Small Animal All-Inclusive* Safari Event - 6 Days of Lectures, Practical Sessions & Amazing Wildlife

Sun, 24 November, 2024 - Sat, 30 November, 2024


Small Animal

Contact Hours

18 RACE Accredited

Early Booking Deadline

Sat, 31 August, 2024

Registration Deadline

Sun, 27 October, 2024




Diagnostic Imaging

Emergency & Critical Care

Internal Medicine – Endocrinology, Haematology, Infectious Diseases, Parasitology & Oncology


Industry Partners


Veterinary Partners


This event is now fully booked. We will soon be opening spaces for our 2025 Safari Events. Please contact petra.pellew@vetpd.com if you would like to be notified at that time.


VetPD has combined an exhilarating week-long safari experience at the Mongena Game Lodge****  in the Dinokeng Game Reserve, near Johannesburg, South Africa, with a total of 25 hours of safaris, 21 hours of cutting-edge lectures / case discussions and 28 hours of workshops/wetlabs on live dogs and specimens for attendees to choose from. The following internationally renowned speakers will be involved with this event and are aiming their lectures and wetlabs at experienced general and advanced practitioners: Drs. Kris Gommeren (Belgium), Elise Robertson (UK), Todd Green (USA) & Sandra Schallberger (Switzerland).

The Dinokeng Game Reserve is a malaria-free game reserve, 1 hours' drive from Johannesburg International Airport. There the ‘Big Five’ (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard & rhinoceros) roam wild and free in the 18,500-hectare game reserve.  Bass fishing and the obligatory swimming pool will provide you with the ideal environment to relax with your friends and accompanying partner/guest. The lectures and wetlabs will be held at Mongena Game Lodge.  Guest will be staying at one of the following stunning Lodges within the Dinokeng Game Reserve, a short scenic drive from Mongena Game Lodge:  Little MongenaChameleon Bush Lodge and Siyaya Game Lodge.

From Mon – Thu there will be a total of 4-5 hrs of sunrise- and sunset safaris per day and the lectures and practical sessions will be held between 10.15am – 3.30pm.  Every day attendees can choose from several streams of highly illustrated lectures (in English) or workshops/wetlabs on a wide range of current imaging, orthopaedic, medical, anaesthesia & surgical topics.  The evenings will be free for leisurely wining and dining, to meet up with old friends and to make new ones.

During the event open and frank discussions are encouraged and the speakers will share their personal experiences with attendees, be it successes or failures.  There will be plenty of opportunities to discuss diagnostic/therapeutic strategies and cases with the speakers during the lectures or the dedicated case discussions.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Cat Medicine (Gastrointestinal Tract, ENT Problems, Respiratory Tract) & Surgery
  • Emergency & Critical Care (incl Septic Peritonitis & Fluid Therapy) 
  • Point-of-Care Ultrasound
  • Oncologic Surgery
  • Soft Tissue Surgery (incl Skin Reconstruction)
  • Internal Medicine  (Urinary & Respiratory Tract Diseases, Anaemia & Hypercalcaemia)
  • Anaesthesia in Brachycephalic Dogs
  • General & Interventional Endoscopy

The 28 hours of practical sessions will give attendees plenty of opportunity to put theory into practice on live dogs and specimens in small groups, all under the supervision of the specialists.

On Friday there won’t be any lectures or practical sessions, which will allow attendees and their partners/guests to relax at the pool, go for a bush walk or go on a daytrip to explore this beautiful region.

Daytrips to 'Adventure with Elephants', 'Food for Rhinos, an exclusive Hot Air Ballooning Safari over the Cradle of Humankind', Horse Back Riding and the 'Cheetah & Lion Sanctuary' to name but a few can be organised through our partner 'Dinokeng Events' (Subject to availability and surcharges (transfers & entrance at cost) apply).

With regards to the practical sessions, please note that spaces are limited. We will allocate spaces on a first come first serve basis so make sure you register early.

