Wildlife Conservation Experience
About the programme
HESC offers the opportunity to experience, first hand, the work of the centre. This intensive 21-day programme is divided into 3 main sections: Participation; Conservation; and Sightseeing. The programme is for the adventurous spirit looking for a unique African adventure; for the passionate animal lover; and for the conservationist.
The programme is based at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, which is home to cheetah, wild dogs, white rhino, lion, African wild cats, Ground hornbills, Sable antelope, to name only a few.
WCE participants will be involved in the everyday care of the many animal species at the centre. This includes cleaning, feeding and, where required, assisting with or observing any veterinary activities that may occur during their stay.
The knowledge gained about the animals and the work of HESC through this kind of participation is both specific and personal. Participants may also get the opportunity to learn more about the day-to-day operations at ‘Rescued Rhinos @ HESC’, a sanctuary for orphaned rhinos and rhinos which have been victims of poaching.
This section of the programme involves informal lectures on all aspects of conservation and includes specialist input on all animals, grasses, trees and basic biodiversity.
The programme enables participants to put theory into practice, either through direct observation in the wild or at other centres that specialise in other areas of research or conservation.
WCE participants will also have the opportunity to visit places of interest and attractions in the area, including the renowned Kruger National Park.
Duration of the programme
- Three weeks – A basic conservation course, consisting of a theoretical component, followed by active participation in practical exercises.
- One-week programmes are available on request.
Aims of the programme
To equip participants with the aptitude of conserving the wildlife of Southern Africa; to build awareness of conservation on a broader global scale; and to facilitate the experience of the beauty and rich diversity of South Africa.
Accommodation & Facilities
- Accommodation in twin thatched huts (max 2 people) in Nungu Camp – situated within the Kapama Private Game Reserve (Big 5). Separate facilities are available for male and female participants. Accommodation is basic, yet clean and comfortable.
- Accommodation is fitted with adequate power points and ceiling fans.
- Wifi is available on request.
- Breakfast and lunch will mostly be prepared by participants, with a few traditional South African meals prepared by the coordinators too. On Saturdays and Sundays, participants are given the chance to prepare their own local dishes – a valuable team building experience.
- There is a kitchen with fridges in the camp, as well as a boma and barbeque facilities. Basic food and drink will be provided, but all luxury items will be for the participants’ own expense.
- Telephone facilities are available (at participants’ own expense). Pioneer hand-wash laundry facilities are available in the camp.
- Sunday’s are off days and are spent at leisure.
The closest town is Hoedspruit, which is approximately 23 km from the reserve. Regular trips to town can be organised for supplies, banking or internet facilities.
Adventure activities are available in the area. Should volunteers decide to participate in such activities, such as quad biking, paintball war-games, river rafting in the Sabie river or a visit to Jessica the Hippo or Moholoholo rehabilitation centre, they can be arranged with the project leader at participants’ own expense.