HESC presents a fascinating insight into rare, vulnerable and endangered animal species and animal conservation efforts at large. It offers fun and engaging tours, and other specialised excursions to visitors. A range of accommodation options are also available for visitors looking to stay longer. This is the ideal base from which to explore the Greater Kruger area. Funds raised through all tourism activities directly contribute to our conservation projects.
A visit to HESC is not complete without one of our guided tours on an open safari vehicle. Available daily, the two-hour standard tour with a knowledgeable guide gives an overview of the conservation programmes being conducted and a close-up of the various species in our care. Seeing the cheetahs and rhinos is always a highlight. Equally popular is the Vulture Restaurant where the vultures descend in their hundreds when food is put out for them. Feeding of the birds takes place only during the Cheetah Focus Tour. On our standard tours you’ll also see our lions, leopard, various smaller cat species, sable antelope and ground hornbills. The tour is preceded by an informative video on HESC. While you wait for your tour to start, enjoy the cheetahs in the Island Camp in front of the deli.
R180 per person
Children under 6: Free of charge
Pensioners: R145 per person
Children 6 – 12 years: R90 per person
09:00 / 11:00 / 13:00 / 15:00
Duration: 2 hours
CHEETAH FOCUS TOUR
The Cheetah Focus Tour follows the same route as the Standard Tour but includes a drive through the cheetah enclosure to experience the cheetah run. This involves the cheetah chasing a lure. Witnessing the fastest mammal on the planet at full speed is something you’ll not easily forget, and an occurrence one doesn’t often see in nature. This Cheetah Focus Tour also includes a feeding session at the Vulture Restaurant where these scavengers of the sky provide an awesome sight when they descend en masse out of the air to claim their portion.
R520 per person
No children under 6 years
Children 6 – 12 years: R285 per person
Pensioners: R430 per person
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Duration: 2 hours
As HESC is an animal breeding and rehabilitation centre, and not a nature reserve, animals are housed within enclosures separated by fences. In line with international trends on animal ethics and welfare, we don’t permit petting of animals or any form of direct interaction. This policy is aimed at ensuring the safety and health of both animals and visitors and endorses the right of animals to live a life without fear, which is often the consequence of close contact with humans with whom they are not acquainted.
THE FOLLOWING TOURS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Our curio shop doesn’t offer only beautiful mementoes. It is a showcase of the very best of South African and African art and crafts and each and every item is a work of art. Many are produced by internationally acclaimed artists. Paintings, hand-painted and hand-sculpted ceramics, gold and silver jewellery, hand-embroidered textile products, innovative beadwork and an excellent selection of books on wildlife and the environment are some of the items available.
Credit card purchases are welcome. All proceeds go towards the daily operating cost of HESC
‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better’
Our deli offers a scrumptious selection of snacks, light meals and also more substantial choices, as well as desserts and baked goods. Hot and cold drinks, including beer and wine, will quench any thirst or craving. Our speciality milkshakes are a firm favourite. While enjoying fine fare on the deli veranda, you’ll love the view of cheetahs in the enclosure below.
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION EXPERIENCE
Keen to work with cheetahs, rhinos and other endangered species? We promise an experience of a lifetime!
The Wildlife Conservation Experience caters for conservation enthusiasts and provides an opportunity to actively participate in the work conducted at HESC. Learn about the conservation of specific endangered species and the survival of the species in the wild, particularly cheetahs and rhinos.
The programme focuses on conservation in general, but also offers exciting game viewing and magnificent sightseeing in the scenic surroundings of Hoedspruit and the world-renowned Kruger National Park. It is informative, fun and enriching.
WCE courses of one to three weeks are available throughout the year and participants come from all over the globe. The course requires a reasonable level of fitness, but mainly enthusiasm and an interest in conservation. While young and old are welcome, we recommend participants to be over 18 years of age. There is no entry qualification or final examination.
WCE participants stay on the premises of HESC in Nungu camp in round, thatched huts built in the style of traditional African dwellings. The camp is rustic but comfortable. Because the camp is located in a big-five game reserve, the sounds of the African bush, particularly at night, will add an authentic experience. The roaring of lions and the characteristic calls of hyenas or jackals are regularly heard. Small creatures such as squirrels, mongooses, various birds and insects are often encountered in the camp area.
The WCE programme was halted in 2020 during the ban on international travel to curb the spread of the Coronavirus but will resume in 2021.
ANIMAL INTERACTION POLICY
HESC maintains a strict policy of no contact or interaction with animals kept on the property. Our policy is aligned with international trends based on animal ethics and welfare and is aimed at ensuring the safety and health of both animals and visitors. Our policy further endorses the right of animals to live a life without fear, which is often the consequence of close contact with humans with whom they are not acquainted. We avoid human-imprinting, whereby the animals will identify more with humans than with their own species and cause them to become problem animals once released.