HESC offers people the opportunity to experience the Centre in an intensive and hands-on 21-day programme. During the varsity holidays (June to August) this is limited to students (between 18 and 35 years), although for the rest of the year we welcome all ages.
It is divided into three main sections: Participation, Conservation and Sightseeing.
The main focus of the programme is on the cheetah, and throughout their stay participants are involved in the everyday care of these magnificent animals. This includes cleaning, feeding, and where required, assisting with or observing any veterinary activities that may take place during their stay. These same activities also apply to other species being cared for at the Centre. Click here to read more.
The new students have arrived – all nine of them – and all will joining us for the full 21 days – from 19 June until 9 July. We’d like to extend our warmest welcome to everyone. Here they each introduce themselves:
Hello my name is Angela and I come from England. I am an Animal Behaviour student who has always dreamed of visiting Africa and working with the Big Five. It has been such an amazing experience here already, after just two days. The tour around the Centre was a great experience as we saw lots of cheetah and lion. As soon as we turned up at the camp, we were greeted by a warthog that thinks heâ€™s a dog!
Hello there, my name is John and I am from Yorkshire, England. I study Biology at the University of Leeds. Currently I am covered in blood and smell of meat, due to an early morning trip to the butchery to prepare food for some cheetahs! I have many animals from horses to chickens, including a German Sheppard puppy called Gaius! My love for animals and adventure brought me to HESC. Two days in, we have seen a number of cheetahs, lions and giraffes. The pet warthog and monkey are quite simply random, however!
Hi, my name is Hannah, I live in Lincolnshire, England and am in my third year studying Biology at the University of Leeds. I have wanted to volunteer to work with wild animals for a long time, and felt that Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre would be the perfect opportunity. We all arrived on Monday, and were greeted by the pet warthog, a cheeky baby vervet monkey, a miniature Doberman and a three-legged African wild cat, that all live in camp. Over the last few days we have visited the cheetahs at the Centre, and driven around the bush looking for wild cheetahs. We also saw giraffes, wild dogs, warthogs and a cheetah. This morning consisted of moving tonnes (literally) of meat from the meat truck (lorry).Â It has been great so far although I am still getting used to hearing lions roaring outside camp at night!
Yarrrrr, my name is Shah. I currently live in England, studying zoology at Salford. My major interests are mammals and birds, and this is a great opportunity for me to get close to a variety of animals in South Africa. The past two days have been amazing. We had an awesome time sorting out the meat earlier today, and yesterday was also great because we went on a tour of the Centre. Some of the animals are real characters, especially the monkey and Noddy the dog, whoâ€™s always underneath the table looking at me with his puppy dog eyes during meals. I am looking forward to spending another two weeks getting down and dirty with the animals.
So, Iâ€™m not very good at these things on whatâ€™s even interesting enough to mention. The basics are, Iâ€™m Rhea.Â I go to vet school in Ireland and hail from the state of clam chowdah, dropping Râ€™s and massholes. I could tell you about my favourite ice cream or my favourite animal, but thatâ€™s about as cool as telling you the sky is blue. So Iâ€™ll tell you that I’ve developed a special bond with a warthog named Varkie, and have managed to not completely injure myself despite my propensity for clumsiness. However, I am thoroughly convinced a hippo will be my fate during this trip.
Hello the expansive land of the internet! Iâ€™m Leigh. Iâ€™ll keep this short and simple. Iâ€™m from Massachusetts, currently studying wildlife management. I enjoy long walks on the beach and a great pair of slacks. My favourite extinct animal is thylacine (although Iâ€™m pretty sure thereâ€™s one or two still around hiding). Iâ€™ve got a 12 year-old cat named “Dumpster Danny” back home that Iâ€™m missing, but so far Iâ€™ve filled the black-hole sized gap in my heart with all the fantastic cats here at the Centre!Â Hope your day, wherever you are, is phenomenal. Until we meet again.
Howdy! Iâ€™m a Texas-born, Irish veterinary student who enjoys travelling, knitting and loads of animals. I hope to one day walk on the moon and bring back to life the Dodo bird. The Centre is full of interesting relationships, such as the two sheep currently mothering a zebra! Life is good. Christa.
Keep an eye out for our blogs for news, pics and updates from our students.
From all of us at HESC, and our nine students 😉