*The event fee includes airport transfers, accommodation, all meals (incl. tea/coffee and one soft drink per meal), transfers between lodges and the sunrise and sunset safaris from Monday to Thursday, all lectures and wetlabs as well as extensive event notes and a certificate of attendance. Attendees can choose to stay in a single room or can share a room with another attendee at a reduced price.  Attendees are also welcome to attend the event with a partner/guest (special guest price available).  The event fee does not include flights or alcoholic drinks. Rooms are allocated at the discretion of VetPD. Early event registration is recommended as there are only a limited number of places available.

Additional Terms & Conditions:

  1. VetPD Ltd, accepts liability for the event program only (lectures & practical sessions)
  2. Liability for airport transfer, accommodation, meals and all other pre-booked components (safari & golfing activities etc.) rest with the Mongena Game Lodge. Cancellation of these components of the event is subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Mongena Game Lodge (see here for further details).
  3. Attendees are expected to take out comprehensive medical and travel insurance in the event of unforeseen circumstances leading to attendees falling ill or having to cancel their trip to South Africa.


Elise graduated cum laude from Colorado State University with a BSc in Biological Sciences/Anatomy & Neurophysiology. She then relocated to the UK in 1998 to study veterinary medicine at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. She graduated with honours in 2003 and instead of moving back to the USA, she ended up staying permanently in the UK! She was awarded Membership Australian and New Zealand College Veterinary Scientists Feline Chapter (ANZCVSc) in 2008 and later Diplomate status from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). She’s head European mentor for the International Society Feline Medicine (ISFM)/University of Sydney Distance Education programme in Feline Medicine, Examiner for ANZCVSc Feline Chapter, Co-Lecturer for ESAVS Endoscopy/Endosurgery Courses and Co-Lecturer at Colorado State University Endoscopy/Endosurgery Courses .

She currently operates a visiting feline medicine referral (Feline Vet Referrals, www.felinevet.net) and endoscopy consultancy service (Endoscopy Vet Referrals, www.endoscopyvet.net) for veterinary practices in SE England. She also heads the Feline Medicine and Endoscopy Referral Service at VRCC Referrals. Her professional interests include medical endoscopy & endosurgery (‘keyhole surgery’), receiving her formal training from both veterinary and human consultant surgeons in the USA, Germany, France, and the UK.

Juliana Figueiredo is a native of Brazil and has been fascinated with the biodiversity of her country since childhood. This fascination for animals led her to pursue a career as a veterinarian.

Dr. Figueiredo received her veterinary degree in 2003 from the University of Brasilia in Brazil. While in veterinary school, she participated in several research and clinical projects with zoo animals and wildlife that required chemical immobilization. Rapidly her interest in Zoo Animal Medicine shifted towards the science and art of anesthetic drug combinations to safely immobilize and produce unconsciousness in wild animals. Following graduation, she practiced small animal medicine and anesthesia for one year as an Associate Veterinarian at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in the University of Brasilia. Due to her passion for anesthesia and desire to excel in the field, she came to the United States to pursue an Anesthesiology residency program at The Ohio State University. Following completion of her residency program, Dr. Figueiredo became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia and served as a Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Georgia for two years. Following her tenure at the University of Georgia, she continued her career in academia teaching Anesthesiology as a faculty member at St. Matthew’s University and St. George’s University, as well as locum tenens at the University of Minnesota and University of Florida.

In 2019, Dr. Figueiredo joined a large private referral veterinary hospital in Los Angeles, CA and established an anesthesia service within the soft tissue surgery department. Two years later she joined another large referral veterinary practice in Orange County, CA. Once again, she established an anesthesiology service providing anesthesia across all departments in the hospital. During these past four years, she expanded the quality and depth of care for a wide range of patients in both hospitals. She also created a comprehensive technician and DVM anesthesia training program, further elevating the standard of care of these practices.

