous field experience. An internship is a great way to get your foot in the door in this competitive industry and make important contacts that can help bolster your career.

What should I expect from a research internship?

Research internships often entail a lot of independent work, although asking questions, being proactive, and making the most of your resources are key to a successful research internship. Medical internships or those in the field of biology are often heavily focused on research and interns will either be asked to complete their own project or contribute to ongoing research. These types of internships will also involve laboratory work. Research is also often integral to internships in human rights, law and public policy.

What careers work with exotic animals?

There are many jobs which allow one to work with exotic animals. If you are looking to go down an ethical route, there are many research institutes, wildlife rehabilitation centres and sanctuaries, veterinarians, biologists, game reserve guides, eco-tourism workers, education workers and more. 

What is the best job for animal lovers?

There are many fantastic career paths for animal lovers, from veterinary work, wildlife conservation, wildlife researchers, domestic and or exotic animal rehabilitation, wilderness guiding, environmental scientists, conservation educators and more! 

How much money do wildlife conservationists make?

Wildlife conservationists either work for private or government organisations. Entry-level jobs usually require a bachelor's degree in environmental sciences, biology, or a related field. More advanced positions often require a master's degree. The salary one can expect to earn as a wildlife conservationist depends on the type of employer and level of one’s position.

How do you become a wildlife conservationist in Africa?

For most entry level conservation roles, a minimum requirement would be a bachelor's degree in animal conservation, biology, ecology, environmental sciences or other relevant fields. For more advanced roles within the industry, a masters degree may be required along with plenty of relevant work experience. Getting a foot in the door and gaining experience can be difficult, however, internships with game reserves, national parks and eco-tourism companies are a great way to launch your career and build fantastic contacts within the industry. 

Is there a minimum time for an animal and wildlife Internship?

Yes, we provide 2+ week internships and there is no maximum.  Please note that it is preferable if you can commit to at least 6 weeks for an internship.

What type of animals and wildlife could I work with during my internship?

The species of wildlife you will be working with during your internship depends on your personal interests and goals, and the types of local organisation that are interested in hosting you as an intern.  As an animal and wildlife intern you could have the opportunity to work with dogs, cats, Cape fur seals, Humpback whales, Great White Sharks, African penguins, Chacma baboons, Cape clawless otters, hippos, flamingos, and a wide range of incredible African birds.

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Animal & Wildlife Internship Programmes

Hi, we're really sorry but we are no longer offering internship opportunities in this career field. However, we wish you the best with your search.