HESC launches KHULA’S COTTAGE
Khula’s Cottage is the recently unveiled, eco-friendly self-catering cottage, built in a truly unique and extraordinary location within the perimeter of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Perfect for guests who have an interest in wildlife conservation, it is situated within a five-hectare camp which is surrounded by ten ‘teenage’ cheetahs that are free to roam around, doing what young cheetahs do. The cottage was built on stilts atop an ant heap, which has a wild gardenia growing in it – providing shade for for the cottage.
Basic electricity is provided via solar panels, and limited mobile phone coverage facilitates a true African getaway from the hustle and bustle of city living.
The cottage not only offers an exclusive and private setting to observe the life of HESC’s cheetahs, but is also the perfect base from which to explore the scenic wonders of the lowveld, including (but not limited to) God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and Pilgrim’s Rest.
This is a birder’s paradise, for the region supports a myriad of bird species. Another treat for enthusiasts of our feathered friends is watching vultures descend from the sky in time to avail themselves of the pickings delivered to the “Vulture Restaurant” at the HESC each day (one tour of the Centre is included in the rate for accommodation).
Khula’s Cottage is set within its own enclosed and protected area, offering a private and personal experience. This is the ideal holiday accommodation for self drive clients who do not wish to compromise on comfort, but are looking for an authentic bush experience that is great value for money.
The cottage offers three en-suite bedrooms, and is perfect for larger families, or for friends travelling together. It comprises of two twin rooms (each with an additional day bed), and one double room. An expansive wooden deck boasts spectacular views of the surrounding wilds. Amenities include towels, linen, cutlery and tea & coffee making facilities. The cottage can accommodate six adults and four children with ease.
As a self-catered unit, clients determine their own mealtimes and preferences. The outdoor boma is THE spot for a magnificent meal beneath the stars – nothing quite tops a traditional South African braai (barbeque). Breakfast and lunch is also served daily at The Deli, based within the Centre. Visitors who are travelling from afar may also send their grocery list through in advance, and the HESC team will acquire the items on their behalf and have the cottage stocked on their arrival.
Clients staying at Khula’s Cottage will have a dedicated ranger on hand should they require any assistance. Visitors will leave their vehicles at HESC, and a ranger will escort them to the cottage.
The purpose of Khula’s cottage is not only to provide guests with great accommodation when visiting, but also to raise funds to continue the success of the rehabilitation and conservation work for which the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre has become renowned.
- R2,400 per unit per night, based on 4 people sharing.
- R380 per additional adult per night (maximum of 6 adults & 2 children U/12 sharing)
- R180 per additional child U/12 per night (maximum 6 adults & 2 children U/12 sharing)
- R450 per person per game drive (includes a sundowner beverage)
- R1,400 per person per elephant back safari
- A tour through the Centre is included in the rate for accommodation.
- Game drives on the Kapama Game Reserve are available on request, and include a beverage in a scenic location at sunset.
- Regret no pets allowed.
Khula was born to Tom and Belinda, both cheetahs living at the HESC, on 29 August 2005. Tom is a king cheetah, and Khula is therefore a carrier of the king cheetah gene.
Khula has always been a remarkable animal, reared with love and care by Lente Roode, after his mother was unfortunately unable to feed him. He loves humans and has a beautiful personality.
It has always been Lente Roodeâ€™s vision to see her cheetahs released into the wild, and it was with more than a little tenderness that she and her team planned for Khulaâ€™s release onto the Kapama Game Reserve.
Khula was released on 26 March 2010 and was equipped with a cellular tracking device to track his movements online.
Although Khula adapted well to life in the wild (and in fact single-handledly brought down an adult bull kudu), he started returning to the centre to visit his family. Each time he was released a little further into the reserve. Mrs Roode tracked Khula and visited him daily in attempt to keep him away from the centre, and to make sure he adapted to his surroundings, but she sensed that he was very restless. On further investigation, numerous leopard tracks were spotted on the part of the reserve where Khula was released and for his own protection, he was brought back to HESC.
Says Mrs Roode, â€œKhula feels safe here. He kept returning because this is where he wants to be, surrounded by the other animal residents, and the humans he has come to trust. We therefore named the cottage after this very special cheetah, as I have no doubt that guests will come to love this place as much as Khula does, and will return with the same affection.â€