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Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

Hoedspruit, Near Kruger National Park (Limpopo)

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) is living proof that people can make a difference to the long-term survival of the planet and its animal inhabitants.

HESC focusses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable and endangered animal species. Cheetah Conservation is one of its core disciplines.

The centre is actively involved in research, breeding of endangered animal species, the education of learners, students and the general public in conservation and conservation-related activities, tourism, the release and establishment of captive-bred cheetahs in the wild, the treatment and rehabilitation of wild animals in need (including poached rhinos), and anti-poaching initiatives on the reserve.

Located on the Kapama Private Game Reserve, in Hoedspruit, South Africa, it has been operating since 1990. Its focus was initially on cheetahs, but has since evolved to include all endangered and vulnerable animal species. It is home to cheetah, rhino, wild dog as well as other animals in need of care. HESC facilitates the release and establishment of captive-bred animals to the wild, as well as those which have been injured and brought back to health.

The centre takes an active role in the breeding of cheetah to prevent the further decrease in species population. A breeding programme is in place which has seen the birth and release of numerous cheetah (including the rare king cheetah). HESC also has a medical treatment facility for injured animals. Many rescued animals are treated and cared for at the veterinary clinic by specialists.

Rescued rhinos @ HESC is a sanctuary for orphaned rhinos, as well as surviving victims of poaching. The centre is currently home to a couple of orphaned babies whose mothers were victims of poaching, as well as surviving rhinos, each of which had their horns hacked off by poachers. Some of these rhinos have made a full recovery after numerous procedures by veterinary experts, at a huge expense.

Daily tours of the centre are available, commencing at 09h00 every day, with the last tour at 15h00 (different schedules run during peak periods). Each tour lasts two hours. An introductory video is followed by a questions and answers session with the guides.

HESC is also able to accommodate overnight visitors at Khula’s Cottage and Sebeka Self-Catering Cottage. Khula’s Cottage is a unique and extraordinary cottage, located within the perimeter of HESC – it’s a true African getaway from the hustle and bustle of city living.

The Wildlife Conservation Experience (WCE) is a hands-on (one to three week) intensive programme which allows participants to learn about conservation, by working closely with HESC’s staff. This includes working with the many animal species at HESC, and the possibility of working with the wildlife vet. The programme offers, to name only a few, daily informal lectures on conservation, animal and plant identification, tracks and signs, and South African history and cultural diversity, to visit places of interest and attractions in the area. Accommodation is at Nungu Camp, situated within the boundaries of the Big 5 Kapama Private Game Reserve.

Contact Details:

015 793 1633


Kapama Private Game Reserve