During her career, Dr. Figueiredo has authored several scientific papers and contributed to textbook chapters in the field of veterinary anesthesiology. As an educator for many years, Dr. Figueiredo has a passion for teaching veterinary anesthesia and pain management to veterinary technicians and veterinarians, to maintain the highest level of patient care. In addition, she values the opportunity to guide veterinary technicians through the decision-making process required for intelligent case management. As an experienced board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist, Dr. Figueiredo has worked in conjunction with specialists in nearly most fields of clinical veterinary medicine, and as such she enjoys a variety of anesthetic cases. Currently, her clinical interests include anesthesia for patients with difficult airway and regional anesthesia.

In her spare time, she enjoys learning and practicing things that improve her health for a happier and independent life in the later years. She enjoys gathering with friends, hosting parties, cooking, weightlifting, sleeping, traveling, and spending time with her husband and her two kids, Lucas, and Isabela. Currently, Dr. Figueiredo is the only board-certified Anesthesiologist practicing in Orange County, CA.

A 2013 graduate from the University of Pretoria, with a clinical background in small animal and exotic general practice in South Africa and the United Kingdom, Kirstin has years of experience and hundreds of hours of continuous education in small animal ultrasonography locally and internationally. In 2022, Kirstin began offering peripatetic ultrasound services to practices in Gauteng, South Africa through her company VetSonography. She is passionate about ultrasound education and has a wealth of experience in practical ultrasound training. She has trained over 300 veterinarians on CPD accredited courses in the last few years.

Kris Gommeren graduated in 2002 at Ghent University, where he performed an internship and a residency in internal medicine. He became a diplomate in internal medicine in 2009, and briefly worked in a private referral practice, before moving to Liège University, where he is in charge of the ECC-service. Kris is past-president of the European Society of Emergency and Critical Care (EVECCS). He obtained his PhD on the effects of systemic inflammation on the cardiovascular system. In 2017 he became Diplomate in Emergency and Critical Care. He also works on a consultancy basis for Evidensia, in order to develop facilities and train personnel. His main fields of interest are point of care ultrasound, the cardiovascular system, fluid therapy and the assessment of volume status.

Sandra Schallberger qualified in 1998 from the Veterinary School of Bern, Switzerland. After few years in small animal practice in Switzerland, a doctorate in the Radiology Department of the University of Bern and a training in small animal medicine (FVH), she moved on to do a Specialty Internship and a Residency in Small Animal Surgery at Michigan State University, USA.

Following her Surgical Residency, she completed an ACVS Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at University of Florida, USA. She became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2010.

She then returned to Switzerland to work as a small animal surgeon in a large referral practice. In 2019 she set up with a surgeon colleague a small surgical referral hospital in Bern, Switzerland where she still very much enjoys the diversity and fulfillment of her profession.

Todd Green earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science at the University of California, Davis in 1995. Following graduation, he worked as a Registered Veterinary Technician for five years prior to attending veterinary school. Dr. Green then relocated to the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts where he attended Ross University, earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2003. Following graduation, he went on to complete a one-year small animal rotating internship in medicine and surgery at The Ohio State University. Dr. Green continued his pursuit of advanced veterinary training at The Ohio State University by completing a three-year residency and master’s degree in small animal internal medicine in 2007. Dr. Green is board certified in small animal internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Since completing his residency, Dr. Green has practiced in multiple veterinary specialty hospitals in Georgia, Washington, and Southern California. Dr. Green returned to the Caribbean in 2010 to pursue his passion for teaching veterinary medicine at St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grand Cayman. He continued in Grenada, spending four years as a faculty member at St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine. He has also been a visiting faculty member (locum tenens) at Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine and University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. He continues to teach as a Clinical (Adjunct) Professor for Western University College of Veterinary Medicine, and as a visiting professor at St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine. He currently serves as the Medical Director at California Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital.

Dr. Green enjoys all aspects of internal medicine, with interests in respiratory disease, immune mediated disease, and interventional radiology / interventional endoscopy. He always aims to educate his clients, so they can help make informed decisions about the care and treatment of their dogs and cats.

