Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

Code: HESC
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The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) is living proof that people can make a difference to the long-term survival of the planet and its animal inhabitants.

HESC focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable and endangered animal species. Cheetah Conservation is one of its core disciplines.

The centre is actively involved in researchbreeding of endangered animal species; the education of learners, students and the general public in conservation and conservation-related activities; tourism; the release and establishment of captive-bred cheetahs in the wild; the treatment and rehabilitation of wild animals in need (including poached rhinos); and anti-poaching initiatives on the reserve.



Standard Tours:

Following an introductory presentation, day visitors will embark on an in-depth tour of the centre. Open safari vehicles with experienced guides depart every 2 hours, commencing at 09h00 every day, with the last tour at 15h00 (a slightly different schedule is applied during peak periods).

HESC houses a number of animal species including cheetah, African wild dog, lion, African wild cat, Ground hornbill, Sable antelope, to name just a few. Visitors can view the resident animals in close proximity, in a habitat simulating what they would experience in the wild. Guests are also afforded the opportunity of watching rare African vultures feeding at the Vulture Restaurant.

Normal tour hours: 09h00 / 11h00 / 13h00 / 15h00

During national holiday season (including public holidays) tours take place at the following times:
08h00 / 10h00 / 12h00 / 14h00 / 16h00

Tours last for 2 hours each. After the introductory video, guests will have time for questions and answers with the guides.

The Cheetah Spot offers guests the opportunity to observe HESC’s beautiful cheetahs at close range. Located approximately 300 m from HESC’s entrance, guests can relax and appreciate the cats while waiting for their tour to commence.

No minimum age.

Rates: R180 per person

Cheetah Focus Tour:

In addition to the standard tour, the cheetah focus tour also includes:

  • A drive through the cheetah enclosure where the cheetah run takes place. This involves the cheetah chasing a lure (a piece of cloth pulled by a pulley system). Witnessing the fastest animal on the planet at full speed is a sight to behold.
  • A drive through the wild dog enclosure where guests will watch the ‘painted wolves’ while they feed.
  • A trip to the Vulture Restaurant where guests will experience the vultures circling in a synchronised pattern, and descending out of the sky to feed off the remains on the ground.
  • Minimum age is 6 years
  • 2 Hours tour

Rates: R520 per person


Take a break from the Big Five chase and come and enjoy a unique game drive around the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Experience the biodiversity of this area with one of our knowledgeable guides, on a drive focused not only on species but also the variety of strategies that wildlife employs to survive and flourish.

Book either the HESC@DAWN or HESC@DUSK tour and use the opportunity to slow down, take a breath and truly connect with nature as you explore the smaller things that Mother Earth has to offer. Guests will have the opportunity to get off the vehicle and interact with nature, as well as enjoy a Coffee Break or Sundowner with light snacks whilst reflecting on all the intriguing things seen and learnt on this unique drive. From birds, to trees, to plants and insects learn how these often forgotten things inevitably work hand in hand to sustain our environment.

You will walk away with a new understanding of the diversity of life. Don’t miss it, book now!

6.00am – 9.00am | 15.00pm – 18.00pm


Private Tours:

HESC offers private tours to individuals who wish to experience a tour through the centre on their own private vehicle.

In addition to the standard tour, guests will have the rare opportunity to view the feeding of wild dogs and vultures.

Normal tour hours: 09h00 / 11h00 / 13h00 / 15h00

During national holiday season (including public holidays) tours take place at the following times:
08h00 / 10h00 / 12h00 / 14h00 / 16h00

(Bookings are essential. Subject to season of travel.)

School Tours:

In line with their educational goals, HESC offers diverse tour options for scholars and school groups.


Photographic Excursions:

HESC offers specialised photographic excursions for photographers who wish to capture images or videos of the various species at HESC privately. The tours present the unique ability to get in close proximity to a variety of animals, in a natural setting. Each tour includes a private vehicle and guide.

The Standard Photographic Tour is an extended version of the regular HESC tour.

Duration: 3 hours

Rates: R 3 850.00 per safari vehicle (Maximum of 6 people per safari vehicle)


Photographic tours for media professionals

The below tours are primarily for professional media companies wishing to capture specific footage for television segments or programmes:

The Exclusive Photographic Tour enables visitors to climb off the vehicle, where permitted, in order to capture better images of the animals in their enclosures.

Duration: 4 hours (half day) / 8 hours (full day)

The Inclusive Photographic Tour includes time with HESC’s curator within specified animal enclosures, giving photographers the opportunity to get off the vehicle, where permitted, in order to capture better images.

Duration: 4 hours (half day) / 8 hours (full day)

Please note:

  • As HESC is a conservation and animal care centre, and not a natural reserve, animals are housed within enclosures separated by fences.
  • As part of HESC’s policy, there is no direct interaction between man and animal, as their core focus is on giving these animals an environment as close to their natural one as possible.

(Bookings are essential. Subject to season of travel.)

To book and final quote fill in the form on the page or email us at gerhard@hoedspruit.net