Limpopo Tourist AttractionsHoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
Where? Hoedspruit, Limpopo, South Africa
How? Call +27 (0)15 793-1633
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) is a sanctuary for animals. It conserves rare, vulnerable and endangered animals and is home to cheetah, wild dogs, black-footed cats, African wild cats, ground horn bills, blue cranes, sable antelope, rhinos amongst others.
HESC started as a sanctuary for cheetahs when Lente Roode initiated a dream she had to work with and help cheetahs back in 19990. Back then the centre was called the Hoedspruit Cheetah Project. Her private game reserve, Kapama, includes the centre.
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is actively involved in anti-poaching. It was the HESC that intiated the formation of an anti-poaching unit to stop the senseless slaughter of animals, which has subsequently been absorbed into the SA Police.
The centre has focused particularly on cheetahs and a breeding programme has produced over 270 born in the sanctuary, including 20 rare king cheetahs. Wherever possible these animals are released into the wild.
The education of the younger generation is another area of focus for the centre, and a school programme educates over 10 000 learners a year, whilst a student's programme allows those between 18 and 35 to learn about conservation and become involved in the care of animals at HESC.
Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a non-profit organisation, leaving it completely dependent on sponsorships, donations and those funds made as a result of visits to the centre.
As a visitor you will watch a detailed presentation about what the centre does, join a guided tour, enjoy game drives, and appreciate being up close and personal with animals you might battle to see in the wild, yet still in an environmentally sustainable environment.
There is a tea garden and a curio shop with artefacts often handmade by local communities. Make sure that you include the vulture restaurant.
Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre encourages adoption of animals at the centre as a way to help them with their work. And a cottage allows visitors to overnight at the centre.
Visitors' feedback is that the centre provides a passionate, heartfelt and excellent service both to the animals it works so hard to save, and to those who are passionate about wildlife.