During his career, Dr. Green has authored several scientific papers and contributed to textbook chapters in the field of veterinary internal medicine. As an educator for many years, Dr. Green has a passion for teaching veterinary internal medicine to students, interns/residents and veterinarians to maintain the highest level of patient care.

Dr. Green shares his home with his wife (veterinary anesthesiologist), two young children, and their Miniature Schnauzer, Biscuit. He enjoys spending time with friends, stand up paddle boarding, exercise, concerts, eating great sushi, travel, and sharing these experiences with his family.

Dr. Vanessa McClure joined the University of Pretoria in 2007 as a lecturer and resident (MMedVet) in Small Animal Internal Medicine. She  obtained her MMedVet specialist degree in 2013 and was promoted to senior lecturer. Dr. McClure lectures under- and post-graduate veterinary and para-veterinary students. Her subjects include the gastrointestinal system, multisystemic diseases, infectious diseases, critical care and cardiorespiratory medicine. She currently has five publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Please download the Program PDF to view it: Download PDF


Dinokeng Game Reserve (Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport)

Frequently Asked Questions

Travel to Dinokeng Game Reserve, South Africa

  • Vaccination

Mongena Game lodge is located in the Dinokeng Game Reserve and one of the biggest lodges in the area. Dinokeng Game Reserve is in a malaria free area. Check your government advice on vaccination etc as it differs for country to country.

The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for South Africa: hepatitis Ahepatitis Btyphoidcholerayellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza. Shot lasts 2 years.

  • VISA

The following link shows a list of countries exempt from requiring a VISA when traveling to South Africa: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries. This list may change without notice so check just before your trip.

To apply for a VISA, click the following link: https://ehome.dha.gov.za/epermit/home

If your country is not on the list, please use this link for the PDF form: VISA Form

Forms need to be emailed to VisaVerifications@dha.gov.za


Money and tipping

The local currency is South African Rand (ZAR). For currency conversion to your local currency click here: https://www.xe.com

It is advisable to exchange money into local currency – either at the airport or in your country ahead of the event. However, there is a shop with an ATM nearby, where the rangers or VetPD can take you too.

There is no expectation of tipping at Mongena Game Lodge. The guideline is voluntary tipping of 10% on service fee/food/beverages.

Generally speaking, if you purchase anything at Mongena or wish to tip the staff, these charges can be added to your room and you settle your room bill at the end of your trip by credit card (or cash if you wish).



There is WiFi available at Mongena Reception, conference room and guest rooms.


Plugs Voltage from US https://en-us.wikiconnections.org/power-supplies/continents/africa/what-can-i-connect-to-a-south-african-power-supply

Dress Code

The entire event is very casual. For wetlabs, shorts and t-shirt are perfectly fine. We recommend closed toes shoes when choosing wetlabs with live horses.

For dinner, the dress code is also very casual.

During the early morning and evening safaris a warm jumper, cardigan or coat is useful to have as it can get quite cold on the open plan jeeps.

Have any unwanted textbooks?

"VetBooks for Africa“: a group of veterinary students from the vet school at Onderstepoort does a tour of some neighbouring countries, visiting vet schools and charities. The main purpose behind the trip (other than offering the students an opportunity to visit the countries and making connections) is to distribute veterinary textbooks to them. They collect books on an ongoing basis, and would be very happy to receive any unused text books. There is a short video of their last trip at  https://youtu.be/i9fqrtFlamU


Don’t forget to pack: Top tips

  • Adapters (South Africa is different from the rest of the world, but most rooms have European plugs)
  • Sun cream
  • Bathing Suit
  • Insect spray
  • Binoculars
1 Vet - All Inclusive

Destination Event Fully Booked

USD 4173.43

USD 3794.03

1 Vet & 1 non-Vet Guest (no CE)

Destination Event Fully Booked

USD 4975.60

USD 4542.00

2 Vets - shared room, all inclusive

Destination Event Fully Booked

USD 7577.22

USD 6926.82

If the options you are looking for are unavailable, please contact us.

No tax will be added unless you are a UK taxpayer

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