Dec 29, 7 years ago

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC)

If you’ve always had a passion for the fastest cat in the world, and you want to get close to them then the Hoedspruit cheetah project is the one for you! Get involved in various aspects of animal rehabilitation at both the Endangered Species Sanctuary and the Big Five Game Reserve.
The Hoedspruit cheetah project at the Endangered Species Centre deals with sick, orphaned and breeding cheetah as well as the very endangered king cheetah. Volunteers will have the chance to get involved with the animals rehabilitation, which also entails feeding the animals at least twice a week.

 

“What an amazing experience I had at HESC everything from feeding rhino’s to actually dressing up as one!  The staff at HESC were magnificent and some of the most dedicated and hardworking people I have ever met. It exceeded every expectation.  The day to day activities at HESC included feeding cheetahs, rhinos, wild cats and many other animals.  Although the days were long and the work quite hard at times the satisfaction at the end of each day was worth it.  You were encouraged to exceed your limitations and work as a team.  I have made friends with people I know I will keep in touch with, and I have had experiences that I never dreamed I would have.   It was a privilege to contribute to the wonderful conservation work that goes on here, I even got the opportunity to talk with Kingsley Holgate when he visited the centre, what a legend”

– Susan Rodgers, May

 

“The best experience I have ever had! The staff are fantastic, they make you feel so welcome, look after you and are lots of fun. The animals are fantastic too, got to a lot of different wildlife that I have never even heard of before. The excursions that they plan are great too and I am hoping to go back next year!! “

– Leanne Tunaley


Testimonials

Susan Rodgers:

“What an amazing experience I had at HESC everything from feeding rhino’s to actually dressing up as one!  The staff at HESC were magnificent and some of the most dedicated and hardworking people I have ever met. It exceeded every expectation.  The day to day activities at HESC included feeding cheetahs, rhinos, wild cats and many other animals.  Although the days were long and the work quite hard at times the satisfaction at the end of each day was worth it.  You were encouraged to exceed your limitations and work as a team.  I have made friends with people I know I will keep in touch with, and I have had experiences that I never dreamed I would have.   It was a privilege to contribute to the wonderful conservation work that goes on here, I even got the opportunity to talk with Kingsley Holgate when he visited the centre, what a legend.”

Bridget Pavitt:

“Worldwide Experience has excellent knowledge of the placements available and able to advise individuals. The experience at Hoedspruit exceeded expectation and the whole organisation was first class. I definitely recommend them to friends/family looking for gap years or experiences beyond holidays.”

Lauren Scarfe:

“I’ve had the best 3 weeks of my life at Hoedspruit Cheetah Project! We covered such a wide range of activities and went on so many trips outside the centre that I really feel like I got the full African experience while there. We did everything including game drives (day and night!), an elephant back safari, river rafting, vet visits and an amazing trip to Kruger. Definitely the experience of a lifetime.”

Harry James:

“The trip was everything I expected and more. I met some amazing people and animals. I got to do things I never dreamed I would get to e.g. white water rafting to stroking a baby black rhino. I definitely would recommend this programme to anyone.”

Georgina Bedford, Volunteer:

“Hello, my name is Georgina Bedford and I have just gotten back from a 3 week placement in Hoedspruit, which I organised through worldwide experience. I thought I would give you some feedback on my experience from the 3 weeks! I had the time of my life in Hoedspruit, I have so many amazing memories from my time in South Africa. The cheetah project is an excellent program, The people there were incredibly friendly and welcoming; our student coordinator, Elouise in particular was fantastic! The motto at Hoedspruit is work hard, play hard and this fits perfectly. I was in a group with 5 other girls from various countries and I feel I have made friends for life! We worked so well and hard as a group that work felt like fun! The accommodation at the cheetah project was amazing! our camp, Nungu camp is so comfortable and well equipped. You really get a feel for the bush at the camp whilst also feeling safe and at home. I felt I learnt a lot form this 3 week placement not only about animals from South Africa, but about the country itself, it was a very educational program and had such great balance with the planning of our placement there. Not once did I feel homesick and as I was the youngest in the group this came as quite the shock. I could have stayed for a lot longer! This is my only flaw in the program………make it longer!! Thank you sooooo much for giving me this opportunity!!”

Amanda Murray – HESC 2011:

“The experience was amazing and the staff were helpful. I cant wait to go back again!”

Elizabeth Stretch:

It was a great, once in a lifetime experience. I learnt so much and it has inspired me to travel more.

Katie Meacher:

I loved my three weeks at Hoedspruit! Lovely people, lovely staff and a huge gain in knowledge.

I saw the Big 5 twice as well as lots of other animals and will never forget seeing these amazing animals at large in the wild!

WWE were very helpful and email correspondence was particularly quick and informative.

Nina Smith:

Working at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre was an amazing experience that I will treasure forever! The people and the animals were totally incredible.

Leanne Tunaley:

The best experience I have ever had :-)! The staff are fantastic, they make you feel so welcome, look after you and are lots of fun. The animals are fantastic too, got to a lot of different wildlife that I have never even heard of before. The excursions that they plan are great too and I am hoping to go back next year!!

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